Search

County council leader says RAF Mildenhall closure a “severe blow” to region’s economy

15:26 08 January 2015

Norfolk County Council leader George Nobbs at The Forum in Norwich.

Norfolk County Council leader George Nobbs at The Forum in Norwich.

Archant © 2008

The leader of Norfolk County Council has described the closure of RAF Mildenhall as a “severe blow to the whole East Anglian economy”.

George Nobbs, Labour leader of the council, commented after the Pentagon confirmed this afternoon that the Suffolk base will shut following a two-year review.

• RAF Mildenhall closure: US Defense boss says it can do the same job for less

• Update: RAF Mildenhall to close as Pentagon reveals plans to move assets to Germany

He said: “There is no point pretending that this is anything other than a severe blow to the whole East Anglian economy.

“The local community will try to fill the economic gap over the years because they are resilient, but more than the economic impact this will cut a tie that goes back to the Second World War.”

South West Norfolk MP, Elizabeth Truss also commented on the news, saying she understood residents’ concerns.

“We have a long established relationship with the US military in this region and I know my colleague Matthew Hancock, the MP for Mildenhall, is creating the Mildenhall Working Group to ensure the local community is fully consulted and explore all the future options.

“I do understand that uncertainty can be a concern for residents and businesses, however the local economy is extremely resilient and I will support business, fellow MPs and councils during the transition period,” she said.

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said the area would “rise to the challenges” following the news.

He said: “We have enjoyed a strong relationship over the years with the American Air Force and are delighted that this is to continue.

“The USAFE contributes significantly to the local economy so the expansion of RAF Lakenheath, and with it the U.S. Government’s commitment to the site as part of its long term plans, is very welcome news. But this happiness is obviously tempered by our sadness that Mildenhall is to close.

“Both announcements mean huge changes to the landscape of Forest Heath – but I am optimistic that with every change there are opportunities for reinvention, growth and investment.

“We will look to ensure not only that these opportunities are taken, but that any future plans for the bases are the right ones for the people of Forest Heath,” he said.

7 comments

  • How exactly is Truss going to support businesses then ?. By reducing business rates and reducing utility bills, or like the useless MP, setting up a 'working group' ?. They will do nothing as usual, and as for Nobbs piping up, who the hell wants to hear your comments after your fiasco with the incinerator.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, January 9, 2015

  • No, George its not a severe blow, the US procurement says that 'they can get it cheaper and better elsewhere', which opens a lot of questions with regards to the services and facilities provision from outside providers, does it not? It also shifts prime targets to Germany, when the best move would have been westwards.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, January 9, 2015

  • Mildenhall imports most of their needs from the U.S. they will still not except our beef let alone anything else. Only very few venture out as all their needs are catered for on base. The only business that appears to suffer is the local car sales ( at least, thats all they have been showing on the news!) Most of the Americans live and shop on the base. Beats me where a loss to the local ecomony comes into fruition. Just hope government and council don't sell out for next to nothing like they have all the other US bases. Big thanks to the Americans though, for helping out WW2, what ever we think, a lot of young guys lost their lives for the defence of this country, the crematories near Cambridge reflect that loss. No doubt we will fill it with our influx of eastern Europeans.

    Report this comment

    Michael Anderson

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

  • Oh goody another airbase to be bought by NCC. Just you wait and see soon all the airfields in Norfolk will be belong to NCC. It's a top secret plan hatched by Labour and Ukip, they will let us know when they are good and ready, you just have to trust'em.

    Report this comment

    Gina

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

  • "A severe blow to the local economy". I am so proud to live in a county where it's council leader displays such profound insight. Also reassuring to hear that Liz will be 'supporting' businesses every step of the way.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

  • Looking on the bright side; a quieter countryside and much safer roads!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

  • Surprised you haven't fallen back on your usual tactic of blaming the previous Tory administration at NCC, George!! Still, if you want to carry on harking back to WW2 then you can always pop on over to your white elephant at RAF Coltishall to see what sort of value the taxpayer is getting for the £11m you've chucked into it so far.... (None to date!)

    Report this comment

    Fenscape 2

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

35 minutes ago
The smoke plume and the glow of the fire can be seen through the roof of the Gaze premises at Thurlton where compost and food waste are burning. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dozens of firefighters tackled a major blaze at a waste management business in Thurlton, near Loddon.

Yesterday, 06:30
Musicians performing at last year's Harvest Moon Music Festival.

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Harvest Moon Music Festival, taking place at Beccles Quay on Saturday, August 13.

Yesterday, 06:30
Local residents who have campaigned for the new pathway.
 in Coney Hill, with Graham Catchpole and Chris Punt. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Work is due to start next month on a project to create a new footpath in Beccles, after concerns were raised by parents taking their children to school.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Special Recognition Award winners  the Norfolk D-Day Veterans. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Whether young, old or somewhere in between, everybody has the opportunity to contribute to our community and help make it a better place to live.

Most Read

35 minutes ago
The smoke plume and the glow of the fire can be seen through the roof of the Gaze premises at Thurlton where compost and food waste are burning. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dozens of firefighters tackled a major blaze at a waste management business in Thurlton, near Loddon.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Ipswich Crown Court.

A man who was involved in a violent attack outside a pub during which two men were knocked unconscious has been jailed for 12 months.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Local residents who have campaigned for the new pathway.
 in Coney Hill, with Graham Catchpole and Chris Punt. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Work is due to start next month on a project to create a new footpath in Beccles, after concerns were raised by parents taking their children to school.

Read more
Chris Punt
Yesterday, 06:30
Musicians performing at last year's Harvest Moon Music Festival.

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Harvest Moon Music Festival, taking place at Beccles Quay on Saturday, August 13.

Read more
Beccles
Friday, October 19, 2012
Beccles Mayor Graham Catchpole and Mayoress Jenny with Ed Roy outside the new Roys store in Beccles.

There were celebrations in Beccles this morning as one of the town’s largest stores was reopened.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 16°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up