12 OCT 2018

EADT Column - 11th October 2018

"Great news that the Thoroughfare in Woodbridge has been shortlisted for this year's Great British High Street awards. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Mayor and Clerk of Woodbridge alongside James Lightfoot, Chairman of Choose Woodbridge, who have been at the forefront of this campaign. The range of independent stores and their owners work hard to make the Thoroughfare such a success. I visited a hairdresser, bookshop, boutique, shoe shop and a very special jewellery shop (who knew you could design your own wedding ring). The Thoroughfare is up against 25 other streets in the Champion High Street category. You can show your support for Woodbridge by posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using both #MYHIGHSTREET and #GBHSWoodbridge to register your vote. Unusually, you can vote as many times as you want.

Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, has offered to meet me regarding HMP Hollesley Bay to hear first-hand the concerns of residents on the inclusion of sexual offenders. Open Prisons are extremely important in helping facilitate a prisoner's transition back into normal life but considering the close proximity of the primary school I share local concerns, especially in relation to certain categories of sexual offender. I will continue to press the case.

It was World Clean-up Day recently and whilst I would usually be helping pick up rubbish from our beaches in Suffolk, this year I was in Maputo in Mozambique helping to tackle the plastic pollution that has such an impact on their environment. Programmes like Blue Planet and Drowning in Plastic have sharply brought into focus the consequences of our everyday actions – and as well as everybody doing their bit it really matters that we find global solutions to this problem. That is why I was at the United Nations General Assembly in New York recently, to discuss ways in which we can further protect the world's oceans. It is the UK's ambition to treble internationally-agreed targets for protected areas – and I called on other nations to push for a global target of 30 per cent of oceans designated as Marine Protected Areas by 2030. Only by working together can we ensure our marine life continues to be a source of awe and wonder for future generations."

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