Give us more money! That's the call as figures show spending on public transport in the east is 65pc lower than in London
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Give us the financial support we need and we will help improve the economy.
That was the message today as a bid for more funding for the region is launched in parliament.
The east of England All-Party Parliamentary Group will today release its plea to the government for more money in the upcoming spending review.
The group, which is co-chaired by Conservative Waveney MP Peter Aldous, and Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, want to make the region a "powerhouse for the UK economy", but said this would only be possible if urgent investment was put into various areas.
For instance they have called for more investment in transport schemes - currently £402 per head - to take it to the UK average of £482.
Their reprot says current spend is 65pc lower than that in London, where £1,019 is spent per person.
It comes on the same day a delegation from the region travelled to London to meet transport secretary Chris Grayling to push for the full dualling of the A47 as part of this newspaper's Let's Dual It! campaign.
Mr Aldous said: "The east of England has long been a key pillar of the national economy and the huge potential of the east of England in contributing to the future prosperity of the UK must be reflected in the government's priorities and departmental investment plans.
"We call on government to ensure that the east of England receives a fair share of infrastructure investment to make sure it maintains its global competitiveness and continues to grow its net contribution to the Treasury."
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Other recommendations made by the group, in a report which will be handed to South West Norfolk MP and chief secretary to the treasury Liz Truss, are:
- Prioritise the building of more housing, including affordable homes;
- Improve digital connectivity, including getting rid of mobile "not spots";
- Giving more funding to meet the impact of climate change;
- Boosting apprenticeship and skills provision;
- Committing to a long-term financial settlement for local government.
The report said: "There were also strong concerns raised about the unintended consequences of permitted development rights bypassing local planning rules and jeopardising housing affordability and quality."
However that position seemed to be at odds with Ms Truss, who in recent interviews said: "We should allow villages to expand by four or five houses a year without having to go through the planning system, so people can afford to live locally."
The report also said the east was one of only three regions in the UK which contributed more to the Exchequer than it received in public money.
It will be presented at a parliamentary reception today (Tuesday), however the spending review is unlikely to take place before the summer recess due to the ongoing Tory leadership bid.