Boris Johnson visits ABP in Southampton

MORE police officers and more support to tackle pollution are among the pledges made by Boris Johnson as he visited Southampton today.

Improvements on the A326 and actions that could be taken to boost the city and its economy are also among the issues that the leader of the Conservative Party has discussed with bosses at the Associated British Ports (ABP) when he visited them this afternoon.

Talking with the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDR) during his visit in Southampton Mr Johnson said the city has a huge potential and stressed that there can be a balance between the need to tackle environmental issues and the one to support the port that brings money in to the city.

But he added: “Ships are a problem. We need to reduce the diesel emissions from ships and we can and we will. We need to find ways. We can do brilliant with motor vehicles, we are getting there with the vans, planes are tricky and ships at the moment are tricky. ”

He suggested that more provision of shore electrical power to ships could help tackle pollution in Southampton.

“At ABP they are very forward looking, they are looking at all sorts of low carbon energy solutions and that would drive lots of high skill jobs for a long time but also enable us to tackle climate change,” Mr Johnson said.

He added: “But the only way to support businesses like this is to get Brexit done and move on.”

He said the city will benefit from the money that the country would be receiving after Brexit.

He also promised more police officers and said they will be in addition to the extra 156 set to be deployed across Hampshire after a government announcement earlier this year.

“The 156 are part of the first waive of the 20,000 we are putting on the streets but there will be more to come as soon as we can get them,”he added.

But despite saying that tackling pollution generated by plane is “tricky”, when asked about whether plans to expand Southampton Airport should go ahead he said: “My anxiety about airports is noise pollution as well as the air quality, I think I need to study the issue at Southampton Airport before I pronounce on it.”

Mr Johnson also promised to tackle illegal immigration and said to be very confident about the marginal Southampton Itchen seat.

Source: Daily Echo online

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