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The view from Norfolk farmers: 'We're good at adapting to change'

BBC Radio 5 Live

Sam - goat farmer
BBC

Farming is a key election issue in Norfolk, where 5 Live is broadcasting from today.

Sam Steggles is a goat farmer in Honingham, near Norwich.

“The next government needs to focus on giving some structure, some tangible benefits back to the country and agriculture as a whole. If agriculture and business knows what it’s dealing with, we're very good at adapting to change but you’ve got to know what that change is.

"Brexit for me is now becoming an annoyance - it's dragged on long enough now, I voted Leave, I hope it will be short-term pain but hopefully long-term gain for my children and their children will benefit.

"I am hopeful the the future will be bright, I am convinced it will be. Regardless of what happens with the election, with Brexit, as a country we are getting better at supporting our local economy, our food producers. We've seen an increased demand which is excellent, and long may it continue."

Emily
BBC

Emily Norton is a dairy farmer in Norfolk. She's been looking at what the parties are offering agriculture.

"Across all of the political parties and the manifestos we've seen so far, [there's detail] about investing in the environment and thinking more about climate change and that's not the messaging we're getting out of Brussels which is still quite stuck on what they do about that," she said.

"We've got a greater opportunity to think about what land management does and what society needs."

"One of the main challenges is looking at producing food sustainably, versus trying to meet climate change targets."

Andy
BBC

For Andy Allen, an asparagus farmer in Great Ellingham, labour supply after Brexit is a big concern: "More than 60% of the cost of my production is labour and that keeps going up."

"We rely on seasonal, migrant workers - all from Eastern Europe. We just need harvest workers for a set period - it's not conducive to most people in this country who want 12 months work a year, we're just looking for small periods.

"I think politicians are coming to terms with this now.

"There's just not a pool of local people - I need 130 workers for seven weeks a year... it doesn't fit in with college holidays, school holidays etc."

Listen back to Chiles on Friday, from Norwich, on BBC Sounds.

'I struggle every morning'

Earlier, we told you how Pippa Travis-Williams's son Henry took his own life at the age of 21 after he was wrongly discharged by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT)

She spoke to BBC Breakfast about how his death could have been prevented.

View more on twitter

You can read more about his story here.

Inmate handed life sentences for three attempted murders

An inmate found guilty of attempting to kill prison officers and another prisoner has been given three life sentences.

Aklakur Rahman
Lincolnshire Police

Aklakur Rahman, 32, carried out the attacks at prisons in Norfolk, Lincoln and Wakefield.

Rahman,originally from Ipswich, used makeshift weapons, including razor blades and a piece of masonry to carry out the attacks.

Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Pepperall said Rahman had prepared "the most dangerous weapons he could fashion from the limited materials available to him".

Rahman was jailed on Friday for a minimum of 13 years

Detective Inspector Kevin Brown, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “It really is a blessing that no one was killed during what were extremely determined and violent attacks.”

Paul records in Norwich Cathedral cloisters

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News online

A musician has spent several months cycling thousands of miles to record the sounds of the UK.

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Environment Agency monitors situation as tides remain high

The Environment Agency said the risk of flooding from the North Sea had reduced, but that it would continue to monitor the forecast throughout the day, as Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning tides would remain high.

It follows an evacuation warning in place from 07:00 to 10:00 for Heacham, Snettisham and Hunstanton, which has now been lifted.

Hunstanton
BBC

Its incident response staff were checking the condition of defences, it said.

Flood warnings downgraded to flood alerts

There are currently no severe flood warnings or flood warnings along the Norfolk coast, with the earlier flood warnings for Snettisham, Heacham and Hunstanton, downgraded to flood alerts.

There are also flood alerts between Old Hunstanton and Cley; from East Cley to Kelling Hard; and on the tidal River Yare from Thorpe St Andrew to Breydon Water and on the tidal River Waveney from Ellingham to Breydon Water.

Hunstanton Tide
BBC