Relief for Norfolk as RAF Marham is SAVED
Norfolk breathed a sign of relief today as the government finally announced that RAF Marham would remain open.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox confirmed the news which had been widely hinted at for weeks, when he announced Marham would become the main home of the RAF's Tornado force.
He said that the Government had 'listened to communities' in reaching the decisions as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
'The security of the nation and the requirements of the defence of our nation was paramaount in our analysis and we have also considered the impact on communities,' he said.
'RAF Marham will remain as a base for Tornado GR4s and the defence technical training programme will be moving to Lyneham.'
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South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who has campaigned continuously for the base to be retained, described the news as 'fantastic for the people of Norfolk'.
The campaign to save the base united all sections of the local community.
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Tonight Ms Truss said: 'I am absolutely delighted. The Make it Marham campaign motivated everyone across Norfolk to sign up and support the base.
'It is fantastic for the people of Norfolk and the staff and personnel of RAF Marham to know that the base is secure for the future.
'Particular praise must go to the EDP and KL.FM radio who committed themselves to highlight the campaign to the wider public.
'The support by all local media organisations meant I could present the press cuttings to the Prime Minister on a regular basis.
'David Cameron was so familiar with the lobbying taking place that he once commented to me 'before you say anything Liz, I am fully aware of the Make it Marham campaign.
'Account was also taken into the impact on local communities which paid a big part in the basing review.
'However the campaign was not just based on a simple fondness for the RAF, it was founded on sound economic and strategic principles and I believe that resulted in the decisive decision to make it Marham.'
Politicians and communities across the region united behind the EDP's Make it Marham campaign.
For the first time in its history, the Eastern Daily Press published a petition form on its front page, instead of a story.
More than 35,000 signed the petition, which was delivered to 10 Downing Street by a delegation of journalists and politicians in November.
See tomorrow's EDP for full reaction to the news and analysis from Parliament and across Norfolk.