Bob Blizzard: Former Labour MP's funeral held in Lowestoft

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Funeral cortege of Bob BlizzardImage source, Guy Campbell/BBC
Image caption,
His partner Jane Evans said Mr Blizzard had "lived and breathed Lowestoft"

Mourners have gathered to remember former Labour MP Bob Blizzard as his funeral procession passed his favourite places in Lowestoft.

Mr Blizzard, who was born in Bury St Edmunds and served as MP for Waveney in Suffolk from 1997 until 2010, died aged 71 on 10 May.

His partner Jane Evans said he had "lived and breathed Lowestoft".

The route passed Lowestoft Town FC - "his second home" - and the Seagull Theatre, where he was a director.

Ms Evans said the "Suffolk boy born and bred... lived for improving the town, helping the people bringing in more infrastructure into the town".

While a serving MP, he played a role in securing funding for the Orbis Energy Centre in Lowestoft and campaigned for a third water crossing. That was not approved until 2015 and work on it is now well under way.

'Firing off emails'

A jazz enthusiast, he founded the Lowestoft Jazz Weekend and supported many other local projects in the town.

He was a patron of Lowestoft Town Football Club and he was instrumental in securing a recent £240,000 Arts Council grant for the Seagull Theatre.

Ms Evans said: "In his last days in hospital, he was still firing off emails to the police about the enforcement of the Hunting Act and arranging the Lowestoft Jazz Weekend - literally calling the musicians, asking them their rates, making sure they were be paid their full rates."

She added: "He was a Suffolk boy born and bred - a working class boy who managed to become what very few working class people do, become a Member of Parliament."

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