Article for Tiptree Tribune

The rural nature of my constituency means that families and businesses based in villages and communities need strong transport links to connect them to main roads, rail services and towns and cities. Transport and infrastructure links are vital to open up new economic growth and employment opportunities. High quality links that enable ease of access for incoming supplies and outgoing orders can be the difference between an entrepreneur deciding to set up a business in my constituency, or decide to locate to a town or village elsewhere. Good levels of connectivity, particularly linking to schools and hospitals, are also important in ensuring that families want to move to an area and settle. I want businesses to locate themselves throughout my constituency and families to come and live here, which is why I am constantly campaigning for better infrastructure and transport links for my constituents.

Following representations made by me on behalf of local residents, First Group have decided to introduce additional services on the number 70 bus route between Chelmsford and Colchester. A new morning and afternoon peak service beginning on 17 November 2014 will be complemented by the replacement of older buses with newer models and an increase in double deck buses. These service improvements are welcome and follow similar improvements to the number 75 route through Tiptree, which First Group also put in place following local campaigning and representations from me. Strong campaigning is delivering results and I would be delighted to hear further suggestions from constituents of transport links they want to see improved.

Yet again I am disappointed to be commenting on planning matters relating to the training ground at Florence Park. This time Colchester Borough Council has ignored the pleas of residents angered by the presence of portacabins on the site by granting retrospective planning permission. The portacabins had been on the site for a number of months without planning permission and a cosy deal between the Council and Colchester United Football Club where these were moved and then granted permission was done. The Council has once again shown a complete lack of transparency in the decision-making process. After planning permission was approved earlier this year for a separate application on appeal to extend the use of the training ground it had been hoped that there would be no further planning problems with the site. Sadly for local residents, the planning system continues to be circumvented and abused. Colchester Borough Council, under the current Liberal Democrat and Labour leadership, is incapable of showing the backbone needed to support residents and protect them from future planning misery.

It is not just Colchester Borough Council's Labour and Liberal Dems politicians that ignore the public. Nationally Labour and the Lib Dems ignore the public over a referendum on our country's membership of the European Union. This month the House of Commons debated legislation sponsored by Conservative MPs to guarantee that a referendum would take place by 2017. Most of my constituents want this referendum and wants to vote on who governs them. When identical legislation was debated last year, Labour and Lib Dem MPs and Peers used every trick in the book to delay and block a referendum. They do not trust the public. Conservatives will keep supporting this legislation as we believe our membership of the EU is a decision the British public should make. The only way to guarantee that referendum can happen is for there to be a Conservative Government elected at the next General Election with a majority in the House of Commons.

If there are any issues that readers would like me to assist with, they can contact me by email to: [email protected] by post to: Priti Patel MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA or by telephone on: 020 7219 3528.

Surgery Dates

All surgeries are by appointment only.

To obtain an appointment please email [email protected] or phone 0207 219 3525.

May 18th Witham

May 29th Tiptree

A12/A120 Consultations

Strategic Road Network Consultations

There are two important consultations running at the moment on key strategic road infrastructure improvements - the A12 widening scheme and the upgrading of the A120. Priti has been campaigning to secure new investment in these roads and has welcomed the consultations taking place. Members of the public can review the proposals for the A12 and A120 at the weblinks below, attend consultation events, and respond to the consultation. Feel free to also contact Priti by email to: [email protected] with your views too.

Widening the A12

Upgrading the A120

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