Africa Alive!

Waveney MP Peter Aldous has visited Africa Alive! to look at their new programmes and to discuss proposed government policies changes.  
ZSEA/Africa Alive! in conjunction with CREW Training and Development, are currently in the planning stages of an exciting project for 2015.  The project will provide around twenty five young, local unemployed people with an innovative programme of training which will run alongside the opportunity to join the vibrant volunteer team at Africa Alive!  Whilst the participants develop valuable customer service skills they will enhance the parks ability to engage with their visitors about conservation and the work they do.  It is hoped that the project will culminate in an employability event which will allow participants to showcase their skills in front of local employers.
Additionally, Africa Alive! have moved to a non-profit charitable status. Martin Goymour CEO, Zoological Society of East Anglia, has been very pleased with the transition to not for profit charitable status. “Operationally there has been little change at either Africa Alive! or Banham Zoo but Trust status is certainly opening many doors  although it will probably take another 3 years to fully bed in. Africa Alive! and Banham Zoo remain great resources for the local community and the areas tourism offer.” 
Mr. Aldous discussed with Gary Batters, Director of Conservation and Education Zoological Society of East Anglia, the concerns about the impact of the Deregulation Bill.  In plans put forward in Clause 44 of the Deregulation Bill to increase school autonomy, all state schools in England will be able to decide their own term dates. Following on from Peter’s intervention during the Third Reading of the Bill in June, Peter took up the issue with the new Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan. He pointed out that shortening school summer holidays could have a major impact on families and businesses in the Waveney area for the following reasons:-
  • By allowing individual schools to set their own term times, different schools will have different holidays dates causing difficulties for parents with children at different schools
  • Changes to school holidays could impact on local businesses in the tourism industry, such as Africa Alive and Pleasurewood Hills, that rely on the summer season for their profitability.
Mr. Aldous commented: -“Whilst I understand the reasoning behind the school holiday proposals in terms of achieving the highest student attainment and giving greater autonomy to schools, it is vital that its impact on areas like Lowestoft that rely on tourism for its economic well-being are fully taken into account.”
In addition to their discussion about the Deregulation Bill, Mr. Aldous and Mr. Batters spoke about the campaign to cut VAT on tourism attractions from 20% to 5% which he is supporting. Whilst this will have limited benefit to Africa Alive! directly following their move to charitable status, they believe that such a reduction would help encourage more visitors to the Waveney area. Which would create jobs and promote economic growth. 
British tourism businesses and the communities they operate in, are struggling under a VAT rate which is twice or more the rate in Spain, Germany, France, Ireland and Italy. The UK is now one of only four EU states with no reduced rate.
 Mr. Aldous commented by saying: -“My visit to Africa Alive! was extremely useful as it enabled me to catch up on a range of issues and to see again the important conservation work which they continue to carry out. Their training initiative is particularly exciting and innovative and they are to be commended for putting this in place.”

The Renaissance of East Anglian Fisheries

Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill

Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill


Peter holds regular surgeries at various locations in the constituency. Please call 01502 586568 to make an appointment.

Next Surgeries - 2018: 
Lowestoft, Wednesday 8th August



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