A railway survey carried out by North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt, has concluded and the feedback will be passed on to Govia Thameslink. The survey included questions about current satisfaction levels, what improvements people would like to see and the impact of the proposed 2018 timetable changes.

The results showed that a third of railway users were not aware of the current timetable consultation, which closes on the 27th July 2017, and of those that were aware, only 10% believed the changes would positively impact on their journeys.

MP Alistair Burt said “I am very grateful to those that took the time to complete my railway survey. Govia Thameslink are currently consulting on changes to their timetable, and I will use the feedback provided to contribute to this consultation. I hope constituents will also take the chance to respond directly on their website: www.transformingrail.com.

The survey results highlighted a number of issues which I will also be looking into further, including the ongoing problems of access at Biggleswade Station.”

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This week, Alistair was delighted to learn more about the work that DWP is doing to support disabled people across the country. He was also pleased to sign up to Disability Confident, to show his commitment to this new initiative.

We all know the economic power of disabled people and their families, through their combined spending power and also, more importantly, through the many skills and talents that they have, which are currently underutilised and out of reach for many businesses.

Disability Confident will work with employers to bring about the changes needed to ensure that disabled people and also those with long term health conditions are able to fulfil their potential. The aim is to build a culture in businesses where employees feel safe to disclose any disability or long-term health condition, and feel confident they will be supported as necessary.

Alistair said: “I’m really pleased to be able to play my part to ensure that disabled people and those with long term health conditions have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. Over the coming weeks and months, I will also be speaking to businesses across the constituency to explain the tools, guidance, advice and recognition that the scheme offers, so that they can become Disability Confident too. Working together we can make sure that employers in North East Bedfordshire are able to recruit and retain from the widest possible pool of talent and that disabled people in our community have all of the opportunities that they need to succeed”.

If you have been inspired to get more involved in becoming Disability Confident, you can contact the DWP team at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Bedford Hospital NHS Trust will benefit from a share of £325 million in new capital investment for local NHS projects across the country. The Trust will receive approximately £5 million to help the NHS modernise and transform care for patients locally by creating a primary care hub at Bedford Hospital which is expected to improve access to same day appointments for around 50,000 patients and reduce the number of patients attending the hospital’s A&E department.

This Government is backing the NHS’ own plan for the future, the Five Year Forward View, and funding it with an additional £8 billion a year in real terms by the end of this Parliament. Delivering that vision relies on better integrated care locally, which is being taken forward through Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships.

Alistair Burt commented

‘I am delighted to welcome new investment which will mean constituents will get an even better service in the Bedford area. We have made significant progress in improving patient care since 2010, and this funding will help us to promise the highest-quality, most compassionate patient care delivered by our most dedicated and skilled workforce.

We said in the Budget that we would invest in local areas who have developed the best plans – and today we are making good on that promise with an initial £325 million of capital funding. This will improve patient care and outcomes in communities up and down the country.”

 

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Litter affects us all, it blights our local environment and spoils our enjoyment of the countryside.

Published yesterday, the new Litter Strategy for England sets out plans to help to tackle this anti-social behaviour, making North East Bedfordshire an even more attractive area and helping our local economy to prosper and grow.

Measures in the first national Litter Strategy include: 

  • Targeting the 25 worst litter hotspots across our road network.

  • Consulting on increasing the fixed penalty for littering to £150.

  • Recommending that offenders on community sentences help councils to clear up litter and fly-tipped waste.

  • Enabling councils to update the nation’s ‘binfrastructure’ to create new designs and improve the distribution of public litter bins.

  • Working with industry and the voluntary sector on a new campaign for 2018.

  • Convening a new expert group to look at further ways of reducing litter such as plastic bottles and fast food packaging.

Alistair said: 

“Litter is something that affects us all in North East Bedfordshire and across the rest of the country. I want to make sure that our region is a great place to live and work in so that the local economy can thrive.

The Litter Strategy will make it easier for people to get rid of litter properly, creating an anti-littering culture and introducing tougher enforcement measures to hit thoughtless litter louts in the pocket”.

An afternoon of pain, and pride

Yesterday's events around Parliament will never be forgotten by those present.

I, like so many others, was fortunate to be spared any danger by the actions of those who protect us, for which my grateful thanks. On the way to vote I met colleagues and staff being ushered from the incident, just a few yards away, and followed the instructions of the police to the places of safety where we spent the next few hours in lockdown.

