Reid tries to focus on priorities

A SENIOR Cabinet minister visited Suffolk and Essex yesterday to try to move the news agenda away from war on Iraq towards key Government policy priorities.

By Graham Dines

A SENIOR Cabinet minister visited Suffolk and Essex yesterday to try to move the news agenda away from war on Iraq towards key Government policy priorities.

Dr John Reid, who has been Chairman of the Labour Party since last October, was in Clacton and Ipswich to talks to educationists and business leaders.

His first stop was Colbaynes high school in Clacton to open Nanna's Nursery, which has been created to meet the needs of local teachers.


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The Government is desperately trying to recruit and retain staff and the nursery will act as a crèche for teachers working in the town's Education Action Zone who have children of pre school age.

Ivan Henderson, Labour MP for Harwich, said: "The Education Action Zone has made a remarkable difference to education locally and this brilliant initiative is a further example of what is being achieved."

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Dr Reid was briefed on the four new schools being planned for the Harwich constituency, which are being built under the Government's private finance initiative.

Later Dr Reid – who is also Cabinet Office Minister – met Suffolk business leaders at Felaw Maltings in Ipswich, officially opened by the Queen last summer, which houses a number of high tech and starter businesses.

Christine Beegle, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, introduced the minister to representatives of young enterprise, women in business, exporters and Ipswich Caribbean Association to discuss Government policies towards small and medium enterprises.

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