Update: Council leader hails landmark Lowestoft Conference
14:41 16 April 2014
Bringing Lowestoft Together – more than 200 people attended a landmark public event in town today to discuss key economic issues and priorities.
The Lowestoft Conference, at the town’s Sixth Form College, saw representatives from the business community, the general public, students and the voluntary sector among others come together for a six-hour event which was specifically created to help people better understand - and ask questions about - how partners are working together to address important issues such as economic growth, infrastructure, transport, housing, flooding, jobs and skills.
Following introductory speeches, which set the scene from a local and national perspective, further smaller discussion sessions encouraged discussion on particular topics, such as transport and infrastructure, the Area Action Plan and innovation and skills.
An extended 90-minute ‘Question Time’ session rounded off the event and saw people put a range of questions to a panel including Waveney MP Peter Aldous, Waveney District Council leader Colin Law and Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee.
And throughout, a number of ‘market stall’ information stands provided yet more detail about activities at a business, voluntary and council level.
Colin Law, leader of Waveney District Council, said: “It is clear that people are concerned about the prospects for Lowestoft and how, if at all, a range of plans, schemes and activities are going to improve and sustain the town for generations to come. As leader of Waveney District Council, I believe that this is a town heading in the right direction. We are laying the foundations of prosperity in the wake of some terribly difficult years for the town, the district and the country as a whole.
“However, my overriding concern is that people do not fully understand what we are trying to achieve and how we are going to achieve it. Therefore, we felt that an event of this nature would be the perfect way for local residents and businesses to learn more, to understand more, about how the work of a range of organisations and partners fits together,” he added,
“The event went well and after we consider all the feedback, there is no reason why we can’t look in to making this a regular event.”
A range of information from the day will now be placed on the council website, www.waveney.gov.uk including any of the submitted questions that were not able to be answered.
The council thanked the Lowestoft Sixth Form College for staging the event, Danny Steel of Lowestoft Vision for chairing the Question Time session and the East of England Local Government Association, who were instrumental in pulling the day together.