Cameron Matthews, Woodbridge Hustings
Cameron Matthews, Woodbridge Hustings
Thursday 21 November, St Johns Church, St Johns Hill, Woodbridge

This popular pre-election event was attended by four of the five parliamentary candidates. The wide-ranging debate covered some of the most important national and local issues.

Here’s what Cameron had to say about Sizewell C and the Friston substation:

There was a very, very interesting question [from the audience] about a public inquiry.

 

So in short, Suffolk Coastal Labour’s position is: we don’t support the concept of “The Energy Coast”. We believe it’s damaging to the tourism industry, but, of course, also to our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well, so that’s one key area. In terms of the Friston infrastructure development, again Suffolk Coastal Labour is also opposed to that and also thus support [the audience member’s] proposal about the offshore wind electricity generation too. So there are three key areas in which Suffolk Coastal Labour has had this discussion and we do support those areas.

 

I think in terms of Sizewell C, I remember going to a debate in 2017 on this and the situation now that I think we’ve got to, is I think we all kind of know that Sizewell C, the project itself, is in a really uncertain position, and we do need to have a discussion about whether that project in particular is viable any longer. Now whether a public inquiry is the best mechanism for that, I don’t know. That sounds like it is a viable means to actually dig in to some of the detail here and have a real conversation about: “Is an alternative better?” Because, of course, as the Labour Party, one of the key things we want do is ensure that any viable alternatives ensure a transition of jobs for the people who work there, upskilling people and transitioning skills so we don’t impact on people’s jobs. I do think now, given that the complications we were talking about two years ago are even worse at this stage, now we’re at that crossroads and we need to have a discussion to dig into some of the detail, and some of the information I’ve seen has been really influential. So I would be up for finding out a bit more and if a public inquiry is the best way to dig into that.

(Transcribed from an audio recording)

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