We all knew that an attack would happen. This is a world-wide threat to a way of life challenged by fanatics, who cannot win by persuasion and seek only to kill, maim and coerce. After Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul and Nice there was no possibility of London not being targeted. God alone knows how many attempts have been thwarted by those who look after us.

Such attacks will not end soon. But a combination of measures, from undermining their wicked and false philosophy, to the use of legitimate force against them, will eventually overcome them. In the meantime the world will go on, vigilant, but unbowed by the threat.

However, each incident leaves a mark, and moments of reflection for all of us. Two things struck me about yesterday. Firstly, while all that we do in Westminster is of importance, we now have to measure what we do, what we say and how we act against the lives of those prepared to die to allow us to do our job. That puts a renewed obligation on all who participate in democracy, which is you and me, to be worthy of PC Keith Palmer and his colleagues.

Secondly, it will never be the name or actions of the attacker that is remembered, but the reactions of those who rise to an occasion they could never have imagined. Passers-by offered comfort to those on Westminster Bridge, and security staff rushed towards danger. And my friend Tobias Ellwood, whose life has already been scarred by the loss of his brother in the Bali terrorist bombing, in an instant put all his training and life as a soldier into his attempt to save the life of the stricken policeman, while the risk of further danger was still high.

The pain of loss for those who have suffered, and for some the lifelong sentence of their injuries, are beyond the experience and understanding of most of us. But we can all share pride in the selflessness of humanity in a crisis, the values which will ultimately prevail in any contest with evil.

Today, and every day, we think of how in our day to day lives we might live up to such examples of the best of us.

Findings "'harsh' on Bedfordshire, but public require improvement and resources."

NE Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt has demanded an urgent 'clear the air' meeting with those responsible for Bedfordshire's policing and the county's MPs. This follows today's publication of the HMI report rating the local force 'inadequate'- the only such rating in the country. The report also highlights the lack of funding for Bedfordshire's police over many years, on which all Bedfordshire's MPs, Conservative and Labour, have united.

Mr Burt said:

'Today's report will be disappointing for a hard working police force, and for the community that depends upon them. I remain grateful and supportive of officers who do a difficult job in our county. 'Inadequate' seems a harsh judgement, when headline statistics show little difference with a number of national averages and good performance in terms of recorded crime and victim satisfaction.

But there are also very worrying comments in the report including the Inspector’s view that the force has 'little understanding of the communities it serves', and is weak on its response to organised crime.

It is noticeable that many of the weaknesses are linked by HMI to the poor resourcing of a force with unique characteristics of being largely rural, but dealing with significant national issues, not least terror and a major UK airport. MPs will make renewed and urgent efforts to persuade Government that the funding crisis can no longer be pushed aside, as successive Governments have done.

But there is also a sharp difference of view between the Chief Constable and the Inspector about the quality of the force, and I believe it is in the public interest that we seek to resolve this. I am therefore calling for the HMI, the Chief Constable and the PCC to meet together as soon as possible with all Bedfordshire MPs. I need to have them in the same room to hear their positions, and above all what can be done to deliver the sort of performance required by our constituents.

I am sure we will all share a common determination to ensure that Bedfordshire and Luton has justifiable confidence in our local police, as our communities deserve.'

ALISTAIR BURT ENCOURAGES SCHOOLS TO GO SKY HIGH WITH NATIONAL ROCKETRY COMPETITION 

MP for North East Bedfordshire, Alistair Burt, is encouraging local schools to compete in the UK’s largest youth model rocket competition – The UK Youth Rocketry Challenge. 

This week in Parliament Alistair joined the winning UK secondary schools from 2015 and 2016 to find out how schools in North East Bedfordshire can become this year’s champions. 

The UK Youth Rocketry Challenge involves the design, build and launch of a model rocket with the aim of ensuring the passenger - one raw egg - remains intact throughout the launch and landing. The rocket must reach 775 feet with specific target flight duration of 41-43 seconds. Rules governing the competition are altered every year to ensure designs can’t be repeated. 

The national final champions win an all-expenses paid trip to Paris, to represent the UK in a fly off against teams from the USA, Japan and France at the Paris International Airshow in June 2017. The deadline to register is 28th February.

Alistair said:

The UK Youth Rocketry Challenge provides students with a unique opportunity to apply what they have learnt in science, technology, engineering and maths and gain highly valued skills.

The competition is a great chance for students to apply their skills creatively whilst also having a lot of fun. I hope that our region will be represented in the competition and encourage the local schools in NE Bedfordshire to take part.