Article for Tiptree Tribune

26th October 2015
The next couple of months are a critical time for the future of our rail services. At the end of the year the three companies bidding to run our rail services from October 2016 will have to submit their proposals to the Department for Transport. I have met with all three companies bidding and reiterated to them the need for commuters travelling from stations in my constituency to see an ambitious programme of improvements throughout the duration of the next franchise.
 
Investment from the next train operator will need to deliver modern trains, better customer services, improvements to parking, and a faster and more reliable service. Regular readers will know of the work of the Great Eastern Main Line Rail Taskforce over the last couple of years and my involvement as a founder member. The Taskforce’s recommendations were clear about the service improvements local commuters need and any bidder serious about winning the franchise will need to make commitments to implement those measures.
 
Along the mainline, and especially in my constituency, there will be considerable population growth and with the right rail service brought in, future demand can be accommodated and economic growth facilitated. We need a train service operator who shares our commitment and ambition to grow.
 
The bidders are interested in engaging with local commuters and stakeholders as they formulate their bids and if you have any views you would like me to pass onto them, please do get in touch.
 
In Westminster, readers will be interested to know that the Welfare Reform and Work Bill has now completed its committee stage, where it was subject to line-by-line scrutiny. I have taken this important legislation through the House of Commons in my ministerial role and the Bill builds on the welfare reforms of the last five years. It strengthens the cap on benefits which households can receive and also puts in place measures to report on attaining full employment, delivering the target to increase apprenticeship places, and support for troubled families. The Bill also implements the commitment given in the Budget to reduce the costs of social housing rents.
 
Taken together with the additional support for childcare costs being implemented, the reductions in income tax and the introduction of the National Living Wage, this package of reform will help low income families. With my constituency and the country benefiting from high levels of job creation and increases in wages, there is an opportunity to bring more people into the workforce and increase the household income they receive. Importantly, the reforms help to make overall welfare spending more affordable and sustainable for the long term.
 
With two months to go until Christmas, there are also just a few days left to enter my Christmas card competition. The competition is open to anyone of primary school age living in the constituency to enter and this year’s theme for card designs is Christmas. Entries can be sent to me by post by Friday 30 October 2015 and further details can be found at the weblink below. There have been some outstanding entries in previous years and I look forward to seeing more great pictures this year.
 

Surgery Dates

All surgeries are by appointment only.

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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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