Seventeen Essex MPs have joined together to support Colchester’s bid to be granted city status.
Colchester Borough Council submitted a bid last year for the borough to be named a city as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Colchester MP Will Quince has now brought together the Essex MPs in a letter to the Government’s Cabinet Office, who are co-ordinating the judging of the bids, to aid their weight to the application. The MPs say that while other areas may have submitted bids, “Colchester's claim to this title is undoubtedly a strong one”.
As well as highlighting the borough’s history, the MPs say that “Colchester is a regional powerhouse for culture and tourism, and it is also fast becoming a major modern hub for business, tech and innovation, with the internationally renowned University of Essex, as well as forward funded 5G and superfast internet infrastructure.
“The community has a proud centuries-long tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and, to this day, it does so as a Borough of Sanctuary, recently welcoming refugees from Syria and Afghanistan.”
They go on to say: “City Status will not only benefit Colchester but the wider Essex region and UK economy overall. Essex is the engine of the UK economy and together we want to celebrate all that we have and all that we wish to achieve for future generations in our proud region.
“As Members of Parliament for Essex constituencies, we passionately believe that Colchester should be granted City Status to mark Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee for the benefit of our wider Essex region…”
MP for Colchester, Will Quince, MP for Harwich & North Essex, Sir Bernard Jenkins, and MP for Witham Rt Hon Priti Patel have also submitted a letter to the Cabinet Office with the MPs for Middlesbrough, and Milton Keynes calling for all three areas to be named cities.
These three areas are the only places to have submitted bids to become cities on all five times city status has been available: in 1992 for Her Majesty's Ruby Anniversary; in 2000 to mark the Millennium; in 2002 for Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee; in 2012 for Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, and now in 2022 to mark Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee.
Councillor Darius Laws, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Business and Heritage, said: “As Britain’s first city we firmly believe we have all the ingredients to be Britain’s next city. We see this as not only recognising our history, traditions, and achievements, but also the opportunities to continue to flourish and thrive.
“The support not just from the MPs across Essex but from Middlesbrough, and Milton Keynes shows the strength of our bid and the benefits it will bring for Colchester and Essex as a whole.”
The 17 Essex MPs who have signed the letter calling on Colchester to be awarded city status are:
- Will Quince, MP for Colchester
- Sir Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich & North Essex
- Rt Hon Priti Patel, MP for Witham
- Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock
- Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford
- Alex Burghart, MP for Brentwood and Ongar
- Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point
- John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay
- Rt Hon. James Cleverly, MP for Braintree
- Rt Hon. John Whittingdale, MP for Maldon
- Rt Hon. Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow
- Giles Watling, MP for Clacton
- James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East
- Jackie Doyle-Price, MP for Thurrock
- Rt Hon. Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford
- Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden
- Eleanor Laing, MP for Epping Forest
Page last reviewed: 15 February 2022