Tributes to Labour’s Bob Blizzard as he retires from parliamentary politics in Waveney
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Tributes have been paid to long-serving former MP Bob Blizzard after he quit parliamentary politics following his defeat in the general election, bringing an end of an era n Waveney political history.
Mr Blizzard served as leader of Waveney District Council and was selected as Labour's parliamentary candidate for the constituency, being elected in the Tony Blair landslide of 1997.
That led to a 13-year reign over the Westminster seat, in which he counted his major successes as getting the Tom Crisp Way relief road open – to alleviate one of the major traffic bottlenecks in Lowestoft – and obtaining funding for the Orbis Energy Centre.
However the most sought after prize was the one that eluded him as it had all of his predecessors – getting Lowestoft it's long-awaited and much-needed third crossing.
Sonia Barker, leader of the Labour group on Waveney District Council, said: 'Bob Blizzard has been a great ambassador for Waveney for over 20 years.
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'Over the last two years and particularly over the last few months as the election campaign increased in intensity, I witnessed Bob having countless conversations on the doorstep with the the residents of Waveney where he was warmly received.
'His performance at the various hustings throughout Waveney too were incisive, informative and fully costed.
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'On many occasions during the recent Labour campaign many men and women recounted a tale of Bob helping them overcome a particular difficulty or concern and he was in his element when he was working alongside constituents as their champion.
'Many younger Labour campaigners found it a real challenge trying to keep up with Bob when out campaigning. That was his hallmark - battling with determination, energy and commitment on behalf of the people of Waveney.'