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Community hero: Ernie Broom ‘just loves’ his Bury St Edmunds estate

PUBLISHED: 11:40 16 December 2018

Ernie Broom with his children Karen Arbon, Michael and Anne Burwell at a celebration to mark him being awarded a British Empire Medal Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

Ernie Broom with his children Karen Arbon, Michael and Anne Burwell at a celebration to mark him being awarded a British Empire Medal Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

Mariam Ghaemi

Ernie Broom has worked tirelessly for the estate he loves in Bury St Edmunds since moving there 53 years ago.

The British Empire Medals Investiture at Euston. Suffolks Lord Lieutenant, Clare, Countess of Euston with Ernie Broom Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe British Empire Medals Investiture at Euston. Suffolks Lord Lieutenant, Clare, Countess of Euston with Ernie Broom Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The 82-year-old, who has three children, has improved the lives of countless people on the Howard estate through his community projects.

Mr Broom was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in 2015 for services to the community in the town and earlier this year he received the Outstanding Contribution to the Community award for his work on the Howard.

Among his achievements, he convinced Asda to open a supermarket in the town, he campaigned for the Merry-Go-Round pub site to be developed and has ensured the estate is served well by buses.

His many roles include being chairman of HEART (the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants), being a founder member and current committee member of his estate’s over-60s club and he has also been a governor at both Howard Middle and Howard Primary schools.

Ernie Broom at the British Empire Medals Investiture at Euston Picture: PHIL MORLEYErnie Broom at the British Empire Medals Investiture at Euston Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Mr Broom said: “I just love my estate. It’s as simple as that. It’s a lovely estate. We really are a close-knit community and we try and look after each other.”

He added: “Our estate gets a bit of stick from time to time, but it’s still a fantastic estate. We have got so many good kids on our estate, but you don’t hear about them.”

Mr Broom has called the Howard estate home since moving there from London in 1965 when it was first built.

Recently, he has worked on a project for a ‘memorial tree orchard’ on the estate to remember residents who have now passed away and he is heavily involved in plans for a new community centre.

Ernie Broom (left) is presented with his scroll by town and borough councillor Paul Hopfensperger Picture: BECCY HOPFENSPERGERErnie Broom (left) is presented with his scroll by town and borough councillor Paul Hopfensperger Picture: BECCY HOPFENSPERGER

Councillor Paul Hopfensperger presented Mr Broom with the St Edmundsbury Councillor Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community in the form of a scroll of honour earlier in the year.

In his presentation speech, Mr Hopfensperger described him as a “pillar of the community” and said his achievements were “too many to list”.

“If my calculations are correct, I have known Ernie for over 43 years now, and it has been my honour to work for him, here on the estate as firstly a Suffolk county councillor, but more recently as a town and borough councillor.

“His enthusiasm for everything he does is unwavering.”

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