18 FEB 2019

EADT Column - 14th February 2019

"As Environment Minister, I was pleased to have the privilege of formally opening the new Ipswich Tidal Flood Barrier last week, a £67m project to help keep the town safe from tidal surges during storms. Whilst I hope it is never used, apart from monthly testing, this investment from government to better protect the 1,600 homes and 400 business in the area is essential for our County town. This new piece of infrastructure will give businesses increased confidence to come and invest here, creating 4,000 extra jobs and making the Waterfront an attractive place. Being a Suffolk MP it is really important to me that the County Town of Suffolk thrives because we in other parts of the County really rely on Ipswich becoming stronger and getting more investment to make sure we have that high quality offer for people to live and work in Suffolk, ensuring the sustainability of our communities.

Ahead of the final consultation on the energy infrastructure needed for the East Anglia offshore windfarm projects, I met senior executives from Scottish Power Renewables to ask questions on their decision to site the substation in Friston. SPR chose the Friston site in December following a previous period of consultation where they also considered Broom Covert at Sizewell. Neither of the sites they considered were wholly appropriate and it was my suggestion that SPR and National Grid find an alternative, such as the proposed nuclear site at Bradwell. However, if the Friston site does go-ahead then it is extremely important that its construction be mitigated. I was clear with SPR that they need to find a solution to enable the substation to be dug into the ground to minimise the impact on the environment. I urge local residents to respond to the consultation before it closes on March 26th.

Finally, I was delighted to help launch this year's Great British Spring Clean, run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The campaign encourage people to take action to clean up streets, parks and beaches across the country. We need to be united in making sure this becomes a habit that everyone gets into on a regular basis, of not allowing litter to be left. I hope local people will get involved by taking part and organising events. For more information or to register an event visit - www.keepbritaintidy.org"

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