Thursday, 30 April 2009

A day out in Norfolk

I'm not going to promise to blog every day on the European Election campaign but will try.

Today I saw a cross-section of Southern Norfolk. Andrew Mitchell, MP the shadow Secretary for International Development came to join me. Andrew took me on a trip to Rwanda to understand developing countries so I reckoned that he should come to Norfolk to understand rural East Anglian communities.

We started the day visiting a world leading Norfolk manufacturing company - yes some still do exist, this one was in Thetford. (After all if we are to give money to international development we need to make money here). Trox makes air conditioning systems and is leading research in making their products less energy intensive. We met long serving employees and new apprentices both determined that their company will be a survivor. They already export across the world. If I am elected to the European Parliament they have asked me to help them expose areas where other countries are being protectionist in their industry. They also discussed with their local council candidates how to help inspire and develop their local area.

After that, in Diss, we met with the volunteers who run a very busy Oxfam shop, Andrew was able to update them on what he has seen at the frontline of Oxfam's work in extremely difficult countries. (Andrew bought a very improving book on Africa and I bought a nice necklace and a box of tissues in case of swine flu).

Next the local retained firefighters told us of their work as volunteers to help their local community in emergencies- I was pleased to update them on our recent victory on the working time directive that would have made their work impossible. The local rotary club told us of the work they do - they not only support local charities but have also been networking across East Anglia to funding the building of wells in Zambia.

I also had a chance to brief a shadow cabinet member on the vital contribution of agriculture in our area and the need for decent infrastructure. Tomorrow I'm back in Norfolk again but today was a good day.

No comments: