Newsletter #23

Welcome to my latest newsletter, lots has been happening since I last wrote!

Many of you will be aware of the plans from Uttlesford District Council to create North Uttlesford Garden Community which, if permitted, could have an adverse impact on the Southern part of the constituency. As such, I attended a meeting with Hinxton, Ickleton, Duxford, Pampisford, Whittlesford and Sawston Parish Councils to discuss their concerns. I too am worried these plans may negatively impact on us by significantly increasing congestion. I have submitted my views to Uttlesford District Council and will continue to keep residents aware of developments as they occur.

You will know there are plans to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600, so that each constituency has a similar number of electors. On 17th October, the Boundary Commission published their revised proposed boundaries for South Cambridgeshire.

I was bitterly disappointed to read that their proposals still see South Cambs losing the wards of the Mordens, Bassingbourn, Melbourn and Meldreth. The Boundary Commission’s report on the previous consultation acknowledged that I had put forward a counter proposal which had garnered significant public support and that most responses received generally opposed their suggestion. However, they still felt these Cambridgeshire villages should be moved to sit under a Herts regional authority, in spite of acknowledged strong local ties to the area.

I will be challenging these proposals again. If you agree that these villages should be retained in South Cambridgeshire rather than transferred to a Hertfordshire constituency, you can comment until the 11th December. Please see my website  for details of my opposition strategy and how to join in the consultation.

You will remember in my last newsletter that the Department for Transport have launched a consultation on accessibility issues for disabled people using public transport. I have been working with local and national groups to bring about improvements for disabled people. BBC Look East kindly filmed a piece for me at Whittlesford station, demonstrating issues disabled people face when there is no lift connecting the platforms. You can watch it here

South Cambs District Council have coincidentally also launched a consultation on taxi licensing which aims to provide more stringent standards. The Council is proposing to introduce a policy requiring all hackney carriages to be wheelchair accessible vehicles. This important consultation closes on 5th January 2018. You can find details here

Parliament returned in October after the conference recess, and since then, my main campaign has focused on improving the Universal Credit benefit system. I raised this issue during Prime Minister’s Questions on the 11th October and the Prime Minister kindly agreed to meet with me to discuss this in more detail. There will be a further debate in the House ahead of the budget and I am optimistic the Government is listening and will reduce the 6 week delay claimants currently experience before receiving their first payment. You can read all about this issue here

Heidi Allen  Questions the Prime Minister on Universal Credit

It is always a pleasure to visit schools in my constituency and at the beginning of October, I was grilled by the Perse Pelican’s Mini Parliament! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to their thoughtful contributions and answering their questions. I have more school visits planned in November, so if you are a teacher or a governor of a local school and would like to arrange a visit, please do get in touch.

John Henry Group New HQ Opening by Heidi Allen MP

Another important part of my job is to support local enterprise in their efforts to grow and contribute to our local economy. So I was pleased to be able to open the new John Henry Group operations centre in Longstanton. This family business company has gone from strength to strength and I was delighted to be able to cut the ribbon and declare their new centre open!

Finally, Christmas is approaching (how did that happen!?) so it’s time to switch on those lights! The “Light Up Cambourne” event on 25th November will start at 5pm in the Market Square, Great Cambourne, with lights on at 6.15pm. Why not join me at the Christmas celebrations and help get the festivities underway?

My next surgeries will be on Saturday 18th November from 10am - 12 noon at Rocky's Bar and Restaurant, Chequers Lane, Ppworth Everard, CB23 3QQ and on 16th December from 10am – 12 noon at Gamlingay Village College, Station Road, Gamlingay SG19 3HD. These are drop-in surgeries with no appointment necessary. Details of all the upcoming surgeries can be found on my website.  You’ll also find further information about my work and news stories there.

To contact me, please email heidi.allen.mp@parliament.uk. You can also phone my Westminster Office on 020 7219 5091 about national issues or my constituency office on 01223 830 037 to raise local concerns.

See you next month!