Prime Minister David Cameron pledges Lowestoft's voice will be heard in Downing Street
(C) Archant Norfolk 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that Lowestoft's voice would be heard in Downing Street on a visit the town's new enterprise zone - but avoided the region's roads and rail services by flying in by helicopter, meaning he did not experience the town's problem Bascule bridge.
Asked on a visit to the new Mobbs Way enterprise zone whether a future Conservative government would back a scheme for a third crossing agreed by the town, Mr Cameron stopped short of any firm commitment - saying it was down to Suffolk County Council to draw up a plan and that the government “would want to see it supported”.
And there was further disappointment as the Conservative leader did not get a chance to witness the frustration many residents feel at the bridge going up - because he came by helicopter.
Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Waveney, Bob Blizzard, said it was “disappointing” Mr Cameron did not experience the traffic problems caused by the bridge going up.
“If he wanted to be in touch with local people, then he would have done what the rest of the population has to do and come over the bridge,” Mr Blizzard said. “Then he could’ve seen what the main problems are.
“People will see through the visit because he chose to travel in that way, rather than travel like ordinary people in Lowestoft.”
Mr Cameron explained that with a busy schedule he had to travel by helicopter to get to a wide range of places, including Cambridge and Felixstowe.
Waveney’s political leaders said that despite not experiencing the Bascule bridge first-hand, Mr Cameron was well aware of the issues in the town and was helping to address them by delivering strong economic growth across the region.
Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “He has visited the town before, he knows Lowestoft and he knows the challenges of the bridge. He knows the work taking place locally to come up with a plan that works.”
Waveney District Council leader Colin Law added it was the purpose of local representatives to inform him of the frustrations of the town and how central government can help address them.
Mr Cameron said: “Peter Aldous has helped to make sure Lowestoft’s voice is heard loud and clear in Westminster. We are creating jobs, businesses are expanding and we have got a long-term economic plan.”
He also pointed to how the government had invested £7million in a £25million permanent tidal barrier which would protect the town from devastating floods, like the one seen in the December 2013 tidal surge.
During his visit, Mr Cameron toured joinery firm MS Oakes to hear how it is helping with the building of the enterprise zone.
He also spoke to New Anglia Local Enterprise Zone chairman Mark Pendlington about the creation of the zone and how it would boost the area’s economy.
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