John Whittingdale welcomed TV Historian, Dan Snow, to Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome before Dan spoke at a fund-raising dinner at Hylands House in aid of the Charitable Trust that runs the Aerodrome, of which John is Patron. John is pictured with Dan Snow, Chairman of the Trust Peter Martin, and Chief Executive, Ian Flint

John Whittingdale welcomed a group of international travel buyers from the United States and Ireland to Maldon.

Having previously visited the RHS Gardens at Hyde Hall, the group were given a presentation by Topsail Charters on board the Thames Barge Kitty on the Hythe Quay.

John said: “Tourism is an increasingly important industry in the Maldon District but it is not yet established on the itinerary of international visitors to the UK. I am delighted that Visit Britain has chosen to bring these representatives of international tour operators to Maldon so that they can see all that we have to offer”.

The group of buyers were visiting the East of England as part of VisitBritain’s flagship travel trade event ExploreGB. Now in its third year ‘ExploreGB’ took place in Brighton. More than 400 international buyers from 40 countries gathered to do business with 430 travel industry suppliers from across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Buyers from Britain’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets including the USA, Germany, France, Canada and Australia attended. Important growth markets including China, the world’s most valuable outbound market, India, Italy and the Gulf countries were also represented.

 

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/