Readers’ letters from this week’s Journal
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Focus is on crossing and fishing
With Parliament now in recess after a hectic few months leading up to and following the June General Election, it is clear that in this coming Parliament there are two issues which will take up much of my time and attention.
These are working with Suffolk County Council to ensure that the Third Crossing is built on time and within budget and liaising with those in the fishing industry locally to make sure that we make the most of the opportunity presented by the inclusion of a Fisheries Bill included in the Queen's Speech.
Good progress has been made on the Third Crossing following the securing of funding from the Government and Suffolk County Council last year and last week ground investigations got under way, with soil samples being taken away for analysis that will help determine the detailed design of the new bridge, its piers and foundations. The statutory public consultation that is required will commence in September and once the feedback has been assessed the planning application will be submitted to the national Planning Inspectorate next year, when an inquiry known as an Examination in Public may well take place. The objective is to secure planning approval by 2019, so that we can then start on site on a project that is scheduled to take 2 to 3 years.
The Fisheries Bill provides an opportunity to set out new policies for UK fishing for the first time for 40 years. It is important that this sets down a framework in which the Lowestoft industry can be revitalised. This will involve putting in place a management system that is overseen by local people, including fishermen and the scientists from CEFAS that ensures our local fisheries are managed sustainably for the long term. There is a pressing need to reform the current quota system to ensure that local fishermen have enough fish to catch and are able to make a reasonable living. Moreover it is important that supporting businesses such as boat repairers, equipment providers, processors and merchants are in a position to take advantage of the improved prospects for the industry. For my part, whilst recognising that many challenges lie ahead, I look forward to working with local people and businesses to make sure that we make the most of these two opportunities, that they bring the maximum benefit to Lowestoft
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Have faith in the UK
I have just read J Cheesman's letter regarding Brexit, is it any wonder that confusion reigns when people write such things. How many firms can he name who have left because of Brexit? I am not sure which part of Europe they went to but I have travelled a lot through Europe and can assure him it is not all milk and honey in Greece, Spain. Italy, France or Portugal.
This country still has many, many large engineering and manufacturing companies. Although a number of them are now owned by companies from countries all over the world, as is the case all over this globalised economy. Surely that shows the people that purchased some of our leading companies have faith in the UK's ability to provide both the skilled and hard working personnel they require. Yes a lot of our workers are here from everywhere but all most people in the UK (including a large number of immigrants) want is the ability of our Government to control who comes here and if they come to work OK.
Stop talking our country down and remember we were very successful for generations before the politicians told us a fabricated story about what they wanted us to join in 1975.
Where is score art?
In regard to the letter 'Time Passing on Scores Promise, August 4.' There used to be a walk through the Scores known as 'The Red Herring Trail'. This route was marked by plaques at the top of the Score. There were also items of interest to be seen.
One such item was a large metal cast fish which was situated at the bottom of Spurgeon Score. This piece of art is no longer there.
Do any readers know where this now resides? Or is this search merely a red herring?
Investment must improve safety
I read Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore's 'Local Voices' piece on reducing road fatalities (Lowestoft Journal August 4) with interest.
Much of what he says is common sense. However in referring to presumably Suffolk roads, I question what Mr Passmore means by '... a predominantly old and antiquated road network, which in most cases is not fit for purpose...' I realise many drivers will say it is obvious what he means. However, that will be because the roads do not allow them to drive as fast as they would like. When I drive on Suffolk's 'A' roads, I generally have no difficulty driving at the national speed limit where it is legal and appropriate. Do some drivers want Suffolk's countryside concreted over so they have perfect straight dual carriageways everywhere, which would still get congested at times (think of motorways)?
With regard future roads investment, all it has been about so far is enabling faster driving and ever more motor vehicles. It has not been about improving safety, particularly not for non-motorised users, including pedestrians. With regard cyclists, it is not good enough to say, 'they can have an off-road cycle path.'
A case in point is Lowestoft's third crossing. I recently attended a meeting about cycling facilities for the third crossing. I queried whether the meeting would be just about the third crossing or also how it could help improve cycling conditions in Lowestoft generally. I was advised it was just about the third crossing as the Department for Transport (DfT) does not want to commit itself until it has monitored the third crossing traffic flows in the early days. I question why that is the case if the DfT is confident the third crossing will reduce traffic over the Bascule bridge to the extent it is claimed it will.
With regard adequate funding for roads policing, Cycling UK, along with pedestrian organisations, is arguing the case to the Government that reducing it was a folly and that funds need to be diverted back to it.
Parking must be addressed
It is really important that the issue of child, parent and carer friendly parking places in Lowestoft is addressed by Waveney District Council as soon as possible.
The Waveney Labour Group will ensure that a question regarding this important issue is raised at the next full council meeting in September. Lowestoft Journal readers will be able to see all the questions online at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk with effect from September 13, 2017 for the full Waveney District Council meeting on September 21, 2017 which as usual is open to the public at 6.30pm at Riverside, Canning Road, Lowestoft. If readers have experienced difficulties parking in Lowestoft whilst with their children please contact me at Sonia.firstname.lastname@example.org
On a separate but linked point demolition of the Battery Green car park (now closed) will commence over the next few weeks according to an order just released from Suffolk County Council (8.8.17). It appears therefore that the issue of car parking in Lowestoft and the demolition of former car parks will stay in the headlines for a considerably amount of time.
Readers can be assured that the Waveney Labour Group will continue to ask questions of the Waveney Conservative administration about what their future plans are for improving car parking in the town so as to attract in more shoppers which will in turn create more business opportunities and lead to a more bustling, attractive and accessible town centre for all.
District councillor for Pakefield
Leader Waveney Labour Group