Norfolk and Suffolk Broads debate

Peter Aldous calls on the Broads Authority to work closely with district and town councils to make the most of the tourism opportunities that the broads have to offer.
 
Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): I thank my right hon. Friend for securing this debate, and I am grateful to him for emphasising that it is the Norfolk and Suffolk broads. I note that my colleagues have said that Norwich is the gateway to the broads or that Wroxham is the gateway to the broads; I would argue that Beccles is the gateway to the broads. Does he agree that, although conservation is vital, we have a tremendous tourism jewel that can play a vital role for our local economy? The Broads Authority should be working with local authorities, not just district councils but town councils, to make the most of those opportunities.
 
Mr Simpson: I agree with my hon. Friend. There are so many gateways to the broads that we could draw up a laundry list, but he is right to highlight that part of his constituency. As I have tried to say, there is always a balance to be struck, but that is addressed by the second issue I am raising with the Minister. Is his Department considering resurrecting the draft Bill? That would have a lot of support among Members of Parliament from Norfolk and Suffolk, and it would produce an interesting reaction from other national parks. At the very least, I hope he will say that his Department is open to considering the proposal and that we might have further debates on the subject. The bottom line is that it is necessary to have true participation not only by local people and local towns and villages but by local interest groups of one kind or another. As parliamentarians, we should be in favour of that proposal.
 
 

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