Evening Echo
January 24, 2006

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Protesters will travel to Ipswich meeting for showdown

Last ditch attempt to stop Priory road

PROTESTERS opposing the controversial widening of Priory Crescent are set to wage a last-ditch stand at a meeting in Ipswich this week.

This Friday, members of the Regional Partnership Group will meet behind closed doors to work out their final recommendations to the Government on priority road schemes for the next five years in the East of England.

Representatives of the Government Office for the East of England (Go East), the East of England Development Agency, the East of England Regional Assembly and local authorities will be at the meeting.

Parklife, the high-profile green group behind protests such as Camp Bling - the protest camp on part of the Priory Crescent road scheme land - are to stage a demonstration outside the meeting.

Spokeswoman Irene Willis said: "We are aiming to take one or two minibuses from Southend to make our points.

"If anyone attending can afford it, there will be a charge of £3 per head or more if possible. Parklife will make up half the cost.

"This is the last chance to show our strength of feeling and save Priory Park."

Ms Willis said the price of the road-widening scheme was still unclear and figures showed it would already reach its maximum capacity in 15 years.

A spokeswoman for the regional assembly would not be public, but details of discussions would be published.

Southend Council leader Anna Waite said she hoped the Government would provide funding for the road as soon as possible.

She said: "As far as I am aware, it already has a high priority with the regional assembly and I hope this meeting will reinforce that position."

Any protesters who want to attend the protest should call Ms Willis on 01268 XXXXXX.

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