Member of Parliament for Clacton

Douglas Carswell

13 DEC 2013

Carswell Column in the Clacton Gazette

Last week thousands of local people were evacuated from their homes. The tidal surge along the Essex coast came within a few inches of topping the sea wall, which would have been catastrophic.

It is a great credit to folk in Brooklands and Jaywick that so many people were evacuated, calmly, quickly and with minimum fuss. Three cheers to the police, Tendring council and the emergency services, too. A job well done!

The Environment Agency needs praising as well. By providing information early, many people were made aware of the danger posed by the tidal surge by mid afternoon on the Thursday.

Some of the national broadcasters might have overlooked the evacuation of thousands. Twitter and social media did not. That meant people were able to know what was happening in good time, and make their own choices and arrangements.

I was saddened to hear of the death last week of Clacton councillor, Mitch Mitchell.

Mitch was a good friend, not only to me, but to many different local people. He was extremely generous. Outgoing and full of enthusiasm, Mitch must have helped hundreds of friends, residents and neighbours down the years. He was a great man. His funeral takes place on Tuesday 17th December.

The other week, I organised a tour of the House of Commons for Tendring Technology College, and then the school council from Engaines Primary School, Little Clacton. It was a delight to meet them all. If you would like to visit Parliament, please email me for details. It is your democracy and your Parliament is open to you.

I have added my name to a Commons amendment to the Immigration Bill. It aims to restrict the movement of Romanians and Bulgarians into Britain. The government needs to come to its senses and recognise that if it is serious about curbing immigration, it cannot agree to the totally unrestricted movement of people across the EU.

I feel very strongly about this, and will not back down. Ministers need to find the bottle to act on immigration – even if that means upsetting their Euro chums in Brussels.

Good news in the Autumn Statement for local businesses in Frinton, Walton and Clacton. Business rate rises will be below inflation and capped at 2 percent. Local businesses will also be able to pay their rates in 12 monthly instalments, helping them manage the cash flow.

Unemployment in Clacton and Tendring is down since last Christmas largely because smaller businesses have been creating jobs. I hope this means we see more of that.

Finally, I would like to wish every reader of the Gazette a Merry Christmas! It is, as I explained to my four year old, the biggest birthday party in the world. Celebrate!

Douglas blogs each day at TalkCarswell.com and tweets @douglascarswell

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