Friday, 7 February 2014
Welcome to this, my 147th news bulletin.
I am committed to lowering unemployment and helping people back to work, and I am proud that there are now 1.2 million more people in jobs since the last election.
In Crewe and Nantwich, we’ve seen unemployment fall by a huge 22.5 per cent in the last year, and youth unemployment fall by an even greater 24.1 per cent.
The Work Programme is just one of the Government’s initiatives to achieve this. Unlike the short term focus of previous schemes, the Work Programme is geared towards finding individuals stable work, with extra incentives to support the hardest to help.
I am proud that the Work Programme has so far helped 208,000 jobseekers find lasting work, including 17,560 young people. However, I can assure you that the Government is not complacent, and continues to make improvements to the scheme.
Work Programme providers have improved significantly, but the Government has always been clear that some are lagging behind. That is why the Government began referring more claimants to the better performing providers from August last year.
The Work Programme is having a real impact in helping people back to work, and I am confident that this will increase as the scheme develops, both here in Crewe and Nantwich and across the country.
Edward Timpson MP
Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich and Minister of the Year
Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.
Locally, I have...
- Held one of my popular open 'On Your Street' surgeries, in Haslington (see photo, right), where I spoke to many local residents and local Borough Councillor John Hammond, about lots of issues, including welfare, immigration and local planning concerns.
- Attended this year's Holly Holy Day re-enactment, 370 years to the day of the Battle of Nantwich, and laid a wreath at the act of commemoration.
- Met with other Cheshire MPs and the Cabinet of Cheshire East Council, to share with the Council the concerns of Crewe and Nantwich residents and hear more about what the Council is doing to help local people.
- Attended the launch of "Nantwich Family Films @ 4", the new community cinema project run on Sundays at Nantwich Methodist Church. The next screening is Despicable Me 2, which will be on Sunday February 16 at 4pm.
- Hosted two of my regular constituency advice surgeries at my office in Crewe. Please get in touch if you need to speak with me about any issue or concern.
Edward Timpson voted Minister of the Year
I was humbled to be named "Minister of the Year" at the Dods Parliamentary Awards, last month. The annual prizegiving is voted on by MPs of all parties, and I received my award from Labour MP Gisela Stuart, for my work on adoption and fostering, inspired by the child protection cases I have worked on in Cheshire.
Nantwich MP Timpson calls for Muller public inquiry to be switched
Nantwich News: Council chiefs are being urged to move an inquiry into a Nantwich housing plan, which is set to be held 30 miles away in Macclesfield.
Crewe & Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has stepped in to request the inquiry into the Muller Homes application be held in the Nantwich area.
It has emerged that Mr Timpson has written to Cheshire East Council leader Cllr Michael Jones and chief executive Mike Suarez asking for an explanation on the location of the public inquiry. And he has joined residents in calling for it to be switched to a more appropriate location near to the Stapeley site, so residents have a chance to attend.
Muller Homes wants to build a 1,100-home "Nantwich South" village on land between Peter de Stapleigh Way, London Road, has caused uproar among many residents. The company appealed against Cheshire East Council's move to reject the first phase application of 189 homes, business units and an access road. The Planning Inspectorate has ruled an inquiry is to be held on February 18 at Macclesfield Town Hall.
In his letter, Mr Timpson said: "Whilst I do not have a direct role in the town planning process, I have seen a significant and consistent view among my constituents that this development is not sustainable or wanted.
"I have therefore championed that view and you will see correspondence on file from me supporting my constituents' objections.
"Whilst I welcome a public enquiry I am extremely concerned that an event that affects my constituents, and in particular the residents of Stapeley, is being held in Macclesfield.
"In the interest of affording my constituents access to the democratic process, I would be grateful if you would consider relocating the inquiry to this area."
Stapeley campaigner Pat Cullen, who was informed of Mr Timpson's letter to the council, said: "Previous appeals have been held at Macclesfield. Assuming that it's Cheshire East that sets the venue, I think that probably someone who doesn't know the geography of the county thought that because appeals have been held there before, then this one will be there too."
Stapeley Parish Council is holding a public meeting on February 4 at the new community hall from 7.30pm in advance of the public inquiry.
Meanwhile, Cheshire East Leader Cllr Jones claims the authority now has a "robust" 5-year housing land supply plan. Cllr Jones said it signals the council's determination to fight off unplanned, unsustainable and unwanted development. It comes after a number of appeal decisions last year which ruled the council did not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing.
