“Suffolk Inc punches way above its weight”, says Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill
Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill has said Suffolk’s infrastructure is a crucial area the Government need to deliver on to allow businesses to grow.
Speaking at the Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce annual meeting today, Mrs Churchill praised the county for being a ‘net contributor to the treasury’ but said the A14 and the county’s rail service were ‘cracking under the strain’ and that the rural broadband service and mobile connectivity needed much improvement.
She described broadband in Suffolk as ‘debilitating’ to businesses.
“Suffolk Inc punches way above its weight and if we are to continue doing that we must have the infrastructure”, she said.
“The A14 is a vital conduit to get goods through our county and to Felixtowe,” she added.
“If it fails we have a problem as these goods need to be transported up and out.
“For us here that means a particular emphasis on pinch points.
“For growth to happen we need to get traffic going better around Bury.”
The Conservative MP said she had spoken to businesses who had considering moving from the county because of the poor broadband.
“Here in Suffolk, we can offer the Government growth.
“We have 68 acres of business park coming up in Bury and the Gateway 14 project in Stowmarket. But good business needs good connectivity. “I have certain roads in villages in my constituency that don’t have broadband - that in this time and age is incredible. “Bacton, Old Newton, literally whole streets without broadband.
“Not spots shouldn’t be a problem.
“It is people running vibrant businesses putting into the economy who can’t do that because they can’t get online. “The next budget gives us the chance for us to be radical, to be a reformer.
“Government doesn’t make money, Government don’t create jobs - they set the scene to allow business to generate and that drives the economy forward”, she added.
But Mrs Churchill said she needs the support of the business community to tell her what they need and to let her know their problems.
“I usually put more jokes in my speeches but I didn’t want this to be an after dinner speech,” she said.
“I wanted this to be a serious conversation with you about how I can help your needs as businesses and facilitate growth, to take the message to parliament and how we can enable you to deliver what is best for all of us.”