Watermead Crematorium plans quashed

Watermead Parish Council today announced the Court of Appeals decision to quash planning permission for the proposed crematorium. David had heard criticism of the proposals from a number of constituents who were concerned about the potential environmental damage that this might cause.

David commented:

"This is good news which will be strongly welcomed by my constituents in Watermead. 

"I hope that the developers will, even now, reconsider this unnecessary application, especially in the light of the plans, backed by Buckinghamshire District Councils, for a new crematorium at Bierton.

"I urge AVDC to approach any redetermination with scepticism and a clear understanding of local opinion."

The councils announcement can be found here.

 

HS2 receives Royal Assent

On the 23rd of February HS2 received Royal Assent, David's comments and a letter from the secretary of state for transport can be found below. 

David said:

"The Bill to authorise HS2 was passed by the House of Lords by an overwhelming and cross-party majority and has now become law. While this news is a matter of enormous regret to many people locally, we have to deal with the situation as it is.

"As the Bill has passed through Parliament I have worked to secure several million pounds worth of additional investment in mitigation and compensation and will continue to seek further improvements. As part of this process I have secured a meeting between the transport minister responsible for HS2 and a delegation of Wendover representatives next week to discuss further mitigation options including the option of a mined tunnel past Wendover.

"I will be continuing to press Transport Ministers and HS2 Ltd about the need for improvements in the design of noise barriers, viaducts, bridges and pantographs. It will be important to ensure that that design work and construction in general is carried in a way that minimises the adverse impact of HS2 on the local area, whether in terms of noise, visual intrusion or traffic congestion.

I also regard it as essential that the management of HS2 raises its game markedly in terms of how it deals with local residents and I've impressed upon the new team of transport ministers that HS2's record so far has bred suspicion and mistrust. Getting things right in terms of local engagement will be vital when we come to HS2's plans to manage construction work, including its impact on roads like the A413, A4010, and A41. HS2 Ltd and the Independent Complaints Commissioner need to be held to account to ensure that HS2 Ltd lives up to the promises it has made around the construction process, not only in terms of construction traffic, but also making sure that the construction staff abide by the code of construction practice."


Visit to Kramer Electronics

David meeting National Sales Manager Andrew Smith and Marketing Manager Nick Mawer

David visited Kramer Electronics, where he met with Andrew Smith and Nick Mawer to discuss the companies work within the constituency.

Kramer Electronics makes a wide range of electric products such as cables, amplifiers and routers. The company has been active in the UK since 2000 and employs 24 people in the constituency. 

David said:

"It's encouraging to see internationally recognised organisations investing in Aylesbury. 

"I was very pleased to have the opportunity to visit Kramer, It was an excellent opportunity to see the work that they do in the electronics industry and also to meet a number of their employees and learn about their work first hand.

"I am sure that they will have great success in the future and I look forward to visiting again in the future."

 

Diary and Campaigns

This week David welcomed the announcement of a new school proposal. The school will be on the former Quarrendon site. For more information about this proposal and a chance to get involved click here.

David also released an update on the Bovis Homes development after being contacted by a number of residents. For more information or to see the update click here.


From the Diary

On Friday, David was briefed on how Action 4 Youth's Inspiration Programme will give new opportunities for young people in Bucks.

David also met with Trailblazers CEO John Shepherd to talk about their work on prisoner rehabilitation. In David's constituency, trailblazers help mentor young offenders in HMYOY Aylesbury.

David also had a chance to discuss planning, housing and transport issues with the new Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Buckinghamshire director Louise Hartley. 


Campaigns

David thought you might be interested in seeing his responses to national policy campaigns he has received this week.

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In response to 'Bring Europe's Unaccompanied Refugee Children to the UK Now' 

Britain has a proud record of helping the most vulnerable children who are fleeing conflict and danger, and this Government is committed to upholding this fine tradition.

Our response to the migrant crisis has been to establish resettlement schemes from the region, where we can best target our support to help the most vulnerable. That is why we will resettle 20,000 Syrians over the course of this parliament and we will also resettle 3,000 children and their families from the wider region. In the last year we have granted asylum or another form of leave to over 8,000 children and of the over 4,400 individuals resettled through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme so far, around half are children.

In addition to commitment described above, the Government has announced that in accordance with section 67 of the Immigration Act (the so-called Dubs amendment) we will transfer 350 children to meet the intention and spirit behind the amendment.  This number includes over 200 children already transferred under section 67 from France, and will include a further 150 over the coming months.

The scheme has not closed, as reported by some. We were obliged by the Immigration Act to put a specific number on how many children we would take based on a consultation with local authorities about their capacity. This is the number that we have published and we will now be working in Greece, Italy and France to transfer further children under the amendment. We’re clear that behind these numbers are children and it’s vital that we get the balance right between enabling eligible children to come to the UK as quickly as possible and ensuring local authorities have capacity to host them and provide them with the support and care they will need.

The Government has also always been clear that we do not want to incentivise perilous journeys to Europe, particularly by the most vulnerable children.  That is why children must have arrived in Europe before 20 March 2016 to be eligible under section 67 of the Immigration Act.

