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I am opposing Warwick District Council’s proposals to sell off their Riverside House site for exclusive use of private housing and build new offices on part of the Covent Garden site in Leamington alongside a new multi-storey car park. As a result, there will be no car parking available on the Covent Garden Car Park for at least 20 months.
The complete absence of affordable housing in their plans is scandalous. The cost of the project in a time of austerity makes it totally unjustifiable. 800 people rely on Covent Garden Car Park per day. Half of those who use it do so to shop in Leamington Town Centre, while up to 35% of shoppers are from Coventry. The loss of 800 people a day not coming to Leamington will seriously undermine the viability of many Leamington Town Centre businesses.
20 hours ago
Today, I requested that the Leader of the House (Jacob Rees-Mogg) allows Parliament to hold a debate about the job losses seen at the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Halewood - he shockingly didn't commit to one.It was announced this week that 500 jobs will be lost at the JLR factory. This follows terrible news for the sector over recent years - from the Honda plant in Swindon closing, to other job losses in Aston Martin, JLR and others. Investment in the car industry was at £90m in the first half of last year, down from over £300m the year before. Industry and union leaders have all blamed the Government's Brexit plans as a major factor in this downturn.With the Government saying that they won't seek alignment with EU regulations, coupled with the news that the USA are threatening tariffs on our car exports, it will simply cost the industry billions. Two years ago I held a debate in Westminster Hall. The Government didn't listen then, so it is time that we force a debate in the chamber itself.I fear that what we have seen in Halewood and elsewhere will start to become commonplace if the Government carries on this destructive path.Simply put, the Midlands and the North cannot afford such a vital sector to needlessly fail. I will keep pressing this matter and demand that Parliament can debate the matter fully. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 days ago
After the House of Lords rightly voted to reinstate the provision in the Brexit Bill to allow unaccompanied child refugees to re-join their families in the UK, the Government once again rejected it.It is shameful that this protection that was included in the Bill before the election is now being abandoned by the Government. It is callous to let these children down who desperately need our sanctuary. Its simply not the British way of treating refugees – just look back to when Britain saved so many Jewish children from the Holocaust.I was proud to have represented the MPs supporting the amendment today at the result of the amendment.Simply put, I don’t trust the Government to reinstate this amendment fully in further legislation. ... See MoreSee Less
3 days ago
HS2 has now racked up an eye-watering bill of £106bn. Is this bill worth the destruction of ancient woodlands, or better spent on existing rail improvements?As I’ve been warning for some time now, the HS2 review group have estimated costs to get up to £106bn. To me, this seriously brings into question the net benefits of the project. I’ve been following this project closely, and have spoken out in Parliament against the spiralling costs to taxpayers.When we think of the climate emergency, is it worth spending this much amount of money for something that will destroy woodlands like Cubbington Wood? When I went and visited the camp, it is clear that constituents feel so strongly about protecting the wonderful natural asset.Locally, the Chiltern line from Birmingham to London is currently the only line into London that hasn’t been electrified. To meet CO2 emission reduction targets, we urgently need to prioritise the transition to green infrastructure. Yet the Government is still not providing the investment required to electrify rail or install electric vehicle infrastructure. In Warwick and Leamington, I am pushing for more cycle routes, the electrification and hydrogen powered units of our bus fleets and a rapid investment in EV infrastructure, and I am currently working with Chiltern and the Local Authorities to create an Eco Transport Hub at Leamington station. This is where the Government should be investing.Going forward, I will be following the results of the Government review into HS2 closely and will continue to represent the concerns constituents have raised.www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/20/hs2-costs-government-review-west-midlands-manchester-leeds ... See MoreSee Less
HS2 costs could rise to £106bn or more, warns government review
4 days ago
Despite the serious concerns over tariff changes and regulatory divergence raised by businesses and their representatives such as the CBI, the SMMT (car industry body), Make UK (Engineering businesses), the Food and Drink Federation and others, the Government remains complacent.Earlier, when I raised these in the chamber on their behalf, the Chancellor Sajid Javid, just smiled and laughed. The arrogance is breathtaking. These changes will cost the manufacturing industry - in which our region has so many jobs reliant on its success - billions of pounds, according to experts.If the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, is serious in what he says, diverging from EU regulations is simply unacceptable when it comes to industries like the manufacturing sector. Leaders of the sector have said this will lead to higher prices for the consumer.As the FT writes, "If Britain abandons EU standards and sets its own rules, companies wanting to sell vehicles in the UK are likely to need to obtain a separate certificate to do so, increasing their costs of making vehicles specifically for the British market."Brexit has already caused damage to our industry - this will be truly devastating.I will be scrutinising this move by the Government and opposing it anyway I can - our region deserves better than this.www.ft.com/content/10ec1b28-39f4-11ea-b232-000f4477fbca ... See MoreSee Less
5 days ago
Our fantastic local automotive industry needs leadership from the Government to transition away from carbon and into alternative fuel products.Whilst initiatives like the Battery Industrialisation Centre outside of Coventry is highly welcomed, along with the work Warwick Manufacturing Group do, the industry needs a framework led by Government to make a true shift from the combustion engine to decarbonising. This is crucial in our fight to combat the climate emergency.As the Parliamentary Group Chair for Electric Vehicles, I know that Government needs to incentivise electric vehicle purchase and build a better national infrasturcture of charging points.We also need more electric buses, electric bikes, and an electrified Chiltern line.We have to act faster than the Government is planning - our futures depend on it. ... See MoreSee Less