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PM defends home rule during visit

PUBLISHED: 14:32 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 30 June 2010

Prime Minister Gordon Brown today defended the Government's controversial move to grant “home rule” to Norwich during his whirlwind visit to Great Yarmouth College.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown today defended the Government's controversial move to grant “home rule” to Norwich during his whirlwind visit to Great Yarmouth College.

Dropping in on a constituency acknowledged to be one of the key marginal seats in the up-coming general election, he wanted the theme of his visit to be jobs - but he was quickly asked for his views on Norfolk's local government shake-up.

When challenged that the decision to grant unitary status flew in the face of advice from the independent Boundary Committee which had recommended a Norfolk unitary, he replied that “the key thing is the region's future economic development”.

Mr Brown said while Norwich was moving forward with its own plan he was conscious that MPs Tony Wright and Bob Blizzard had lobbied for a unitary for Yarmouth and Waveney.

“We are doing what we believe are the right things for the different areas and different communities,” he said.

He stressed that the government's emphasis over the coming year would be on jobs and declared that the theme of his visit to the college.

Full report in Friday's Mercury

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