Coffey wants Suffolk to become `Green Coast’

Suffolk Coastal MP backs energy mix

A NEWLY elected Suffolk MP wants the county’s shoreline to be given the alias of “Green Coast.”

Therese Coffey, who made history at the General Election by becoming the first woman to be elected to parliament to represent Suffolk, said in her maiden speech to the Commons that she wanted to see at least two nuclear reactors built alongside the existing Sizewell complex.

“Several offshore wind farms are also being constructed, with more planned. Suffolk Coastal is ready to take the lead in the low-carbon economy,” said Ms Coffey “ and I hope that our coast will be able to take on the new alias of the `Green Coast’

“The defining feature of my constituency is its 74-mile coastline, with its delightful tourist hot spots of Aldeburgh and Southwold. However, the coastline - along with the estuaries - is really suffering from erosion.”

She told ministers she would be fighting hard to change the policies at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which seemed happy “to allow parts of my constituency simply to wash away into the sea” and to allow its devolved agencies to spend tens of millions of pounds on consulting on how we can allow that to happen, rather than using the cash to shore up the defences.

“I am not trying to be Canute - I am not telling the waves to go back- but nor do I want to be the person who is happy just to throw up their hands in the air and surrender.”

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As parliamentary tradition dictates, Ms Coffey paid tribute to her predecessor John Gummer, a Suffolk MP for 31 years.

“ He had real intellect, capability, foresight and integrity, and he was an excellent debater in this House who commanded great respect. He will be remembered for his distinguished record in government-there are too many posts to list.

“However, not quite so often recalled is that he was chairman of the Conservative party at the time of the Brighton bombing, when he showed his cool under pressure, a quality that shone through in all his service as a Member.

“John was ahead of others in recognising the challenge of the environment. The environment was the main reason for John’s departure from the House, so that he could make progress on global environmental initiatives.”

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