Norfolk unites to save Marham

30 November 2010, 06:00

37,000 people have now signed a petition to try and save RAF Marham from being closed down.

Its after the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review decided to reduce the number of RAF Tornado bases from two to one, leading to the closure of either RAF Marham in Norfolk or RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

RAF Marham employs around 5,000 staff, which including family members, amounts to a community of around 8,000 people. Their incomes combined with the purchase of goods and services from local businesses contributes in excess of £130 million to the local economy.

As well as this, in 2008 Norfolk lost RAF Coltishall and RAF Neatishead so RAF Marham is the last remaining RAF station in Norfolk.

So a petition was launched to get residents to back the "Make it Marham," campaign to get RAF Marham the only base for the UK's Tornado fleet.

On Friday, over 23,000 people had signed the petition and over the weekend another 13,000 people came forward and logged onto the County Council's website to sign it.

South-West Norfolk MP, Elizabeth Truss is handing in the petition to Downing Street at 10am today. The group going with Mrs Truss will then go and meet with Secretary of State for Defence, Liam Fox, at the Ministry of Defence to press the case further.

Derrick Murphy, Norfolk County Council Leader, will be part of the delegation going and said, " The reaction from people has been incredible, we've been absolutely bowled over by the support. The economic and military rationale to keep RAF Marham open has always been very strong, but to be able to add to that the backing of more than 36,000 people makes our case impossible to ignore."