10 DEC 2018

East Suffolk Extra Column - 7th December 2018

"I know many residents are understandably concerned about the proposal from Scottish Power Renewables for a substation on or near to the Suffolk coast, to connect power generated from the East Anglia One offshore array. I responded to their consultation outlining why neither Sizewell nor Friston are appropriate sites. The AONB was declared in the early seventies after the construction of the first nuclear power station at Sizewell. I believe that a nuclear cluster has always been justified on that basis. That, in itself, does not justify the AONB and the area close to Sizewell nuclear facilities automatically being designated as an area for electric infrastructure. The Friston site is similarly not appropriate, although itself not in the AONB it would mean five miles of countryside would have to be dug up for cables to reach the substation. I think it would be best overall if National Grid were to find another site to connect. There is the expectation of another nuclear site at Bradwell which needs a significant upgrade. That project is the ideal candidate. Scottish Power Renewables will now submit its application to the Planning Inspectorate and there will be more opportunity for residents to give their views. I will continue to press the case with Ministers.

As a coastal MP and Environment Minister, I was really pleased to support the second reading of The Fisheries Bill, when it was debated in Parliament. This new legislation which is great news for our fishing communities along the Suffolk Coast sets out our plans to leave the Common Fisheries Policy and take back control of our waters. This Government has always supported the interests of British fishermen, which is why we have increased the quota given to our under-10m fleet by 13% in the last 6 years - and this new legislation will enable us to have far greater control over fishing quotas. Ultimately, the new Bill will allow us to create a sustainable, profitable fishing industry for the UK.

Congratulations to Woodbridge who received a well deserved Highly Commended Award in the UK's Best High Street category in the Great British High Street Awards. Small Business Saturday was held on the first Saturday in December to highlight the important of supporting our local shops all year round. At this time of year especially, I hope you can you'll join me in buying at least some of your Christmas shopping from the many exciting small businesses that operate in our part of Suffolk."

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