John recognises the important contribution that pubs make to their local communities and is pleased to show his support for brewing and pubs across the Country by signing the MP pledge card. 

The industry creates hundreds and thousands of jobs in the UK and adds over £20 billion to the economy.   Permitted development rights allow the change of use of public houses to shops and supermarkets without the need for a planning application. Planning regulations enable councils to remove these permitted development rights to protect local assets.

When a pub is listed as an Asset of Community Value, permitted development rights are removed and a planning application is required for its change of use or demolition. This provides an opportunity for local people to comment and enables the local planning authority to determine the application in accordance with its local plan, any neighbourhood plan and national policy. Over 1,280 pubs are now Assets of Community Value.

The local planning authority may also take the listing into account as a material consideration when determining any planning application.

The Government has launched a new £1.5 million Pub Loan Fund to enable local communities to take control of pubs at risk of closure. Local people will be able to apply for small loans to help restore their pub, to help pay for feasibility work or lawyers' fees.

 

John Whittingdale visited Brynleigh Technology Ltd in Heybridge House Industrial estate off The Causeway in Maldon.

Brynleigh Technology is a family owned business which was founded in 1993 and manufactures printed circuit boards using its own advanced software. The firm has expanded steadily and will shortly be moving to new premises in Maldon. John toured the factory and spoke to managers and staff.

John is pictured with founder and Managing Director, Maurice Apthorp, Technical Director, Richard Apthorp, and Commercial Director, Lisa Apthorp.

John attended the opening of the Wibblers Brewery at their new home in Goldsands Road, Southminster, which was performed by John Fisher and his mother, Mrs Maud Fisher.

Wibblers was established on a commercial basis in 2007 in a converted barn in Mayland by Phil Wilcox, following 20 years of home brewing experience. Its beers have won numerous awards including Crafty Stout which won a Gold award in the Stout Class in the CAMRA National Winter Festival in 2015/16.  

John is pictured with Head Brewer, Phil Wilcox. http://www.wibblers.co.uk/

 

 

 

John recently attended NHBC’s Parliamentary event celebrating the Pride in the Job winners across the country and was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to congratulate the Site Manager of the recently completed St Luke's Park development, Mick Montgomery, who won Pride in the Job Seal of Excellence Award at the NHBC East Regional Finals.

John Whittingdale met Chief Inspector Ronnie Egan, Divisional Commander of Chelmsford and Maldon Policing Area, to discuss local policing issues including the levels of crime, police cover and the possible relocation of Maldon Police Station to the offices of Maldon District Council.

John Whittingdale said: “The Maldon and Chelmsford area remains one of the safest places to live with low levels of crime. However, it is essential that we keep it that way and I am very much aware of local concern about the level of police cover and response times. I strongly welcome plans to invest more in frontline policing and also the emphasis that Chief Inspector is putting on tackling Rural Crime, particularly in the Dengie Peninsula.”