Even though it’s been a short week in Parliament there’s a lot of news.
Enjoy the weekend and keep warm!
The excellent Blue Planet 2 TV series exposed the perils of plastic pollution in our seas and oceans. The Government has taken action to reduce plastic pollution notably the ban on microbeads. I am doing what I can to reduce my own use of plastics and as well as reviewing how we can cut our use in the constituency and Parliamentary offices. I have also written to Broxtowe Borough Council asking them to do a similar review. You can read my letter here.
Congratulations to Attenborough Garden Club who have secured Big Lottery Funding to install a community garden at Attenborough Station. The project has also raised over £1500 locally through their Just Giving page and Cllr Eric Kerry donated £250 from his Nottinghamshire County Council Community Fund. There will be an open day for the project at Attenborough Station on 20th April.
Success at West Point Retail Park
Clowes Development, the owners of West Point Retail Park in Chilwell, have agreed to clean up their site after complaints from residents. Borough Councillor Lee Fletcher met the owners and they’ve promised to take action by providing more bins, clearing the site and improving cleaning rotas. They will also create a disabled access point from Nottingham Road.
On top of existing problems with Evans Halshaw, Chilwell Meadows residents have complained about lorries parking up on Ranson Road overnight. This is unacceptable; I will contact the companies involved and the County Council.
Tickets are now available for this year’s Mayor’s Ball. The Bollywood themed dinner dance is on Saturday 24th March at the Belfry Hotel starting at 7pm. Tickets are £35 each for a scrumptious three course meal – all in aid of our Mayor’s charity – Wellbeing of Women.
Please call 0115 917 3210 or go on line at www.broxtowe.gov.uk/charityball.
Broxtowe’s voice in Parliament; Brexit and Oxfam
Customs Union – I have tabled a number of amendments to two Bills going through Parliament mandating the Government to negotiate a customs union with the EU after we leave the EU. My preferred option would be for us to continue in the Customs Union. At the moment British businesses benefit from friction less, tariff free, trade with the 27 other members of the EU. Putting up Custom posts and imposing tariffs (taxes) on goods would harm our economy. This sort of ‘hard border’ would cause very serious problems in Northern Ireland. The lack of a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland has been part of the peace process delivered by the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement. Last year the Government, quite rightly, made it clear there will be no return to the hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after we leave the EU. The only way to ensure that is a Customs Union. The Foreign Secretary gave me an undertaking about the Good Friday Agreement on Tuesday. See my question to Boris Johnson here.
A customs union is different to the Customs Union. Turkey has a customs union with the EU and is able to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries.. You can read my amendments by clicking here and here.
Oxfam – Like many I have been appalled by the revelations regarding the behaviour of senior Oxfam employees. However, the majority of their workers do vital work, often in the most dreadful of conditions, upholding the finest of values with integrity. I ask the Secretary of State for Aid for assurances that the beneficiaries of charities like Oxfam would not suffer as a result of the appalling behaviour of a minority. You can see my question and Penny Mordaunt’s answer here