January Update Newsletter

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Dear Constituent,

Welcome to my latest newsletter to keep you updated on my work in Parliament and around Amber Valley.

As always, you’ll find a selection of what I’ve been up to over the last month and details of upcoming events. You’ll also find the usual information about my columns and surgeries, and how to get in touch.

Prime Minister’s welcome 12 objectives for Brexit:

Since the referendum result last June people and businesses in Amber Valley have been keen to understand exactly what Brexit will look like. I therefore welcomed the clear statements of the Government’s plan recently set out by the Prime Minister, and I’m pleased that a white paper outlining our formal strategy for exiting the EU will also soon be published.

These have been a strong statements by this Government that it will be a real Brexit, delivering on the referendum result and providing fantastic opportunities for increasing prosperity going forward.

Following last week’s decision by the Supreme Court, a bill to trigger Article 50 is proceeding through Parliament over the next few weeks, but I don’t foresee any issue with the Houses approving this. Parliament backed the referendum by a margin of six to one and has already indicated its support for getting on with the process of exit to the timetable as planned.

You can see the 12 objectives set out by the Prime Minister for Brexit here, and you can read my thoughts on what they mean for Amber Valley here.

Pothole Action Fund:

Constituents often raise the appalling state of our roads with me, which causes frustration for drivers and damage to vehicles. So, I’m pleased that this Government recently announced that Derbyshire will receive an extra £1,106,000 over 2016/17 as part of the Pothole Action Fund. This money will help fill up to 20,868 potholes in the next 12 months and means that, in total, our area will receive £17.5 million in 2016/17 as part of the government’s £6.1 billion investment for local road maintenance by 2020.

To see an interactive map of how many potholes are going to be filled in 2016/17 in your local authority area, check the Pothole Action Fund map.

Modern Industrial Strategy:

The Government released a green paper on a new modern Industrial Strategy. This will support local and UK businesses to grow and create more high skilled, high paid local jobs by investing in skills, supporting the development of major infrastructure projects and improving access to finance for businesses.

In our area, this will mean:

  • Investing in skills, so that globally significant employers like Rolls Royce, Toyota and Bombardier continue to view the Midlands as an attractive place to invest and grow their businesses;
  • Supporting the development of major infrastructure projects, by providing development funding for major upgrades such as the Midlands Rail Hub;
  • Improving access to finance for businesses right across the country to grow, through programmes such as the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

I welcome this Strategy, as it will drive economic growth and help businesses in Amber Valley capitalise on the opportunities presented by Brexit.

You can find out more about the green paper here.

In Parliament:

Police Funding:

I’ve been following up on my campaign to ensure police funding is fairly distributed as Derbyshire’s police force is disadvantaged under the current formula. So, I asked the Minister when the funding will be balanced out, and I welcome the Government’s reply that Derbyshire will get an increase in funding this year, and a fairer formula for the future is being calculated. You can read the full debate on police funding here.

Alfreton Train Station – Access for All programme:

I’ve kept up the pressure on the Government to start the step-free access works at Alfreton Train Station as soon as possible through further questions in the House to the Transport Minister over January, which you can follow here.

International Development:

Last year, I visited Tajikistan to advance UK-Tajik relations by meeting parliamentarians and government officials, and review the effectiveness of Department for International Development’s strategy in the country. To follow up on this visit, asked the Secretary of State for International Development about the progress of UK projects to reduce poverty and promote stability in the country. You can find all the questions and answers, and the full debate, here.

Disability Employment:

Following issues raised by Leonard Cheshire Disability, who have a base in Alfreton, I asked the Minister to reassure the charity that the welcome start of the Work and Health Programme (helping more people back into work) won’t have a large effect on their funding for the fantastic work they do. Penny Mordaunt MP, the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, confirmed the programme will not result in a large reduction in funding to help disabled people get back into work and that this Government remains committed to closing the disability employment gap.

Public Accounts Committee:

In Public Accounts Committee meetings over January we’ve been looking into HMRC’s contract with Concentrix and the financial sustainability of the NHS and schools. You can read more about these inquiries and evidence sessions here, or find out more about upcoming PAC business here.

A38 Litter:

Many constituents have recently contacted me about the build of litter on the A38 through Amber Valley, and the current awful state of the verges and slip roads of the road.

I’ve contacted Amber Valley Borough Council, who are responsible for the clean up of litter on the road, to raise the problem with them, and ask when the next clean up will take place. Due to the speed and danger of the road, lane closures to safely pick up the litter have to be made months in advance. Excluding any lane closures in the meantime, the main clear up is now scheduled for the end of March. That way, hopefully, it will be late enough to avoid any periods of snowfall, but early enough so that the vegetation hasn’t grown back, so that they can collect as much litter as possible.

I’ve also been pushing for longer term measures to tackle the litter too. During my recent A38 noise tour with Highways England, I also highlighted the litter problem. They confirmed Highways England are trying to work more closely with local councils to ensure extra litter is cleared throughout the year when there are any roadworks or lane closures.

I’ll keep campaigning on this issue to ensure we can keep Amber Valley looking as clean as possible.

Visit to the new JTL centre at Aldercar High School:

I recently visited a new work based learning centre in Langley Mill. The centre is run by national training provider JTL at Aldercar High School Sixth Form and is providing work based learning to electricians and heating and plumbing apprentices.

I met JTL chief executive Jon Graham at the centre to see the new training facilities and meet some of the 56 apprentices who are already enrolled the centre. I’m pleased JTL have invested in this new centre in the constituency, as it’s great to see more students learning and gaining meaningful qualifications to offer young people in Amber Valley skilled future careers.

Commenting on my visit, Jon Graham of JTL said, “It was good to meet the local MP and get to know him, and have the opportunity to update him on the plans JTL has for the future”. “These are exciting times for JTL and for apprenticeships in particular. I am pleased we were able to share with Nigel our and the sector’s concerns regarding the potential impact of the new funding changes given the skills shortages in the building services engineering sector. We hope that government will reflect on these issues so we can continue to do what we do best – helping our apprentices, changing lives and building futures.”

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Columns:

You can find my latest Derby Telegraph column, looking at the recent Brexit developments, here.

Street Watch:

If there are any street repairs in your area, such as potholes, pavement repairs or broken street lights, you can report these issues and concerns to me quickly and easily here so I can ask for the repairs to be investigated and addressed.

Surgeries:

I regularly hold surgeries to give you the opportunity to meet with me and discuss any concerns or problems you may have. These are held on Friday evenings between 5pm and 7pm.

If you would like to meet me and discuss any issues, the dates of my upcoming surgeries are:

  • Holbrook – 3rd February 2017
  • Alfreton – 24th February 2017

Please contact my office on 01773 744341 to book an appointment for any of the above, or to arrange an alternative meeting.

Get in Touch!

As always, you can contact me by hitting the ‘reply’ button on this email, or you can ring my office on 01773 744341.

Twitter and Facebook

You can also follow me on Twitter @NigelMillsMP and like me on Facebook here to stay up to date with news and events in Amber Valley throughout the month.

Yours sincerely,