As I write this, the House is in Easter recess, so I’ve been spending my time in Amber Valley meeting with constituents and supporting our fantastic Borough Council candidates in the run up to the local elections in May. If you have any concerns that you would like to meet with me to discuss over the coming weeks, please contact my office on 01773 744341 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before the House rose last week, the majority of parliamentary time was spent debating and passing the Chancellor’s 2016 Budget, which contained important measures for my constituents here in Amber Valley: measures that will help workers, drivers, savers and business owners. However, as you may know, the Chancellor’s original Budget contained a proposal which caused concern for a number of my constituents, namely changes to the aids and appliances allowance as part of the Personal Independence Payment. I expressed concern over these proposals and I am glad that the Chancellor removed these measures from his Budget. I am very glad that he listened to concerns raised and that we passed a Budget I am proud of.
If you’d like to find out more about some of the great measures the Chancellor announced to support hard working people here in Amber Valley, I’ve published an in-depth analysis of the Budget on my website: www.nigelmillsmp.com.
An important message I took from the Chancellor’s Budget is the news that our region had the strongest productivity growth between 2010 and 2014 of any region. To assist this, and the success of our region, I would like to see further progress to achieve a Devolution Deal which will bring power to the region, where we are best placed to make important decisions about job creation, skills and transport.
Last week I took the opportunity to discuss the progress of a Devolution Deal for the region with the Department for Communities and Local Government, and I’m reassured that the Government continues to pursue a deal that reflects the needs and wishes of local councils and residents with the promise of more control over job creation, housing, transport and skills.
I want to see local decision-making that reflects local needs and concerns and I am therefore pleased by the recent decision to dismiss the developer’s appeal to build more than 70 houses on Inns Lane in South Wingfield. I have supported local residents in their campaign against this proposed development as this would have been an inappropriate major development of greenfield land, which would have irreparably altered the character of the area and harmed the fantastic setting of Wingfield Manor. I therefore welcome this decision to reject a clearly inappropriate planning application.
This case shows that Amber Valley Borough Council can, and should, turn down housing applications on inappropriate sites, and then defend appeals successfully, even in the regrettable absence of the new local plan, which I will continue to push for release as soon as possible.