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Unwelcome negative comments from MP

PUBLISHED: 08:00 31 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:44 06 July 2010

IF I could have predicted one thing following our announcement regarding the Waveney Campus project, it would be the negative and opportunistic comments from our local MP who, let's be fair, never misses a trick when it comes to self-serving, political points-scoring.

IF I could have predicted one thing following our announcement regarding the Waveney Campus project, it would be the negative and opportunistic comments from our local MP who, let's be fair, never misses a trick when it comes to self-serving, political points-scoring.

Just what exactly does the MP think of the campus project? First he doesn't like it, then he supports it and now - only now - he decides it was actually “ill-considered” all along. How very convenient!

So let's put the politics to one side for a moment and actually look at the facts. Cefas are a body of DEFRA, one of the MP's own Government's departments. They are in desperate need of new accommodation and the intention throughout was to build something which would provide them with the scientific facilities they needed; keeping 400 jobs in Lowestoft.

Not only that, but this flagship project was a key driver for regeneration in a neglected part of the town, and was designed to stimulate the economy and create yet more jobs.

It was to be designed in such a way that ongoing maintenance costs would be drastically reduced, effectively enabling the building to recoup initial spending and all but 'pay for itself'. How is any of that a bad thing?

This project has been hamstrung by a number of issues beyond our control. Local Government Review and the prevailing economic conditions we all find ourselves in have made this project increasingly vulnerable and I am very sad that this final decision was taken.

However, all three partners agreed that it was the right thing to do and all are pleased that the work undertaken so far - and therefore the spending - could yet be utilised to help deliver a different accommodation solution for Cefas.

The MP knows all this of course - he's even spoken to DEFRA himself about it - but still he would rather give the electorate the impression that all the money has been 'wasted' because it suits his own personal, political agenda against this council.

It would be sad if it wasn't so predictable, but if I've learned one thing in my time as Leader of Waveney District Council it has been to expect these barbs and brickbats from an MP who has no equal when it comes to laying blame at every door but his own.

MARK BEE

Leader

Waveney District Council


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