Acle Straight Update
This week I hosted a meeting between Norfolk MPs and Highways England to discuss the ongoing improvements to the A47.
Highways England provided an update about road improvements across the county including vital works on the Acle Straight and access routes to Great Yarmouth; particularly the Vauxhall roundabout.
Recent safety works along the Acle Straight have included improving traffic signs, road markings and kerb alignment at the A47 and A1064 roundabout. New warning signs, road markings, and hazard posts at farm accesses around Wherryman’s Way have been installed. And advance direction and warning signs were improved at the Halvergate junction.
These works are essential for everyone who lives and works in the area, and I am pleased that plans to reconstruct the Vauxhall roundabout are progressing. I will continue to meet with Highways England to monitor the situation and to push for dualling of the Acle Straight, something that is so important to those of us who regularly use the road.
Jobs Fair Success
The need for additional local jobs, particularly for young people, is an issue I’ve made a priority since I became a Member of Parliament. That’s why I began organising my regular jobs fair. I was delighted with the success of my latest jobs fair held last week at Great Yarmouth Racecourse. With a wide range of employers present and experts providing advice about CV writing and interview techniques, it was good to see so many students from local schools taking the chance to meet exhibitors and discuss their next important step in their lives.
Thank you to our kind sponsors CH2M, 3SunGroup, Great Yarmouth Mercury & Great Yarmouth Racing & Events and all our stand holders as events such as these are not possible without the backing of local businesses, education providers, service providers and recruitment agents. I am extremely grateful for all their support.
And there is great news that because of multi-million Government funding for our Local Enterprise Partnership there will be an additional £12.4 million support for our local enterprise zone, which will help our local business go from strength to strength and provide more jobs for the area.
Fuel Prices Campaign
Many residents have contacted me about fuel prices as part of a campaign organised by Pumpwatch. When I was a backbench MP, I supported the campaign in Parliament that persuaded the Government to continue freezing fuel taxes. I am delighted the Government recognises that fuel costs remain a significant part of business and household costs. In the autumn, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that fuel duty will remain frozen for the seventh year. In total, this saves the average car driver £130 a year and the average van driver £350. This is a tax cut worth £850 million next year and means the current fuel duty freeze is the longest for 40 years.
However, many remain concerned about competition in the fuel retail market. The Competition and Markets Authority, the body charged with monitoring competition within UK markets, investigated this market in 2013 in order to determine whether there was anti-competitive behaviour by market participants. It found no evidence that retailers are colluding to fix pump prices. I believe that a competitive market is the best way to keep prices low and a new regulator is not necessary.
Out and about around the constituency
Some of the organisations I ‘ve met or visited recently include:
The team Foxy Lodge Wildlife Rescue Centre in Hemsby who doing an amazing job helping hundreds of injured animals every year to recover and get back to their own habitat. I was especially taken with Daisy the deer, living on a dog bed and enjoying human company as well as Barney the blind fox who seemed comfortable and at home with the birds and chickens! You can donate to the centre or offer to volunteer if you wish to help here.
I went along to Caister Coastwatch, which operates out of the former lifeboat look-out station in Caister. The station is manned by a team of fully trained and dedicated volunteers who operate a daytime watch along this stretch of coasts. They really are our coastline eyes and ears. They are on the lookout out to ensure the safety of visitors and locals alike on our shoreline and at sea.