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West Norfolk 'second-class citizens' in the county

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The people of West Norfolk are treated as “second-class citizens” compared with those elsewhere in the county, it has been claimed.

Chris Morley, a member of West Norfolk Borough Council, said those living in his area fared worse than those further east when it came to health provision and economic opportunities.

He blamed this on attitudes at Norwich-based Norfolk County Council, which he implied prioritised those living in areas nearing the city.

Norfolk County Council election candidates 2021 - Chris Morley, Independent, Docking Division (54521148)
Norfolk County Council election candidates 2021 - Chris Morley, Independent, Docking Division (54521148)

He suggested West Norfolk would be wealthier and healthier if the borough was more closely integrated with bordering Cambridgeshire, cutting some of its ties with the rest of Norfolk.

Mr Morley, an independent councillor, made the comments at a Tuesday borough council meeting, after asking a question about transport links.

He said: “Working better with Cambridge is essential for our future, and as some may argue that the wealth, health and integrated care for West Norfolk would prove to have a better outcome if we were integrated with Cambridge and Peterborough rather than second-class citizens in the corridors of County Hall at Norwich.”

He said that Lynn should increase its connections with Cambridge, by improving transport links to the city, adding the relationship between the two urban centres was “where we want to grow” and saying it offered “a much better proposition for us than being dependent upon Norwich”.

Terry Parish (54521153)
Terry Parish (54521153)

While he admitted he had no economic or health data to hand to support his perception, he said there was “no doubt” West Norfolk would benefit from closer integration with Addenbrooke's Hospital and the Cambridge Science Park.

He added however that the west was “emotionally” part of Norfolk and would not want to give up that part of its identity.

Another independent councillor, Alun ‘Tom’ Ryves, agreed that Cambridge offered better opportunities for Lynn than Norwich, saying: “Our economic future lies more with Cambridge and the south than it does with Norwich and the east.”

And the council’s independent opposition leader, Terry Parish, added: “I can see the logic in it, in that West Norfolk is a slice of Norfolk with connections south and west really, rather than towards Norwich.”

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