Monday 24, December 2012
Welcome to this my 131st news bulletin.
Keep our countryside green
There has been plenty of discussion about house building in the national media recently, and I wanted to make one thing clear as a result: I am a big supporter of the green belt and our countryside.
Only last week I received a petition, which I launched back in July, from campaigners against the proposed housing development in Stapeley.
I will be presenting this to Cheshire East Council and making my views very plain.
Local people do not want this site, and it looks like the Council are listening.
There has been no change in national green belt protection. The green belt is an important protection against urban sprawl, providing a ‘green lung’ around towns and cities. The Coalition Agreement commits the Government to safeguarding green belt and other environmental designations, and brownfield sites should be prioritised for development.
In addition, new planning guidance on traveller sites has strengthened protection of the green belt and open countryside.
More widely, the Government’s reforms to the planning system are about giving local communities a greater say on planning by scrapping top-down regional targets. The Act allows for the abolition of Labour's Regional Spatial Strategies, which sought to bulldoze the Green Belt around thirty towns and cities across the country.
It has always been the case that local councils can amend the green belt – including creating new, additional green belt around large new developments to prevent urban sprawl. The draft Local Plan provides an opportunity to do just that.
Forward to 2013
2012 has been a year of action for me in Crewe and Nantwich.
I organised a successful Jobs Fair with the Chronicle, attended by over 2,000 people at Crewe Alex, and welcomed the Olympic torch to Crewe. I lobbied successfully for funding for new and renewed road and rail infrastructure, and ran my 8th London Marathon raising over £6,000 for a local children's charity (this time with Mrs Timpson!). I prevented another travellers' site taking root.
I've also rolled up my sleeves working in both Leighton Hospital and a local primary school, opened new businesses, sung with the Funky Choir, judged local beer in Nantwich, rolled a fig pie down the hill in Wybunbury, and fought for the future of local residents in sheltered housing.
We shared the joy of Beth Tweddle winning an Olympic medal, Crewe Alex getting promoted in such exhilerating fashion, and the prevailing of common sense that saw local man Sgt Danny Nightingale reunited with his wife Sally and two young daughters in time for Christmas.
This is just a taste of the busy life of your local MP, and 2013 promises to be much the same.
In a difficult economic environment you have to fight for and justify every penny, and much of my time is spent in Westminster helping make the case for Crewe and Nantwich, the infrastructure we need, and the skills and talents we have to offer in return.
2013, like 2012, will be a year of opportunity for us on this front. We in Crewe and Nantwich have to present ourselves in the best light to ensure success, and work hard to convince the Government that we are well placed to deliver the jobs and growth that the country so badly needs.
To do that, I need your help, so if you have any ideas or you need some assistance, do get in touch.
I wish all of my constituents a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.
Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me.
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Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich
Locally I have...
- Held a number of surgeries around the constituency and an 'On Your Street' session in Nantwich bringing my surgery to your doorstep
- Met with the Duchy Action Group who are campaigning to stop developments in the Barthomley area
- Supported the St Luke's fundraiser at the Nantwich 'Church View' Health Centre
- Took receipt of the Save Stapeley petition from Cllrs Groves and Martin so that I can present it to Cheshire East
- Visited the Crewe & Nantwich Gymnastic Club extravaganza display at Camm Street in Crewe. Thanks to June for showing me the budding Beth Tweddles and Louis Smiths in action
- Met with the Director of local business Alexta to provide guidance and information
- Visited Alexander Paper Supplies based at Dagfield’s Craft Centre near Walgherton which is in its 18th anniversary year and which has been doing very well despite the current economic challenges
- Launched 'Reggie App' at Brine Leas Sixth Form developed by the visual communication agency GSD based in Nantwich
- Held a presentation ceremony for the winners and runners-up of my annual Christmas Card Competition at the Crewe Municipal Buildings
- Joined with the Mayor of Nantwich to support the inaugural Regents Park Christmas Fayre which was lots of fun for all the family
Read my most recent Crewe & Nantwich Talk
Click here or on the image
Photos & Video ...
Edward with the finalists of his 2012 Christmas Card Competition
You can view all my photos and video at edwardtimpsonmp.com
Home Heat Helpline
The helpline advises people worried about paying their fuel bills and keeping warm during the winter. It also gives advice to low-income households in urgent need of heating help and advice. It is free to call and is open 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays.
Calls to the helpline are answered by friendly expert advisors at the Home Heat Helpline call centre. They can give you quick, clear information on the grants, benefits and payment schemes that you may be entitled to as well as basic steps that you can take to save money on heating bills by making your home more energy efficient.
For information visit the Home Heat Helpline website or call them on 0800 33 66 99.
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MP Edward Timpson backs superfast broadband for rural Nantwich
Rural areas of Nantwich will get superfast broadband after the Government earmarked £3.24 million for Cheshire.
The move has been welcomed by politicians who say it will help Crewe and Nantwich deliver jobs and boost growth.
The EU gave the £530 million rural broadband investment across the UK the green light after several months of delay and Government pressure.
Nantwich MP Edward Timpson said: “This decision is great news for Cheshire.
“Britain is in a global race and we cannot allow our rural areas to get left behind because of bad infrastructure.
“Cheshire will now get the infrastructure to match its aspiration, providing local people and local businesses with the tools they need to get on and prosper.
“We are working hard to make sure rural areas are not left behind as the Coalition strains every sinew to help create growth, jobs and future prosperity.”
