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Peter Aldous gives his maiden speech

PUBLISHED: 11:27 04 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:33 06 July 2010

LOWESTOFT and Great Yarmouth must put aside their age-old rivalry and work together in securing new jobs and economic benefits from the burgeoning offshore renewables industry, the House of Commons was told.

LOWESTOFT and Great Yarmouth must put aside their age-old rivalry and work together in securing new jobs and economic benefits from the burgeoning offshore renewables industry, the House of Commons was told.

Giving his maiden speech in parliament last week, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said that offshore wind power was vital to the future of the economic fortunes of Lowestoft and the surrounding area over the next decade and beyond.

“Offshore renewables present us with a great opportunity to bring Waveney into the 21st century. It was an opportunity that Bob Blizzard recognised, and I will be taking the baton from him to make sure that we deliver on that goal,” he said.

He said it was crucial that the country secured 'energy security' to satisfy its future needs and that it moved towards a 'low-carbon economy' by utilising green energy sources, including nuclear power, clean coal, and micro-energy.

“But it is offshore renewables on which I want to focus,” he said. “We have to get 15pc of our energy supply from renewables by 2020. We have a lot of work to do, being at just over 5pc now. There are great opportunities for green jobs; I see that it is estimated that there will be 1.2 million by 2015. If we do not do the work, we will fall a long way short.

“Lowestoft has a great opportunity, and great advantages in setting about giving us those green jobs and taking us forward. It has a great location, close to where the offshore turbines will be - the East Anglia Array and the Greater Gabbard.

“We have a skills base, built up over many years, in fishing, in shipbuilding, and in the North Sea oil and gas industry. Those skills are transferrable, and we can make best use of them in the renewables sector.”

But he stressed: “We have to improve our training and education. We have a further education college that is delivering skills, and there is the opportunity for University Campus Suffolk to provide higher education with regard to those skills. We also need to reinvigorate the apprenticeship system, which, in Waveney and Lowestoft, has been so important in our past.

Mr Aldous added: “I am here to represent Waveney, but I must not be parochial. I have to think outside my constituency. In East Anglia, we have great opportunities. There is a deep-sea port in Yarmouth; that will help us to bring opportunities there…In the past, Lowestoft and Yarmouth have spent a lot of time fighting each other. We fought on opposite sides in the civil war, and we had the herring wars, but we are united now in seeking to deliver the renewable energy opportunities.”

Mr Aldous also paid tribute to the hard of his predecessor - Labour's Bob Blizzard - over the past 13 years. “He has been a passionate advocate for Waveney and a hard-working and diligent MP... I thank him for all the work that he has done,” he said.


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