Olympic torch gets east coast invite

COMMUNITY leaders in Felixstowe have today given their whole-hearted backing to a bid to bring the Olympic torch to the resort.

COMMUNITY leaders in Felixstowe have today given their whole-hearted backing to a bid to bring the Olympic torch to the resort.

Town councillors agreed to get fully behind the project to try to have the seaside town included on the flame's national route after being assured security would not be a problem.

Adam Baker, Suffolk's 2012 Olympics manager, told the council there was a �600 million national budget for security, which was top priority for the event's organisers, and no cost would fall on local communities.

In a letter to the council, he said no decisions had yet been made on the route of the torch - but the aim was to ensure it passed within half an hour's travel of everyone.


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He also indicated Felixstowe is in the county's thinking as part of the torch's visit as Felixstowe Lawn Tennis Club is a designated training venue for the world's top stars to practise.

Former mayor Andy Smith had previously voiced concerns that there is “big potential for terrorism and disruption” at torch events and said the town should beware of having anything to do with it.

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Councillors though were reassured by Mr Baker and agreed to give “whole-hearted support” and put the town forward.

Mike Deacon said: “I am really happy - I think an event will be very good for the town, a wonderful occasion.”

Doreen Savage said the questions raised about security and subsequently investigated were for the benefit of the town and there had been no intention not to support or encourage a visit by the Olympic torch.

“The majority of us have wanted it to come all along,” she said.

Mrs Savage said if the town was not included on the itinerary, then it should hold its own torch celebration on the seafront.

Do you want the Olympic torch to visit Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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