Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

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.

shares

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.”

shares

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

Set up of the 2015 Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich  Lynne Mortimer

As the final touches were put to this year’s Suffolk Show yesterday, Lynne Mortimer and photographer Lucy Taylor visited the showground to see how things were shaping up.

Set up of the 2015 Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich

We are bringing you live updates this morning from Trinity Park as day one of the Suffolk Show gets underway.

Set up of the 2015 Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich

Travel on the main road routes into the Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich, are running smoothly this morning.

Abellio Greater Anglia train.

Trains between London Liverpool Street and Norwich are being delayed due to a signal fault.

Joseph Reason is angry he cannot continue on a Level Three BTEC mechanics course at Suffolk New College

Students and parents have voiced anger after conditional places on a mechanic’s college course were cancelled.

Ipswich Town's Teddy Bishop. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Ipswich Town midfielder Teddy Bishop has been charged with alleged multiple breaches of match betting rules, the Football Association has announced.

The Potters and Friends event at Little Hall in Lavenham. Gill Hedge (left) and Anja Penger-Onyett with their work.

An arts and crafts exhibition that raises cash to support a historic 14th-century property in Lavenham looks set to see record number of visitors.

Donald Maxwell’s colour sketch in the  1920s shows the perfect proportions of Cupola House

The former owner of a fire-damaged Grade I-listed building and a local historian are working on a publication to “preserve for future generations” the original property.

Robbie Stevens and Will Treager on the cycle journey

A pair of adventurous travelling friends have celebrated raising more than £1,000 for charity after tackling an epic cycling challenge from Beccles to Edinburgh without a single penny.

Set up of the 2015 Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich 
Wild Earthworks, Julius McCann-King and Bean the dog

People planning to enjoy the Suffolk Show have just hours to buy discounted tickets online.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages