For a country that is bankrupt, there always seems to be plenty of public money being spent. Since we moved to Reims 10 years ago, we have seen a new bypass being built, a new football stadium, a new east-west TGV railway line and station, a new tramway system, the old station has been turned round and a new frontage built, the old derelict market halls have been repaired and modernised, many old houses have been pulled down and replaced by modern flats, the cathedral has been cleaned and statues replaced and the canal bank has been made into a recreation area from the north to the south of the town. By contrast the town of Lowestoft, Suffolk, where I was born has been waiting for a third river crossing for nearly 50 years to relieve the crippling congestion.

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