I’m proud of the action this Government has taken, and will continue to take, to support and care for the most vulnerable children caught up in the crisis in Syria.


David's comments on the recent disruption caused by a burst water main on the A41 

Today there were severe delays caused by a burst water main along the A41, affecting most of Aylesbury's main routes and causing queues back to the Aston Clinton junction.

David has contacted Thames Water and will update this page with their response.

David commented:

“Following complaints that I have received from local residents concerning the burst water main on the A41 I contacted Thames Water for an update and to find out what plans are in place for this not to happen again.

“This is not the first time that this has occurred so I have also spoken with Mark Shaw, Head of Transport for Bucks, about the wider implications that this has on the road networks.

“These kind of incidents in the centre of the town reinforce the necessity for the completion of a ring road around Aylesbury. So that residents have the option of alternative routes if these sort of events ever occur again.”

David welcomes new school proposal

David has welcomed the proposal from St Michael's Catholic school to open a new school on the former Quarrendon site in Aylesbury. The new school will help provide for the growing number of school aged children in Buckinghamshire. The school will initially open with four classes of 30 children in year 7 and intends to build up to 6 classes per year.

The proposal is currently in a consultation phase. You can respond at this link.

Visit to Action 4 Youth

David recently visited Action 4 Youth, an organization that provides children in Aylesbury with after school activities and outdoor experiences to keep them active and to help develop a range of useful skills.

Visit to RAF Halton

On Friday David was given a tour of RAF Halton by Station Commander James Brayshaw.

During his visit David had a chance to meet the airmen and staff members operating at the base. David also was shown the various facilities around the base including flight simulators, workshops and exercise areas.

The visit allowed David to discuss a variety of issues with staff including support for families and children, youth engagement and welfare for service personnel.

David also talked about the proposed closure of the base in 2020 and how best to mitigate the effects of closure on the local individuals and businesses who have links with the base. 

 

Update regarding Bovis Homes and the College Road hedgerow

David has been contacted by a number of constituents about the hedgerow on College Road. Below is an update that he sent out to residents in Aston Clinton. For your reference I have also attached the letter which Bovis will be dropping off to residents today further explaining the situation.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is the basic legislation that protects animals, plants, and certain habitats in the UK. All species of wild bird are afforded protection under Part 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Under this legislation it is illegal to:  intentionally kill, injure or take wild birds; intentionally take, damage or destroy a wild bird’s nest while it’s being used or built; intentionally take or destroy a wild bird’s egg; possess, control or transport live or dead wild birds, or parts of them, or their eggs; sell wild birds or put them on display for sale; use prohibited methods to kill or take wild birds.

As you know, Bovis applied for planning permission for AVDC to remove the hedges and plant a new hedge in a different location, in order to allow for car park spaces as had been requested by local residents. In considering the application, AVDC took note of the statutory duties that the Wildlife and Country side Act imposes on Bovis. The Council has told me that in a case where statutory requirement exists, the local council will not duplicate in planning conditions but instead attaches what in planning jargon is called an informative which draws attention to what the law says. This is what AVDC did in this case. The Council would not be responsible for carrying out any enforcement action. Instead, concerns regarding the legality of the works to the hedge should be directed to the Police who are responsible for investigating and pursuing breaches of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

The Council’s ecologist’s advice (which can be viewed on the AVDC website 16/02968/ADP) states that the bird nesting season usually covers the period from mid-February to the end of August, but it is very dependent on the weather and that certain species of birds may nest outside this period.  If works are deemed to be necessary during the bird nesting season then there is a protocol to be followed and this is contained in the ecologist’s response which was attached to the planning decision.

Bovis has confirmed to me that a senior ecologist and assistant were on site today to carry out a bird nesting survey of the hedgerows. Independent ecologists FPCR confirmed that there are no nesting birds in the hedges to be removed. The hedge will be reduced to a manageable level and removed on Tuesday 28/2/17 once fencing has arrived to secure the site.

Increased infrastructure funding announced for Aylesbury constituency

David recently received a letter from Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP), announcing  several projects  which will benefit the Aylesbury constituency. 

BTVLEP announced that with the aid of the Buckinghamshire MPs they have secured £20.48 million in the most recent round of Local Growth Funding. The investment, per-capita is the best in the country and is a strong testament to the work of the BTVLEP.

The three projects to be supported by the funding will be:

The Stoke Mandeville Relief Road: This piece of infrastructure will help maintain the main road link between Aylesbury and High Wycombe following the arrival of HS2. This road will also be important in supporting the development of Aylesbury's Garden Town proposal.

The University of Buckingham's new centre for Economics, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A new centre for Economics, Innovation and Entrepreneurship supported and funded by both the Institute of Economic Affairs and Lord Vinson. This centre will be at the heart of the campus and is expected to welcome students as early as 2018.

The Silverstone Enterprise Zone Innovation Centre: The Enterprise Zone at Silverstone is the fastest developing of the new Enterprise Zone sites in England. The proposed new innovation centre will support the growth of high performance engineering technology and will provide and important growth between education and business.