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Colchester: Nick Clegg speaks to parents during town visit

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visits Hazelmere Infant School and Nannas Day Nursery in Colchester.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visits Hazelmere Infant School and Nannas Day Nursery in Colchester.

Archant

The Deputy Prime Minister visited Colchester today to launch his party’s Euro election campaign.

The Liberal Democrat party leader Nick Clegg took part in a campaign rally in Colchester Town Hall.

He then took part in a question and answer session with students at the Weston Homes Community Stadium before resuming deputy prime ministerial duties.

Mr Clegg has recently taken part in two television debates with Ukip leader Nigel Farage ahead of the European polls on May 22.

After his visit to the stadium Mr Clegg went to Hazelmere Infant School, in Hawthorn Avenue, Greenstead, to speak to staff and pupils about the free school meal policy which entitles all infant school-age children to a hot lunch from September.

He then visited the neighbouring Nanna’s Day Nursery and spoke to parents about widening the number of free hours of nursery provision offered to children.

Speaking to the EADT in the nursery playground, Mr Clegg said: “It has been absolutely wonderful coming to Colchester and to visit this nursery.

“To actually see in action and speak to mums who are benefiting from a policy I fought for and delivered is really thrilling.

“It is very helpful because you learn a lot more about these policies here in the playground than in an office.

“It is always a pleasure to be with Sir Bob [Russell, MP for Colchester], with 1,001 stories about every street corner and building.”

It is the deputy prime minister’s fifth visit to the town.

Steven Turnbull, head teacher at Hazelmere Infant School, said: “As a new headteacher taking over in September it is really great to be able to share what a great school we are with such an important figure in the country.”

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell said: “Mr Clegg clearly has a soft spot for the town and he always gets a wonderful reception from the general public.

“I think it is fantastic the deputy prime minister should find time in such a busy schedule to come here.”

Fewer vulnerable people across the region will go hungry thanks to the opening of a new food distribution hub in Ipswich.

Essex County Council is set to put its element of tax bills up by almost 5% from April as it prepares for the day when financial help from the government ceases.

The University of Suffolk has announced Professor Helen Langton will succeed Richard Lister OBE as vice-chancellor this summer.

The amount paid out due to medical blunders at the region’s mental health trust has increased five-fold in five years, new figures reveal.

A father-of-three suffering severe walking problems has spoken of his gratitude to surgeons at Ipswich Hospital after becoming the first patient in the east of England to receive a pioneering knee operation.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said it is “inconceivable” that the Copdock Mill interchange between the A14 and A12 south of Ipswich will not be rebuilt over the medium term.

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