Bill is celebrating news that Dilwyn Parish Council has received official ‘borrowing approval’ in connection with its bid to purchase the Crown Inn.

Residents had been given less than two weeks to secure the £325,000 needed to complete a community buyout.

Bill had approached the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, about the matter directly during last week’s 2020 Conference.

On hearing the verdict he commented: 

After Eric completed his presentation on Friday I was able to speak with him and his staff about Dilwyn’s ambition.

Their response was absolutely brilliant. Before the day was out I had received an email explaining who the Parish Council should get in touch with and agreeing to take things further.

Yesterday Mark Haslem, from the Herefordshire branch of CAMRA, visited Parliament. We discussed the crucial role of good pubs and I was able to introduce him to the Minister Bob Neill MP and his civil servants – with both of us emphasising the importance of local solutions.

Now news has arrived from the Secretary of State confirming that the Council’s bid for funding had been approved.

This is a tremendous lift for localism and a tremendous victory for Dilwyn. It is amazing what a little imagination, some hard work and plenty of determination can achieve.

Dilwyn is a great place and really deserves this opportunity. The Government has certainly delivered on its promise to put communities first.’

Bill was previously the Communities and Local Government departmental Whip.