Eddy should set an example

AS county environment spokesman, Eddy Alcock really ought to know the importance of cutting your carbon footprint and trying to limit the amount of fuel used.

AS county environment spokesman, Eddy Alcock really ought to know the importance of cutting your carbon footprint and trying to limit the amount of fuel used.

So he really can have no argument as he comes under fire for driving his Japanese muscle-car around the country to meetings and conferences when there are perfectly acceptable other ways of making the journey.

Living in the heart of rural Suffolk, in Debenham, it is quite understandable that he should see car as a necessity of life.

But if he really wants to set a green example, he really ought to look at other ways of travelling around the country.

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If he has a meeting in Norwich, he should be able to drive to Diss and then catch a train for the rest of the journey. If his meeting is at the UEA there is a very good bus service from the station forecourt to the heart of university.

There is a perfectly good rail service from Stowmarket - just down the road from Debenham - to Leeds with a single change at Peterborough.

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He has no need to take a 3.5 litre sports car on these long journeys on county council business - he drives because he chooses to drive, a choice that causes environmental damage.

No one is denying that a councillor living in the heart of the countryside needs a car. Whether the council's environment spokesman needs to drive a car with such a heavy carbon footprint - and to use it constantly when there are other alternatives available - is another question altogether.

SITTING in their ivory tower at Westminster with their expenses claims and their allowances for furnishing their second homes written in stone, MPs might be able to persuade themselves £61,000 is not enough for them - many of their constituents would certainly disagree.

So they were right to reject an above-inflation pay rise yesterday, a move backed by Ipswich MP Chris Mole.

However there will be widespread disbelief that they voted to retain their notorious “John Lewis lists” of furnishings they are permitted to buy for their second homes.

To his credit, Mr Mole voted to get rid of these lists - but 30 members of the government including Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward voted to retain them.

Suffolk's Tory MPs kept out of the fray - none of them voted in yesterday's votes - but the decision on expenses will not have raised the standing of MPs in the eyes of most of their constituents.

ORGANISERS of this year's Music in the Park on Sunday will be keeping an anxious eye on the weather forecasts over the next 24 hours.

At present the forecast is for a typical British summer weekend - sunny periods and showers - which tells people absolutely nothing about the day.

Everyone will be hoping that the sunny periods last most of the afternoon and the showers, if they come, last only for a few seconds.

That way the day will be a real delight for the thousands who are set to head for Christchurch Park.

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