Your comments backing campaign to Make it Marham

Making it Marham makes sense on economic grounds both for Norfolk and the nation – and it makes sense militarily.

That's the overwhelming response in the comments left by many of the thousands of people who have signed the online petition to keep the base open.

A decision is expected early next year on whether to base the RAF's 120-strong Tornado fleet at RAF Marham or RAF Lossiemouth.

A Norfolk delegation will be travelling to London on November 30 to hand in the petition and show the strength of feeling behind the county's case to 10 Downing Street.

Dr Allan Fowler, who signed the petition, said: 'If you are to believe the prime minister that a decision based on sound economic and military reasons will prevail, then there can only be one overwhelming outcome –RAF Marham must be retained.'

Fellow signatory Shirley Sainsbury, from Norfolk, set out the case in the context of other recent base closures across the region.

'We are still recovering from the loss of both RAF Coltishall and RAF Neatishead, in 2008,' she said.

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'The loss of RAF Marham would be even more damaging to Norfolk and the surrounding area. The base is worth around �130m to the economy of our area. Losing it would have a catastrophic impact on businesses supplying the base and local shops, leisure facilities and public services would invariably suffer greatly.'

Teresa Stannard, from Thorpe St Andrew, said: 'We need to sign this petition and to make the government know our feelings about the proposed closure of Marham.

'This could lead to one of this government's biggest mistakes. Vast unemployment plus the vast cost of relocating everything to Scotland. Why go there? We need jobs in England.'

Peter De-Gol, from Swaffham, said: 'East Anglia always takes the hits. Look at the devastation and low employment coming from the back of RAF Honington and RAF Coltishall closures – not to mention Wattisham and West Raynham.'

Honington closed as an operational flying base in 1994, when 13 Sdn moved to Marham, where it is still based. Today it houses the RAF Regiment.

As well as more than 5,000 jobs, Marham also houses the Tornado maintenance facility which looks after the jets. It would cost an estimated �50m to move it elsewhere.

Walter Currie, from Blofield, said: 'It makes logistical sense to locate the Tornado fleet at Marham since that is where the maintenace facility is already based. Lossiemouth is simply not a rational option in terms of both logistics and cost.'

Alex Younger, from Hethersett, said: 'Please do not make this decision on a short term political basis and recognise the impact of previous base closures on Norfolk.'

Andrew Richardson, from Cockley Cley, lives on the jets' flight path as they take off on training sorties.

'The survival of RAF (Marham) as a front line base in its current form is key to the long-term stability and posperity of the local area,' he said. 'It is key to the local community influencing the lives of all in a positive manner.'

Susan Platt, from Aylsham, said: 'Marham RAF base is vitally important to the economy of Norfolk as a whole, but specifically to the west of the county where deprivation is already at significant levels.

'It is also strategically -important for the defence of the country and will gain in importance if the plans to downgrade our defences generally are put in place.'

Beryl Pollard, from Cromer, said: 'RAF Marham is vital to the whole country and essential to Norfolk.'