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Is Lowestoft rising? Residents give their views

Lowestoft rising conference to discuss the future of the Town.

Lowestoft rising conference to discuss the future of the Town.

© Archant 2015

■ Lowestoft resident Cindy Smetham said of the town: "There is nothing to make you want to come here for a holiday."

She believes the third crossing is such an important issue for the town that: “If it doesn’t happen, everyone is going to be deflated. I’m thinking of downsizing and moving to Spain if things don’t improve.”

However she was impressed by the work of Lowestoft Rising and hopes organisations working together will help the town to turn the corner.

Paul Durbidge, 76, said: “It’s a cracking town and I would love it to flourish, but I do see the decline.

“I’ve lived in Lowestoft for many years and I don’t like to see what it’s become.

“It seems the places that progress in the town centre are the charity shops – we need to see some nice shops.”

■ Pakefield councillor Sonia Barker, who leads the opposition Labour group on Waveney District Council, said: “I think this town is an extremely resilient one,” but said: “I do feel at the moment we’re feeling a little bit battered.”

She cited the fact that this year has seen proposed cuts to the fire service, the possible closure of the magistrates’ court and the closure of Godfreys and engineering firm AKD, causing job losses.

“We need someone to champion Lowestoft,” she said.

Adam Robertson, of Teesdale, in Carlton Colville, who is an activist with the Liberal Democrats, said: “Some parts of the town are rising better than others. Pakefield is a nice area to live, but Kirkley has still got issues with drugs and dereliction of houses.”

He said the Lowestoft Rising conference on Monday was a “good start” but he would have liked to have seen organisers reach out to a wider section of people.

He would also like to see councillors from across the political spectrum working more closely together to bring a third crossing to the town.

■ Gunton resident Ian Robb said: “We’ve got to do something to get the town back on its feet.

“It is not on the up at the moment. If we can get employment back it will improve things, but we really do need that bridge.”

However he said similar things to the Lowestoft Rising conference had been done before over the years, saying that reisdents now need to see some action.

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