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Rutland sea dragon proves county motto, says MP Alicia Kearns

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Rutland has been in the news recently – and then some, writes county MP Alicia Kearns (Con).

Our motto, Much in Little, has never been more true than in the past couple of weeks. I write, of course, of the Rutland sea dragon – the 180 million year old Ichthyosaur found on the banks of Rutland Water. And what a find it was!

If you haven’t watched the full story, catch up on Digging for Britain from Tuesday, it really is an amazing story. I was lucky enough to see the dig in person – and it blew my mind.

Alicia Kearns MP (28221034)
Alicia Kearns MP (28221034)

The key thing with the Rutland sea dragon and the Roman mosaic discovery featured just the week before, is that we capitalise on these two incredible finds. I know that I’ve been reading up on the Trojan War and sea reptiles in the time when dinosaurs ruled the world – and I know that this has been the case for many of us across Rutland. These discoveries deserve to be shared with the world!

That’s why I’m working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to make sure our 30ft sea dragon comes back. My first priority is to get a tourism expert in, and then work with Rutland County Council to make sure we get the money we deserve to show these incredible finds off right here in Rutland. It will support economy and allow to celebrate our pride in our county.

I’m grateful to Trevor Burfield, chairman of Essendine Parish Council and the Mallard Pass Action Group for a meeting and tour of the proposed 2,175 acre solar plant on Friday. Like most residents, I am desperate for Rutland to play its part in moving towards a more sustainable energy future, but solar plants like this – eight times the size of the next largest in the UK – are not the answer to solving our energy needs.

Dr Dean Lomax reveals the scale of the sea dragon found at Rutland Water. Photo: Matthew Power Photography
Dr Dean Lomax reveals the scale of the sea dragon found at Rutland Water. Photo: Matthew Power Photography

Mallard Pass would be built on good farmland – and its construction would irreparably damage biodiversity in our county, as well as being a significant eyesore. I will continue to work with parish councils, councillors, and the Mallard Pass Action Group to make sure that residents’ views on this are heard.

It’s a universally known truth that there are three certainties in life: birth, death, and that the A1 will be closed due to an accident very soon. It’s unacceptable that this vital artery road is closed so regularly, and Rutlanders deserve so much better. That’s why I set up the A1 Working Group of Conservative MPs, and I’m delighted to have held a debate in Parliament about safety on the A1, from Peterborough to Blyth earlier this week.

As I said in my speech, Highways England urgently needs to deliver a programme of safety improvements. 201 closures in the past four years – that’s more than one a fortnight – simply isn’t acceptable.

But long term, we need to make this section of the A1 three lanes, equivalent to motorway standard. This will help to transform Rutland, and the East Midlands as a whole, and help deliver the inward investment that we so sorely need, as well as making the road safer for us all.

Finally, I’d just like to thank all of you who have got boosted against Covid-19. It’s clear the Government took the right course of action in not imposing new, damaging, restrictions, and the boosters are doing their job: keeping us safe from Covid-19.

Over 75 per cent of residents of Rutland and Melton have now had that vital booster dose, and I’m delighted that once again, our county is leading the way. I hope that you and your families have a splendid and healthy fortnight.

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