Cllr Jones said: "There are many variables in the calculation of housing land supply but we have been careful to take on board many of the outcomes of the recent planning appeals.
"We have included a five per cent buffer for choice and competition because, historically, Cheshire East has always been a healthy housing market area.
"We hope the current rash of speculative planning applications for housing will now start to ebb away and the development industry will work constructively with us to secure the effective implementation of new Local Plan."
The five-year-housing supply report will go before the council's strategic planning board on February 5. The five-year housing requirement is 8,311 homes (inclusive of a five per cent buffer) and the identified supply is 9,757 homes – equivalent to 5.87 years.
Cheshire East Council to move Muller Homes Nantwich inquiry to Crewe
Nantwich News: Cheshire East Council chiefs have bowed to pressure and switched a public inquiry into the Muller Homes Stapeley plan from Macclesfield to Crewe. The four-day inquiry, originally scheduled for Macclesfield town hall on February 18, will now take place in Crewe Municipal Buildings.
Cllrs Peter Groves and Andrew Martin, of Nantwich South and Stapeley ward, hailed the decision as a victory for common sense.
Many residents were furious at the idea if staging an inquiry into the controversial “Nantwich South” Muller plans some 30 miles away. It was feared it would deter many residents from attending.
Cllr Groves told Nantwichnews: “We have managed to move original bookings that were in the Municipal Buildings to other venues so we can now use for the public inquiry. There was no where else we could have gone.
“So this is wonderful news. We have been very concerned as Macclesfield is a 50-mile round trip and the travel and cost would have been too much for residents who want to attend this. Now hopefully a lot more people will be able to attend this important inquiry.”
MP Edward Timpson waded into the row last week and called for Council Leader Michael Jones and chief executive Mike Suarez to find an alternative venue nearer to the site.
The appeal is over Muller’s original outline applications for phase one of their planned “Nantwich South” 1,100-home village on land between Peter de Stapleigh Way, Broad Lane and London Road. The applications are for the first 189 homes and an access road off Peter de Stapleigh Way. Muller representative Carl Davey was keen to point out at a public meeting in Stapeley earlier this week that they had nothing to do with where the inquiry was originally scheduled for.
Stapeley Parish Council has earmarked £20,000 to pay for a legal team to fight Muller Homes at the appeal.
Minister's taste of cafe society on visit: MP invites Iain Duncan Smith to see YMCA
Crewe Chronicle: Edward Timpson invited Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for work and Pensions, to visit Crewe's YMCA on Gresty Road. The minister had a tour of the YMCA, including bedrooms, community spaces, and the new cafe that is a social enterprise.
He sat down with current and past residents to discuss how the YMCA has supported them in gaining resilience, stability, confidence, employment, qualifications and, ultimately, transition to independent living.
The minister asked the residents searching questions about what they felt was most effective in helping them turn their lives around, and explained how universal credit will help tailor that individual support needed so they are always better off earning a living.
He said: "It was a pleasure to meet the young people at Crewe YMCA with Edward Timpson, and hear first hand how the support available is helping them turn their lives around. I was extremely encouraged to hear about the excellent work the local staff and volunteers do to support the young people in times of crisis as well as the work to equip them with the right skills to move into the world of work."
Dan R, one of the residents, said of the visit: "It was really good to see that someone from central Government was interested enough to see what the YMCA is doing to improve the lives of young people. Everybody who spoke to him had a different experience of how YMCA Crewe had helped them."
Richard Holmes, development manager of the Crewe YMCA added: "We were delighted to welcome the minister who heard first hand how the activities, programme and positive approach of the Foyer had impacted on their lives. Young people with an experience of homelessness need services that really engage them and bring out their potential. We try to do that at YMCA Crewe in lots of different ways."
Edward Timpson praised the YMCA, saying: "The importance of work underpins all of the government's welfare reforms, especially Universal Credit which will make work pay and change lives as a result.
"Helping people make the right life choices is what we saw in action at Crewe YMCA, and we owe a huge amount of gratitude for all their hard work which helps support some of the most vulnerable in our society."
As a result of this visit and a visit by YMCA residents to Parliament, Mr Timpson will be using the YMCA as a venue for some of his advice surgeries.
5 ways to contact Edward Timpson
- By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- On the web: www.edwardtimpson.com
- By phone: 01270 501 725
- By post: 30 Victoria Street, Crewe CW1 2JE
- In person: Click here to see surgery times