Therese led a small delegation of MPs to meet the Chancellor of Exchequer this week to press the case on behalf of independent retailers in Southwold and Aldeburgh, who are subject to some extraordinary business rate increases following the recent revaluation.
Under the revaluation, three quarters of businesses nationally will either see rates fall or stay the same, however the average rate rise in Southwold High Street is 177% and 70% in Aldeburgh High Street. Philip Dunne and Sarah Wollaston MPs for similar towns, Ludlow and Salcombe, were also present.
Therese said: "I pressed the case on behalf of our local small businesses. I put across that both Southwold and Aldeburgh have a large presence of independent traders, which have made them stand out as different to the chain-only high streets. Recognising the success of these places, national retailers have started to move in which has driven rental values upwards and subsequently rateable values. I asked him to consider the role of the mixed high street with tailored support. Without that, these thriving high streets could be much more limited in their offering to residents and tourists."
Therese added: "The Chancellor is now very aware of the particular issue in Southwold and Aldeburgh and is considering my representation. I am pleased, as the Prime Minister has highlighted in Prime Minister's Questions, that the case for helping small independent traders facing very high increases is being carefully considered."
Therese has hit out over plans by the CCG to reduce the number of patients able to seek treatment for minor injuries at Cutlers Hill Surgery in another blow for health facilities in Halesworth.
East Coast Community Healthcare previously contracted Cutlers Hill to provide a minor injury service but gave notice this would be stopping at the end of 2016. Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG now propose to pay Cutlers Hill to see no more than 162 patients a year when the true total seeking minor injury treatment is 750.
Therese said: "This is another blow to patients in Halesworth and surrounding villages, already let down by failure of ECCH and CCG to provide the services promised as part of reorganisation which was supposed to improve patient care. If these plans go-ahead then 600 more patients a year will have to seek treatment in A&E more than an hour away."
Therese added: "My patience is wearing thin and I'm following up with East Coast Community Healthcare, the CCG and the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt for answers".
EDF's stage 2 consultation for the construction of Sizewell C came to end on the 3rd February 2017 and I responded with my views.
My full response to the consultation is set out below:
Sizewell C Stage 2 Consultation Response
The construction of Sizewell C is extremely important for the UK's future energy supply and will benefit the local economy here in Suffolk, with the creation of thousands of jobs. That said, a new nuclear power plant at Sizewell will create significant disruption to local communities and the transport network, especially during the construction phase. It is essential that these impacts are mitigated as much as possible and it is in this context I respond to EDF's proposals at Stage 2 consultation.
I recognise that we have had a nuclear power plant on the AONB at Sizewell for 60 years and EDF have an admirable record of environmental management. More information is required and I would expect a draft Environmental Impact Assessment to be submitted at Stage 3.
Recognising the GDA process limits changes to key nuclear components, the elements that can be adjusted should be made as aesthetically pleasing as possible to fit in the local environment. Unnecessary light pollution should be avoided.
I want to see as much construction material come in by sea and rail as possible rather than putting more pressure on our road network. The potential of both sea and rail methods of transport need to be maximised rather than one or the other.
I support the building of a jetty that can facilitate the maximum amount of construction material coming in by sea but that does the least amount of damage to the environment. I think there is a case for the wide jetty but it isn't clear what impact it will have on coastal defences and if it does, how EDF will mitigate that. More information is required on this element.
I support the temporary extension of the Sax-Leiston branch line – the green route – to bring material to the site.
EDF's options 1, 2 and 3 are unacceptable. Option 1 suggesting no change, isn't an option at all. Option 2 and Option 3, the road widening and a one village bypass just for Farnham isn't acceptable. Option 4, a two village bypass for Farnham and Stratford St Andrew is the minimum mitigation required. A business case is being worked up for a 4 village bypass, as part of the full Suffolk Energy Gateway, a proposal EDF should consider in conjunction with Suffolk County Council as part of the Stage 3 consultation.
None of the proposals are adequate to mitigate the huge increase in traffic that will take place along the B1122. If EDF is to proceed with B1122 options, by passes should be considered. EDF should set out in detail, whilst recognising the national planning policy statement, why options explored for Sizewell B, namely the D2 route, haven't been investigated for Sizewell C.
A12 turnoff at Yoxford
This particular issue needs considerably more work by EDF. It is not evidenced that either option, the signalised junction or roundabout, will solve the problem. It was previously suggested that a double roundabout would be feasible without demolition of houses there.
Further Highway Improvements
The construction of Sizewell C will have a much wider impact on the road network than just those set out in the consultation. The impact further down the A12 and the A14 needs to be assessed and potential mitigation measures worked up.
The A12 should be dualled both ways between the Seckford roundabout, the junction with the B1438 and the Wyevale roundabout, the junction with the B1079.
I am also concerned about the capacity of the Seven Hills roundabout at the A14 junction and the Woods Lane roundabout at the junction with the A1152, which need assessing.
Park & Ride
I support both the park & ride sites at Darsham and Wickham Market as set out in the consultation. I don't support the reserve site at Woodbridge and would not support that being taken forward if the Wickham Market site is dropped.
I do not support either options 1 or 2, which both put forward a single accommodation campus site at Eastbridge in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. EDF have yet to provide a compelling reason why the accommodation campus for Sizewell should be different to Hinkley, which is not next to the construction site. There are opportunities within 15 minutes of Sizewell which have not been explored. I would therefore like EDF to conduct a full appraisal of alternative sites prior to Stage 3 consultation.
I agree with the proposal that sports facilities should be located in Leiston to provide a legacy benefit for the local community.
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