Firstly, I’d like to start by thanking everyone involved in the evacuation that took place in Great Yarmouth during the recent stormy weather. Thank you to those who set up and organised the evacuation centres, Hemsby Lifeboat, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the local Police and Fire Brigade, the Army and all groups and individuals who came to assist and are too many to name. We were very fortunate that ultimately there was no significant flooding and the agencies worked closely together to ensure that thousands of people were kept safe and informed throughout the emergency.
Out and about around the constituency
It was great to visit two of our fantastic local schools recently. I went to Cliff Park Ormiston Academy and had a very productive meeting with the Principal and Senior Staff members. I very much enjoyed seeing the day to day running of the school and the excellent work being carried out by both staff and pupils. It’s a testament to the hard work of everyone there that OFSTED has rated the school ‘good with some exceptional features’ in its latest inspection report. I have no doubt the school will continue to go from strength to strength.
I then went on to East Norfolk Sixth Form College, where I spoke to the Politics students about my role as both Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth and as Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service. The students had lots of questions regarding Brexit, Theresa May’s premiership and what a Trump presidency will mean for Britain, and it was great to see the next generation of voters so interested and informed.
I met with a number of local farmers in Mautby last week for an informal meeting to discuss a number of issues, including the likely impact Brexit will have on their livelihoods. It was a lively and productive discussion, in which the farmers got to put a number of concerns to me. Farming is such an important part of our local area and it is always good to meet local groups and discuss any concerns they may have.
County council consult on third river crossing
Great Yarmouth has long needed a third river crossing and I am pleased that funding has been secured to take the scheme forward and a robust business case is being built, which will be submitted to the Department for Transport in March 2017. As part of this work Norfolk County Council are consulting with residents and businesses and the consultation is due to end on 31 January 2017 so you still have time to comment online.
Nominate your Inspirational Young Person
A reminder that I have extended the deadline to allow more time to nominate an Inspirational Young Person in the constituency of Great Yarmouth. The new deadline for entries is Friday 7th April 2017. I launched the Great Yarmouth Inspirational Young Person’s competition to recognise these younger heroes. Do you know a young person who deserves special recognition for the work they do in their community? Perhaps they are a carer, volunteer for an organisation or have raised money for a charity. Maybe they are just inspirational to you. The competition seeks to recognise some of our best young people.
Travelling around the constituency, I am privileged to meet so many people who work tirelessly for their community or go the extra mile to help their neighbours. The ones that stand out, even more than usual, are the young people who volunteer at a local club or spend their time caring for a relative. I want to hear all about the great work being done in our local community so please do get in touch. Courtesy of the CDG Dining Group and Beds and Bars the winner in the aged 12-16 category will win a 2-night London trip, for two people, with a meal in a London restaurant (travel not included) and the winner in the aged 7-11 category will receive a Samsung tablet. It’s easy to nominate your inspirational young person by completing the form on my website www.brandonlewis.co or emailing details of who you wish to nominate and why to email@example.com
Acle Straight safety improvements confirmed
Just days before Christmas Highways England wrote to me, confirming that the long-asked-for safety improvement works on the A47 Acle Straight will start in February 2017. This will include improvements to traffic signs, road markings and kerb alignment at the A47/A1064 roundabout; improvements to warning signs, road markings and hazard posts at farm accesses in the vicinity of Werryman’s Way and improvements to advance direction and warning signs at Halvergate Junction. I’m very pleased that Highways England has announced a start date for the safety improvements on the Acle Straight, as everyone locally knows what a dangerous stretch of road this is, and any improvements are welcome. As Member of Parliament, I have lobbied both the agency and government transport ministers on numerous occasions, and over many years, about this issue. Yet, we can go much further in improving safety on this stretch of the trunk road network. I will be meeting with Highways England in February to discuss this matter further, as I do feel there are additional safety measures that can be put in place and am keen to see these works completed so we can push for duelling of the road. Neither Highways England or transport ministers must lose sight of the long-term aim, widely supported in the Great Yarmouth area, of a dualling of the Acle Straight.
Co-operating to keep our country safe
This month I spoke in the House of Commons in my role as Minister for Policing and Fire regarding security, law enforcement and criminal justice in relation to Britain’s exit from the European Union. The debate focused on how we work with the EU on security, law enforcement and criminal justice now and how we will work with our EU partners in the future. Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism was one of the Government’s core negotiating objectives. The UK is leaving the EU, but as we have been clear, we are not leaving Europe. We are committed to strong co-operation on security, law enforcement and criminal justice now and when we leave. We will work with our European partners to find solutions that promote security across Europe and beyond.
The decision of the British people to leave the European Union does not alter the duty that we and all member states share collectively to keep our citizens safe and to protect our democratic way of life and the rule of law. In the face of the common threats that we face from terrorism, cyber-attacks and hostile foreign actors, maintaining strong EU-UK security co-operation is vital to our collective success in keeping citizens safe. It is difficult to see how it would be in anyone’s interests for exit negotiations to result in a reduction in the effectiveness of security, law enforcement and criminal justice co-operation.
As always, if I can help with any issues you wish to raise, please do contact my office on 01493 854550 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP