Monday 4, February 2013
Welcome to this my 132nd news bulletin.
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the Home Secretary at Crewe station.
She was visiting to talk about the North West stretch of High Speed 2 which, when it is built, will stop at Crewe.
The project means our railway network will have the capacity to cope with ever-increasing numbers of passengers and free up space on existing rail lines for more commuter, rural and freight services, meaning fewer cars and lorries on our roads.
The Government’s preferred route will see 211 miles of new track and stations in Manchester, Manchester Airport, Leeds, Sheffield Meadowhall, and in the East Midlands between Nottingham and Derby at Toton. Crewe will be connected directly with the high speed line via a dedicated link.
Construction on HS2 is planned to begin in four years and phase one will open to passengers in 13 years. Phase two will open six years after that.
This is good news for Crewe and Nantwich in so many ways.
HS2 will open up south Cheshire to international business by providing the extra rail capacity and speed from London that we so badly need. This can only mean more jobs for our residents.
It is a boost for our rail services industry, who will have access to the line to ply their trade.
From the passenger's point of view, it will provide comfortable, fast travel to London and Heathrow Airport, freeing up space on the currently overcrowded West Coast Main Line for commuters. Everyone wins.
But perhaps most of all, it cements our position as the gateway to the North West, not only in terms of geography, but also in terms of transport connectivity. The terms 'change at Crewe' has never been more apt.
The public should also be assured that there will be, beginning this year, a comprehensive public consultation on the plans. This is important, as they are not set in stone, and those who feel affected by them need to make sure their views are considered.
As your MP I will always strive to make sure that is the case with this project.
In my role as Minister for Children and as someone with two adopted brothers, I also set out in a recent national newspaper article why our reforms to the adoption system are so needed. If you would like to read this article then please click here.
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 Crewe bringing my surgery to your doorstep
- Joined with the the Home Secretary, Theresa May, at Crewe Station to welcome the announcement that the HS2 maintenance depot will be based at Crewe creating 300 jobs and opening up South Cheshire to international business
- Met with the Chief Executive of the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss how best to promote the economic future of Crewe and Nantwich
- Attended this year's Holly Holy Day, of which I am proud to be patron, commemorating the battle of Nantwich where I inspected the troops and laid a wreath
- Visited Millfields School to congratulate staff and pupils on their recent OfSTED results and to tour the school
- Met with primary school heads to discuss local schooling issues
- Visited the Barthomley Action Group to receive their petition against a proposed new housing settlement on 600 acres of countryside
- Attended the Parliamentary Reception 'Be Loud Be Clear' to help raise awareness of the screening available for bowel cancer
Read my most recent Crewe & Nantwich Talk
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Photos & Video ...
Edward at the Holly Holy Day Commemorations in Nantwich
You can view all my photos and video at edwardtimpsonmp.com
One in Eleven Appeal
Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust launched their 'One in Eleven' appeal to raise funds for a new neonatal unit at Leighton Hospital, Crewe.
Patrons of the appeal include Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs & Edward Timpson MP.
For information visit the Home Heat Helpline website or call them on 0800 33 66 99.
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Crewe and Nantwich politicians say HS2 rail link huge boost for region
Political leaders in Crewe and Nantwich say a High Speed Rail link to Crewe will be a huge economic boost to the region.The Government announced the HS2 route north of Birmingham today, and confirmed there will be a connection point to the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe.Theresa May MP at Crewe Station (pic by Peter Curtis-Brown)
Two trains an hour from Liverpool will be able to switch to the new high speed line at Crewe to London, reducing the journey time from South Cheshire to the capital to 58 minutes.
The maintenance depot for the Manchester branch HS2 line will also be at Crewe, creating more than 300 jobs.
Cabinet Minister Theresa May (pictured) was in Crewe today as the announcement was made.
Cheshire East Council Leader Cllr Michael Jones said: "This is great news for Cheshire East and for Crewe in particular.
"This decision firmly demonstrates the government's belief in Crewe and puts it firmly at the centre of the North West's growing economy.
"Throughout the process we raised concerns about the line of route and raised the profile for a common sense solution, which I believe we have achieved.Theresa May MP, quizzed by reporters at Crewe station
"I will continue this fight to ensure we get the best deal for all the people of Cheshire East. This is great news for the 44,000 people who live in Cheshire East and own a business in the area and beyond. It is great news if you are seeking to invest.
"However, as we celebrate, we should also strive to ensure any disruption is minimised and also that our beautiful land in Cheshire East is protected."
Cllr Jones vowed to lobby for a new dedicated HS2 station at Crewe in the tunnel directly under the existing station, creating a fully-integrated £200 million hub station between HS2 and the existing Rail network.
Edward Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, said: "HS2 is a vote if confidence in Crewe and Nantwich in so many ways.
"It opens up South Cheshire to international business by providing the extra rail capacity and speed from London we so badly need. This can only mean more jobs for our residents.
"It is a boost for our rail services industry, who will have access to the line to ply their trade.
"From the passenger's point of view, it will provide comfortable, fast travel to London and Heathrow Airport, freeing up space on the currently overcrowded West Coast Main Line for commuters. Everyone wins.
"But perhaps most of all, it cements our position as the gateway to the North West, not only in terms of geography, but also in terms of transport connectivity. The term 'change at Crewe' has never been more apt."
Holly Holy Day celebrations in Nantwich to go off with a bang
HUNDREDS of Sealed Knot soldiers are prepared for battle in the icy conditions when the Holly Holy Day celebrations return this weekend.
The re-enactment of the Battle of Nantwich takes place on Saturday (January 26) at Mill Island to commemorate the 1644 Civil War siege.
The day's events begin at 9.30am with an entertainment line-up that includes performances by X-Academy, The Funky Choir, Domesday Morris Dancers and Nantwich Players.
A wreath-laying ceremony takes place at 1.30pm, followed by a parade to Mill Island where the re-enactment then takes place.
The Holly Holy Day Society has marked the historic battle every year since 1973.
It features soldiers from the Sealed Knot Society re-enacting the Civil War battle between Cromwell's Parliamentarians as they attempted to hold off King Charles I's Royalists in January 1644.
On January 25, 1644, the siege was lifted and the people wore holly sprigs in their hats in celebration – hence Holly Holy Day.
Organiser Shaun Cafferty has previously dismissed fears the event would be cancelled or altered due to adverse weather.
He said: "We've spoken with the Sealed Knot whose soldiers stage this part of the spectacle, and they assure us they are happy to fight in any conditions.
"Weather and ground conditions were far from perfect in January 1644 when the battle was originally fought, so it's almost traditional!"
Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson is a patron of the Holly Holy Day Society, which is run by a small group of volunteers. He said: "I have said before that this event does much to raise local spirits and banish the post-Christmas blues.
"More than that, it brings much needed visitors to the town who will buy goods from our shops and eat and drink in our many excellent coffee house, pubs and restaurants."
He added: "I am pleased to see more local businesses than ever before have come forward to sponsor and support Holly Holy Day.
"This is important because the event could not exist financially without it, and it's in everyone's interests that we put our area on the map."
Admission to Mill Island is £5 for a family ticket, £2 for adults and £1 for children.
For more details visit www.battleofnantwich.co.uk.
Barthomley Action Group urge people to help them fight ‘destructive’ development plans
CAMPAIGNERS fighting a controversial planning proposal are urging people to help them save their village from being 'destroyed'.
Barthomley Action Group (BAG) was set up by angry residents after the Duchy of Lancaster unveiled plans to build a new 'settlement' on 600 acres of countryside around Junction 16 of the M6.
If passed, villagers say Barthomley will be 'swallowed up' by thousands of new houses, shops, a new school and an employment site.
BAG committee members are now urging people to join them in their campaign.
Committee spokeswoman Chrisoula Sirigou, who has lived in Barthomley for 12 years, said: "These plans will affect people living around here, as well as people who like to visit this beautiful village.
"There are some lovely public walking areas around here, and people love the countryside in Barthomley.
"If they decide to go ahead with these plans this countryside will be destroyed forever."
The proposals, which appear in Cheshire East Council's draft Local Plan as a 'sustainable settlement', are now up for public consultation.
The action group is urging people to have their say before the consultation ends on February 26.
They are also inviting residents to a meeting at the White Lion pub at 9.30am on February 2, which will be attended by Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson.
BAG chairman Tom Wilde said: "This plan will destroy Barthomley. I've lived here for 20 years and if this goes ahead it will have a huge impact on me.
"What we need is more public support. The proposals are now part of the public consultation of Cheshire East's Local Plan.
"We need as many people as possible to voice their opinions and come along to our meeting."
Barthomley resident Sean McCarthy said: "This is not a case of 'not in my back yard'. The Government has said we shouldn't be developing on green belt land. We want the council to consider other brownfield sites, such as land at Radway Green or the old Twyfords factory."
Many of the residents are also concerned the council's desire to 'dual' the A500 carriageway is an indication the Duchy's plans will be passed.
The council has previously said these highway works would be 'crucial' in unlocking the potential of Crewe – and the Local Plan states the Barthomley development would be expected to contribute towards its funding.
Mr Wilde said: "Cllr Jones has made it quite clear that he considers the 'dualling' of the A500 as critical to the development of Crewe. The Duchy of Lancaster owns land on either side of the A500 – so who's going to pay for the highway works?"
Cheshire East Council leader Cllr Michael Jones said: "I fully support the right of Barthomley Action Group to protest. The 'dualling' of the A500 is a massive priority for the people of Crewe and it has cross-party support in the town.
"The land is owned by the Duchy and they brought forward these proposals in response to the original Local Plan consultation. We will always try and get the best possible deal with developers for the benefit of the people of Crewe, and Cheshire East.
"Development in Barthomley, or indeed anywhere, needs to be plan-led, sustainable and bring added value to Crewe and Cheshire East. We will not build on the green belt unless we absolutely have to."
To view the plans and submit your comments to Cheshire East Council, visit http://cheshireeast-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/cs/.
To show your support to the campaign, visit www.barthomleyactiongroup.co.uk.
MP-backed petition against Stapeley homes plan is submitted
A PETITION against the first phase of a development for more than 1,000 homes has been submitted to Cheshire East Council and the Government.
Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson joined forces with ward councillors Andrew Martin and Peter Groves and campaigners to collect over 1,500 signatures.
It has been submitted in response to Muller Property Group's bid to build an access road from Peter Destapleigh Way.
The road opposite the Cronkinson Farm pub would service Phase One of a proposed development, likely to be more than 1,000 houses, on land also bordering Audlem Road and London Road.
Campaigners say the proposed route for this access road encompasses an area that should now be a 'Landscaped Nature Conservation Area' according to a Section 106 agreement made between Jennings Holdings Limited, the former Cheshire County Council and other parties on March 20 2000.
To accompany the petition Mr Timpson has written a letter of support for the petition to Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones, and Secretary of State, Eric Pickles.
In it, he said: "This petition of the residents of Crewe and Nantwich registers their strong objection to a large-scale housing development in the Stapeley area.
"The petition has been subscribed by over 1,500 people as a sign of the strength of local feeling, on a matter of great importance and consequence to my constituency.
"I hope and trust that the council will take full account of the clear and unambiguous views of the signatories to this petition."
Campaigners hope their opinions will be taken into account when the council's Strategic Planning Board considers Muller's proposals for Nantwich South on January 30.
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