Council Leader pledges to use new part time EU role to win more funding for Fenland

By John Elworthy FENLAND Council Leader Alan Melton has been appointed to a high profile part time role in Europe. And he pledged today he would use his new post to help secure more funding for Fenland. Cllr Melton is one of two Conservative councillors

By John Elworthy

FENLAND Council Leader Alan Melton has been appointed to a high profile part time role in Europe.

And he pledged today he would use his new post to help secure more funding for Fenland.

Cllr Melton is one of two Conservative councillors from the eastern region serving on the Committee of the Regions.


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"There are some sceptics who would question and condemn this work," said Cllr Melton.

"May I remind them that there is a lot of our money locked into Europe, and if we don't go and get it, the other countries will?

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"I am going to use my time in Brussels to try to secure further funding for Fenland."

The Committee of the Regions is an organisation set up in 1994 as a result of the Maastricht treaty, he said.

"The role is to shadow and scrutinise the work of the European Commission and the European Parliament," he said.

He said the role of the COR was recently strengthened in the Lisbon Treaty.

The UK has 24 permanent and 24 alternate members, made up from all political groups throughout the UK, and Cllr Melton has been appointed to one of the latter posts.

"We sit in alphabetical order," said Cllr Melton. "The lady next to me is from Latvia, a gentleman from Hungary sits behind, a gentleman in front is French and across the aisle is another member of the UK delegation who represents Sinn Fein."

There are six commissions and Cllr Melton will serve on the Commission for Natural Resources, which includes Common Agricultural Policy, Rural Affairs, Public Health, Civil Protection and Tourism.

Cllr Melton said his appointment was proposed by the regional assembly and ratified by the Foreign Office, Downing Street and the EU Council of Ministers.

Previous UK representatives have included former Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Keith Walters.

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