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Westminster diary – 09.05.19

The local Council Elections took place last Thursday including for Warwick District, the three towns and our parishes. The Conservatives, who have led the District Council for the last four years, lost ten seats and its overall majority.  Given that it is now under no overall control, I would expect the flawed new Council Office project to be scrapped. I will continue to campaign with all my energies against the move along with community groups and local residents. I still believe that my agenda is the right one – scrap the council offices project and instead start building social housing at scale and eliminate rough sleeping. It is astounding that not a single social home was started to be built in the District since 2015. We cannot afford another Council who will be complacent on housing.

After having requested a climate change debate a couple of times in the past couple of months, I was delighted to speak in the Parliamentary debate on the issue last Wednesday. The climate change strikes by young people and the Extinction Rebellion action has been so important: they have brought us all together to discuss this important topic. As a county councillor in Warwickshire, I was proud to propose that we make all our pension fund fossil-free. Sadly, that proposal was not accepted, but I wish all authorities would consider that step, because it is the sort of wholesale systemic change that we need. Likewise, I proposed a Warwickshire energy plan to introduce renewable energy for all citizens in Warwickshire. Yes, the challenges are systemic and behavioural, but we can address them. We just need the political will.

Finally, I recently met with the Chancellor to discuss the pressing issues facing the UK automotive industry. I urged him to change the way that diesel taxation works to help companies such as Jaguar Land Rover and enable a better, more managed transition to Alternative Fuel Vehicles.