Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: If it’s Monday it must be Chelmsford, or is that Colchester, for Prime Minister David Cameron on regional tour

08:00 30 April 2014

David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith (left), during a visit to Colchester Jobcentre - which is due to close soon.

David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith (left), during a visit to Colchester Jobcentre - which is due to close soon.

Their parties may be in coalition in Westminster, but veteran LibDem MP Sir Bob Russell has launched a broadside at Conservative David Cameron after the Prime Minister’s visit to Colchester on Monday.

During a speech at the Colchester Job Centre, Mr Cameron confused Colchester with Chelmsford . . . twice.

And the High Street Job Centre that Mr Cameron visited is due to close its doors later this year – forcing benefit claimants to go to another office in a government building away from the town centre.

Sir Bob, who describes himself as “the Voice of Colchester” was surprised that the Prime Minister made the Chelmsford gaffe twice.

He said: “To have said it once could have excused as a slip of the tongue, but to do it twice is very careless. I wonder if he was properly briefed by his staff.

“Colchester is much more important than Chelmsford. It has real history going back to the Romans.

“Colchester was the major town in Britain and Chelmsford was the Roman equivalent of a Little Chef on the road to London!”

Sir Bob also played up the friendly rivalry between the two centres, which took a new twist two years ago when Chelmsford became a city for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“As I say to my friends from Chelmsford, the best thing about the place is the road out – to Colchester!”

He was irritated that there was no mention of the government’s decision to close the High Street Job Centre.

“At the moment the office is on the High Street, and is very easy for people to get to and to look for work.

“Now the clients will have to go to the Crown Building which is a dreadful tower block built on a bit of land cleared by the Luftwaffe and some way from the High Street on Chapel Street, South.

“At least there is a pub next door to it, which might be convenient for some people!”

A spokesman for Number 10 said: “A lot has been made of a slip of the tongue by the Prime Minister which he corrected immediately.

“So far as the Job Centre is concerned that is a matter for the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) but the new offices will be more modern and will have all the facilities that are currently available at the premises the Prime Minister visited yesterday.”

1 comment

  • Paul. Why don't you mention any positive statements from the Prime Minister on his visit to East Anglia in this report???? I don't blame him for not coming to see our waterfront here in Ipswich - its not something I would want to be photographed at!!!!

    Report this comment

    MotorBotor

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police at Ipswich Hospital after the double stabbing in Ipswich

Police have charged a 17-year-old boy who was arrested on Thursday afternoon on suspicion of murder after two men were stabbed at the West Meadows travellers’ site in Ipswich.

Ipswich Basketball

Ipswich Basketball head coach Nick Drane has criticised the decision to deny the sport any funding for the Tokyo Olympics, saying it feels like “no-one cares”.

The Old Mill House, Saxtead

A Suffolk heritage charity has called on developers to rethink plans for three new homes to be built behind a 17th village century pub.

Fundraisers in varying guises of Dr Who handover the £2,083.54 raised after they manned a stall at Bury’s Christmas Fayre to St Nicholas Hospice Care

A Tardis, a Dalek, Davros and a bunch of Time Lords helped a group of die-hard Doctor Who fans to collect more than £2,000 for charity.

The RSPCA centre in Martlesham is appealing to animal lovers to consider adopting a new pet

The RSPCA are appealing for animal lovers to come forward and adopt some of the cute creatures they are looking to rehome.

Staff at Allonsfield House care home dressed as Land Girls for the event

Care home residents were taken back to 1940s Suffolk complete with wartime rations, air raid sirens and dances to Vera Lynn.

A man is due to appear at court charged with rape and robbery.

A 21-year-old man charged with rape and robbery has been remanded in custody.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24