MP Timpson backs Crewe and Nantwich “Green Gap” 4,000-name petition
A 4,000-name petition calling for the Green Gap around Nantwich and Crewe to be protected, has been backed by local MP Edward Timpson.
Campaigners launched the "Save the Green Gap" effort in Willaston two years ago to safeguard the area from excessive urban development.
Mr Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, has thrown his support behind the campaign and presented a petition with over 4,000 signatures to Cheshire East Council and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
The petition is made up of over 250 children's signatures and 4,000 signatures from Crewe and Nantwich residents, collected by Cllr Derek Bebbington and his team.
Mr Timpson said: "I stand behind the residents of Crewe and Nantwich, who are understandably worried about the plans that Cheshire East Council have for our green fields.
"The council needs to understand that people care deeply about their local environment and want it protected."
The Green Gap around villages such as Shavington, Willaston, Wybunbury, Weston, Haslington, Leighton and Maw Green was originally protected from development by the former Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council in 1993.
But Cheshire East Council has been reviewing its plans for the development of the borough, and current draft plans do not mention the Green Gap.
In November 2010, a campaign was started by the Willaston Green Gap Action Team.
They handed in a petition of 1,221 signatures to Cheshire East Council in December 2010 asking for the retention of the Green Gap to be included in the Cheshire East Core Strategy development document.
Free wifi launches on Crewe housing estate
CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson pushed the button to officially switch on a new service offering free WiFi access in South Cheshire.
The free internet access is being offered by Wulvern Housing, local community group the Beech Drive Project and Internet Central. It will be available to Sherborne Estate residents in Crewe with plans to expand the service across South Cheshire soon.
The project is the first in the North West.
Wulvern director and All Change for Crewe board member Rob Allen said: "All Change for Crewe recognises that there is a need for wider access to the internet in our priority neighbourhoods, particularly for vulnerable people.
"Access improves the quality of life for residents. It impacts on a whole range of issues from education, to finding the latest money saving offers.
"Our aim is to make the internet accessible to communities across South Cheshire giving them opportunities and support to get connected.
"After registering with Wulvern WiFi, users can access the internet via any enabled device as well as a whole host of services, local businesses, schools and community facilities."
Wulvern is also encouraging residents to get on-line by offering a free computer loan scheme, free repairs to IT equipment and software, free computer classes and a free digital helpline via telephone and email.
Beech Drive project manager John Bottomley said: "Of the 8.7m UK adults who have never used the internet, over 4m are among the most vulnerable in society.
"We are delighted to be able to offer this fantastic service.
"Our aim is to make the internet accessible to communities across in South Cheshire giving them opportunities and support to get connected."
MP Timpson welcomes rise in apprenticeships in Crewe and Nantwich
Crewe & Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has welcomed the rise in apprenticeship positions across the borough.
Latest figures show half a million people started an apprenticeship last year in the UK, and 1,490 of those were in Crewe and Nantwich.
Mr Timpson says that's an increase of 810 apprentices compared to the year of the last General Election 2009/2010.
"It is fantastic that 1,490 people in Crewe & Nantwich started an apprenticeship last year," he added.
"We are getting behind people who work hard and want to get on in life. Apprenticeships are a great way to help people get the skills they need to make a better future for themselves.
"I want many more people in Crewe and Nantwich to have the chance to earn and learn at the same time.
"I would urge everyone to think about whether they can benefit from the many apprenticeship opportunities that are now available."
Street Pastors scheme is launched in Nantwich
A SCHEME to curb anti-social behaviour at night has been launched in Nantwich.
The ‘street pastors’ initiative was launched on Saturday in a joint project between Nantwich’s churches and the local police.
Twenty volunteers undertook the first of a dozen training sessions at Nantwich Methodist Church and enjoyed lunch with guests of honour, MP Edward Timpson and Nantwich deputy mayor John Lewis.
The mini army will be out on the streets during the busiest nights to assist visitors to pubs and clubs and help them get home safely.
Joint co-ordinator David Maidment explained: “The four-person teams will operate independently, but in close liaison with the police, and offer a friendly presence and help to those that need it.
“That might include the provision of advice to those with transport problems getting home, water or help for those feeling unwell, the clearing of dangerous litter and provision of flip-flops to those too unsteady in their high-heels, and the calming of situations where problems seem to be developing.
“Where the scheme has been running in other towns, a significant reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour due to drunkenness has been reported.
“Guests at the launch spoke of their support for the scheme and the value they believed it would bring to Nantwich’s nightlife.”
Nationally, 300 street pastor schemes are in operation – with successful local schemes in Middlewich, Chester and Wrexham.
The volunteers have embarked on a training course in street safety, listening skills and conflict management, as well as national street pastor procedures.
They will be fully trained and out in force by Christmas.
Sergeant Richard Tomlinson of the Nantwich Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “A lot of what they do will help take pressure off our officers and it’ll be good to see them out there.
“It’s had success in other towns so I’m sure it will be a success here too.
“We’re all working to the same ends to make sure people can come out to Nantwich and have a safe and enjoyable night.”
Sgt Tomlinson added he hoped Cheshire Constabulary’s ArcAngel scheme – the quality standards initiative for licensed premises – will be introduced soon.
5 ways to contact Edward Timpson
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- On the web: edwardtimpsonmp.com
- By phone: 01270 501 725
- By post: 30 Victoria Street, Crewe CW1 2JE
- In person: Click here to see surgery times