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Battle for Waveney votes hots up

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:36 01 August 2010

THE battle to win votes in Waveney has been gathering pace this week with high-profile visits and candidates campaigning around the area.

Conservative candidate Peter Aldous was joined by shadow minister for transport Theresa Villiers on Lowestoft's bascule bridge on Wednesday.

THE battle to win votes in Waveney has been gathering pace this week with high-profile visits and candidates campaigning around the area.

Conservative candidate Peter Aldous was joined by shadow minister for transport Theresa Villiers on Lowestoft's bascule bridge on Wednesday.

Ms Villiers heard about various local transport issues, including the need to improve railway stations and train services and long-awaited projects such as a north-south bypass in Bungay and a southern relief road in Beccles.

She said: “I'm really anxious to hear the views of local people and Peter bends my ear on the local issues on a regular basis.”

However she said that given the current national economic situation, she could not promise that money could be found to build the long-awaited third crossing over Lake Lothing.

Mr Aldous said: “I'm delighted that Theresa has made it here, as transport and infrastructure are very important issues in Waveney.”

Labour candidate Bob Blizzard's campaign took a musical twist on Wednesday afternoon when he took a break from visiting local residents to meet former Manfred Mann guitarist Tom McGuiness at the Marina Theatre.

Mr McGuiness, who was in town to perform with The Manfreds, is a keen Labour supporter and gave his backing to Mr Blizzard's election campaign.

Alan Dean, the Liberal Democrat candidate, said: “My colleagues in Waveney and I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the next few weeks and being asked about the policies and approach to politics that Nick Clegg talked about in the television debate. Only then will we have earned their votes.”

UKIP hopeful Jack Tyler, who lives in Kessingland, has been out meeting local people and Graham Elliott, Green party candidate, has been speaking to people to highlight his views on the importance of improving train services, particularly by building the Beccles loop, and ensuring safe cycling and walking access to every school.

He said: “The reception on the doorstep is good and the public really appreciate our fresh approach to politics. We are well known for our stand on environmental issues but it is very encouraging to see that the message is getting out about our progressive policies on public services, jobs, taxation and above all on fairness.”

For undecided voters, an independent candidate has now thrown his hat into the ring. Louis Barfe, a writer and journalist, said: “My first thought was to spoil my paper, but then a similarly-disaffected friend suggested that we both run in our home constituencies, giving people who want to register a protest vote the chance to do so without having to make a pact with fringe parties.”

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