Ahead of the final consultation on the energy infrastructure needed for the East Anglia offshore windfarm projects, Therese 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.
Therese said: "Neither of the sites they considered were wholly appropriate and it was my suggestion, via the consultation, 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."
You can find out more, including the detail on the public information meetings at - www.scottishpowerrenewables.com/pages/ea_one_north_phase_4_consultation.aspx. I urge local residents to respond to the consultation before it closes on March 26th.
Care Quality Commission Inspectors came to Parliament recently at the request of Therese to brief East Anglian MPs on the turnaround plan for the Mental Health Trust. This follows a CQC inspection in September 2018, where the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust was put into special measures.
Therese said: "Having read the CQC report into our local Mental Health Trust and having heard from patients who have contacted me directly, I was deeply concerned about their capacity to make improvements."
"I'm a little more reassured now they have recruited a new Chief Operating Officer and Nursing Director and am pleased to hear this week that they have now recruited a new chair. The Trust will now have an oversight meeting led by the CQC every month and each patient referral that is downgraded will be reviewed to make sure it is an appropriate decision. A 24/7 phone line has now also been put in place for patients."
Therese added: "The clock is ticking on whether these changes mean the Trust is fit for purpose for patients. That's all that matters to me and I will keep on it."
Therese and local councillors, Graham Newman, Geoff Holdcroft and Tracey Green had a frank exchange of views with theHead of Public Affairs at Marks and Spencer, when they met in Parliament today. They suggested that Felixstowe is a town on the rise and with jobs, population and investment all increasing in the town that it would be a mistake for M&S to close.
The Mayor of Felixstowe, Cllr Graham Newman and local councillors made a presentation to the Head of Public Affairs, Mr Ginty, on the importance of the store to the town and how popular it is with local residents and visitors who enjoy coming to Hamilton Road in Felixstowe to shop. They also formally handed over a petition signed by just under 7,000 individuals.
Mr Ginty then shared confidential financial information with the meeting to show how Marks & Spencer had made their assessment to close the store and suggested that having a store with a full offer of clothing, home and food was not viable.
Therese said: "I recognise the change in Marks & Spencer's national strategy reflecting more online shopping. The councillors and I put forward the view that at the very least Marks & Spencer could convert the store to a Food Hall in Felixstowe, which could then include a Click and Collect facility for clothing. This has already been evaluated but we provided additional information they should consider and asked them to consider that again. We will be writing to them to follow up.
The Mayor of Felixstowe, Cllr Graham Newman said: "I'd like to thank Therese for organising this meeting. We expressed as strongly as we could, the loyalty and passion Felixstowe residents have for the M&S store in Hamilton Road - as demonstrated by the thousands who have signed on-line and paper petitions. We stressed the convenience of access to the store, the free and inexpensive nearby parking facilities, and how Felixstowe is growing with new homes and much improved tourist attractions. We asked whether a food-only outlet had been considered, bearing in mind this was easily the most popular feature of the store, although it currently occupied less than two-thirds of the available floor area. We await their final consideration on this."
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