It won’t surprise any reader that every week I receive a large amount of correspondence. This isn’t just emails and letters from constituents – either requesting assistance or sharing their views on government policy. A large proportion of what requires my attention comes from lobby and special interest groups, charities, our local councils and numerous public agencies. It can be a bewildering experience to decide which are the most important and require immediate attention.
In the last month, two letters and reports came across my desk that could impact the Great Yarmouth constituency for many years to come. The first from the Boundary Commission for England revealed their initial plans to reshape the constituency boundaries across the country. This is long overdue as the current boundaries were drawn up twenty years ago.
Since then, the population has shifted, some areas have grown whilst others declined. This leaves our parliamentary constituency hopelessly out-of-kilter meaning the principle of every vote is worth the same is broken. Whilst Great Yarmouth is within the current criteria for the number of voters to help balance things out across Norfolk it is recommended that areas around Stalham and Potter Heigham are added to the constituency. This is a minimal change that would go unnoticed by most. What is important is that the borough of Great Yarmouth remains in the same constituency. It would be a disaster if the borough was split up into different constituencies.
Alongside this announcement was communication from Highways England setting out how they plan to decide strategic priorities for our trunk roads in the East of England. These priorities will decide future investment. I’ve already responded to say that improvements to the Acle Straight and A47 roundabouts must be included in this strategy. It is frustrating that after a decade of campaigning involving Norfolk MPs, councils, businesses and local communities that Highways England still fails to recognise how vital this is to improve both safety and our economic opportunities. My determination to secure these changes remains undimmed.