Friday, 11 April 2014
Welcome to this, my 149th news bulletin.
Last month we saw the Chancellor unveil the Budget, and the thing that really caught my eye was the dramatic new help that was announced for savers.
The Budget will help those people in Crewe and Nantwich who want to save for a home, save for their family or save for their retirement by:
- Merging the existing types of ISA into a single account with an annual limit of £15,000 - this will make saving simpler and more flexible. 674,000 ISA holders in the North West could benefit from the New ISA.
- Abolishing the 10p starting rate of tax for savings income - the 10p band will become a zero rate band and will be extended to the first £5,000 of savings income. This will benefit 1.5 million low income savers.
- Creating a new pensioner bond that will offer a return that is better than anything pensioners can get now - helping pensioners who have worked hard and saved.
- The biggest reform of pensions taxation in a century.
This pension reform will mean no-one will have to buy an annuity if they don't want to. There will be no punitive 55% tax rate if you try and take more than your tax-free lump sum. And everyone who retires on these schemes will now be offered free, impartial, face-to-face advice.
Savers have had a hard time in recent years and it's time Britain helped them out.
That's why whether you want to save for a house, save for your family or save for your retirement, this year's is a Budget that can help you.
It will help boost economic security for people who work hard and save hard, and it shows, I hope, that despite having so few public funds to work with while we continue overhauling the economy, that the Government is trying to help your pockets as much as it can.
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...
- Paid a visit to the Joseph Heler dairy to learn more about how the Nantwich cheesemaker is now exporting to Europe, America and the Far East.
- Spoken at the official opening of the new Visitor Information Point at Crewe Station.
- Been interviewed at Bentley Motors by BBC Radio Stoke, to discuss manufacturing and industry in Crewe and how High Speed Rail will benefit our area.
- Completed the 2014 Sandstone Run (pictured, right), a 10 kilometre cross-country run along the Sandstone Trail. Organised by the NSPCC Nantwich District Committee, the run raised money in support of Rainbow House in Crewe.
- Held two of my regular constituency advice surgeries at my office in Crewe.
- Attended the Prince's Trust Team graduation for Crewe cadets at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. Held at South Cheshire College, the graduation ceremony celebrates young people's contribution over a 12-week personal development course, recognised by a certificate from the Prince's Trust.
- Met with the Chief Executive of Cheshire East Council to talk about the work of the Borough Council and some of the Council issues that Crewe and Nantwich constituents have brought to me.
- Visited Crewe-based Baywater Healthcare to learn more about the services they provide and to talk to staff and directors about how the company is developing. From its headquarters here in Crewe, Baywater delivers respiratory therapy services and equipment across the UK.
...and this Sunday I will be running the London Marathon, to raise awareness of the need to recruit more adopters, to help find loving family homes for the over 6,000 children in care witing to be adopted.
Award winning Crewe cycling scheme peddles its way to London
Crewe and Nantwich Guardian: A Crewe Christian Concern initiative that refurbishes unwanted old bikes for use by working commuters has gained national recognition for its good work.
A team from St Paul's Centre-based CC-Cycles peddled their way to London to meet local MP Edward Timpson, before being awarded a Sustainable City Award at a ceremony in Mansion House on Thursday, March 27.
In less than 12 months CC-Cycles has been able to refurbish more than 250 cycles, with most being used by Crewe locals to get to work.
Their workshop is a fully equipped skills development hub for young and old alike, and has recently been expanded. And it is common to see retired Bentley engineers teaching young adults traditional mechanical skills on site, with young people gaining positive attitudes towards work by working alongside experienced engineers.
"With a tiny budget and local residents volunteering this recognition is great for Crewe and brilliant for the team that achieved it' said Rob Wykes, director of Christian Concern.
Edward Timpson, Crewe and Nantwich MP, said the award was 'positive for Crewe and a clear message to the country that we are serious about sustainable travel'.
Ben Wye, CC-Cycles project manager added: "Cycling is cleaner, leaner, cheaper; it's good for you and good for Crewe.
"We need more cycles to refurbish. Please call us on 01270 586186 and we will collect, in any condition."
Support for project's early arrival
Crewe Chronicle: Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has repeated his support for HS2's proposed early arrival in Crewe.
The government minister believes it will reap huge economic dividends for Crewe and Cheshire. Mr Timpson was speaking after a debate in the House of Commons on HS2.
Chester MP Stephen Mosley had asked Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin whether he agreed a new regional hub at Crewe 'will allow the benefits of HS2 to roll out to places like Liverpool, like North Wales, like Chester, and support economic growth in those areas'?
The Secretary of State had replied: "I think it [Chester] will get the benefits from Crewe, as my honourable friend the member for Crewe and Nantwich who joins me on the front bench today has made clear; that this will be a very important station not only for his constituency, but also serving the whole of the North West."
Speaking afterwards Mr Timpson said: "I am delighted that the Secretary of State feels so strongly about not only the benefits that HS2 will bring to Crewe, but also about the benefits that Crewe can bring to surrounding areas and regions.
"This is fantastic news for our local economy, fantastic news for local jobs, and fantastic news for rail users.
"The importance of Crewe in terms of national transport infrastructure and economic development will increase immeasurably.
"It's always good to see a campaign come to fruition when you've worked so hard on it, and I'm proud to have done my bit. I await the outcome of the consultation with bated breath."
The comments come after HS2 chief executive Sir David Higgins announced an earlier timetable for building HS2 in the North.
MP backs cheap energy
Crewe Chronicle: Edward Timpson, Crewe and Nantwich MP has urged residents to sign up to the ThisIsTheBigDeal.com campaign to beat the Big Six energy companies and save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills. Edward has himself signed up to the deal because the more people that get involved the more money that can be saved for everyone.
ThisIsTheBigDeal.com is a national campaign for cheaper energy. It brings people together to harness their collective buying power and deliver lower bills.
Mr Timpson said: "Energy bills are one of the biggest worries for Crewe and Nantwich residents, who often feel frustrated after years of price rises. It's all about people power."
Edward Timpson: 'I wouldn't be children's minister if my parents hadn't fostered'
Interview, The Guardian: One night in the House of Commons, trying to stay awake for a vote, Edward Timpson picked up Harold Macmillan's diaries in the library. "He was complaining about what an imposition it was to have to go back to his constituency once a month, and harking back to the halcyon days when it was an annual visit. You turned up on the train and there was a brass band on the platform and you waved out of the window, made a speech and disappeared back to London."
Politics in 2014 could not be more different. Timpson, like most MPs, lives in his constituency, Crewe and Nantwich. The 40-year-old Conservative children's minister is a weekend dad, staying in London during the week, and doesn't like it. "I miss those impromptu, intimate moments that just being together brings. I voted for more family-friendly hours and I think we could go a lot further."
In some ways, Timpson is a traditional Tory: public-school educated, from a rich family (his great-great-grandfather started the Timpson shoe repair business), former barrister. His wife, Julia, gave up her job as an accountant to look after Sam, 10, Elizabeth, eight, and Lydia, six, though she is now retraining. When he was elected in a 2008 byelection, Labour activists donned top hats and mocked him as an out-of-touch toff.
But Timpson's upbringing was unusual. His parents fostered nearly 90 children and adopted two, and these relationships shaped his life. "I've obviously thought about this a lot and I've come to the conclusion that I wouldn't be children's minister and I wouldn't have gone into family law if my parents hadn't fostered," he says.
- You can read my recent interview in full at The Guardian's website.