14 Jan 2015
Forest Heath District Council is to host a series of meetings next month to discuss the impact of the RAF Mildenhall closure.
The knock on effects for local businesses, jobs, the housing market and local communities, are all to be explored. Resident representatives, businesses, community groups and partners such as Suffolk County Council who are responsible for school provision, will all be invited to attend the meetings.
Leader of Forest Heath District Council Cllr James Waters said: “While we are all saddened by the closure announcement, we all need to work together to ensure Mildenhall and the surrounding area emerges stronger from this. We want to hear from businesses as to how they will be affected, and what can be done to mitigate that impact. We want to hear from our residents as to how they view this opportunity and what they would like to see happen with the land at RAF Mildenhall. It is vital that we involve our communities in achieving the best possible outcome for themselves.
“I will then be taking the feedback that we receive at these meetings to the Government’s Mildenhall, Alconbury and Molesworth Working Group, which is to be chaired by our West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock.
" I am aware that the MOD is looking into whether the site could have a future military use. While I would want and expect that decision within the next six months, we are not prepared to sit on our hands and wait, and risk seeing the site eventually mothballed. With that in mind, we are getting on with the task at hand and will be fixing the dates and venues for these public meetings within the next couple of weeks.
“Our three priorities as a council are economic growth, housing and families and communities – promoting jobs growth, making sure the supply of housing meets the demand, and encouraging a strong sense of community among the families within our towns and villages. It is those, priorities, those beliefs, alongside our strong track record in working with partners including our Local Enterprise Partnerships, that will ensure Mildenhall continues to thrive, long after the base closes.”