Lilian Greenwood MP

Labour Member of Parliament for Nottingham South

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Please accept my apologies, but I wanted to let you all know that due to the extremely bad weather, my Coffee Morning Advice Surgery at Wollaton Vale Community Centre, on Saturday 3rd March (10am -12 noon) has now been cancelled.

I will, of course, be in touch with constituents once a new date and time has been arranged. If you need my help on an issue please contact my constituency office on 0115 711 7000.

Coffee Morning Cancelled

Please accept my apologies, but I wanted to let you all know that due to the extremely bad weather, my Coffee Morning Advice Surgery at Wollaton Vale Community Centre, on...

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Helping to judge my Christmas Card competition this year was Nicola Tidy from NCT, Simon Rhodes from Robin Hood Energy, Mike Sassi, Editor of the Nottingham Post and Amanda Spruyt from the Nottingham Contemporary. We had a difficult task to choose the final winning designs as the standard was incredibly high again this year.

“Our theme this year was 'Christmas Around the World' and once again Nottingham South primary school children have shown what a wealth of artistic talent we have in our city. The judges had a hugely difficult task choosing one winner and three runners up from amongst more than 1,200 entries from 18 schools. I’m delighted with Leona’s winning picture showing children holding hands round the world - what a great message for Christmas. “

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The winning design from Leona Arhin of Milford Academy, Clifton.  As part of her prize Leona and her family will be visiting Lilian at the House of Commons for a tour of the Houses of Parliament and lunch on the terrace overlooking the River Thames. Nina received a £100 voucher courtesy of Nottingham City Transport and 2 tickets to the Theatre Royal Pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.

A special thank you to our sponsors this year Nottingham City Transport and Robin Hood Energy for all their help and support with the competition.  Also special thanks to our supporters, Nottingham Post, Theatre Royal, Nottingham Panthers, Nottingham Contemporary, Build a Bear workshop, Nottingham Forest FITC, Notts County FITC,  and 4sheets design and print for their continuing support of such a wonderful competition. 

The three runners up designs, featured on the back of the Christmas card were:-

RUNNER UP - MICHAEL KEEN age 7  from Welbeck Primary School, Meadows

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RUNNER UP - AMELIE BAILEY age 9 South Wilford Primary School, Wilford

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RUNNER UP - ARINA MOHAMMED  age 9  from Mellers Primary School, Radford

All the runners up received a gift voucher and tickets to see the Nottingham Panthers

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Special Merit Winner

Ben Pratt age 9 from Mellers Primary School, Radford, who received a signed Nottingham Forest FC Shirt

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Our other Special Merit Winner was Caden Sims age 9 from Greenfields Community School, Meadows, who received a signed Notts County FITC shirt.

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Our sponsor NCT with their winning design from Ritej Jerbi from Southwold Primary School, Radford.

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Our sponsor Robin Hood Energy's design winner Tiba Khalid, from Dunkirk Primary School.

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Nottingham Post sponsor winners Isabella Thomas and Louis Gribbon from South Wilford Primary School

All of the winners and best in school winners designs from all 18 schools that took part in the competition this year, will be displayed in an exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December 2017.

Christmas Card Competition 2017 Winner Announced

Helping to judge my Christmas Card competition this year was Nicola Tidy from NCT, Simon Rhodes from Robin Hood Energy, Mike Sassi, Editor of the Nottingham Post and Amanda Spruyt...

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“Difficult decisions are now due”: the transport challenges ahead  

By Lilian Greenwood

The new chair of the transport select committee on the challenges ahead.

 

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If Chris Grayling’s re-appointment was intended to project an image of steady continuity, the reality for transport in this Parliament is anything but.

Difficult but necessary decisions have been postponed for two elections. They are now due. Coupled with problems on existing programmes, the challenges facing the Department for Transport are significant.

A decision on runway expansion is now critically overdue. A final vote was expected this summer, but all bets are off while the Parliamentary arithmetic remains so fragile. Any further delays would be deeply damaging for both the UK economy and an aviation industry already beset by uncertainty over the possible loss of international landing rights after Brexit.

HS3 – or Northern Powerhouse Rail – has reached the point where it must make the transition from a drawing room blueprint to a properly defined and funded government-backed plan. Official enthusiasm for Crossrail 2 seems to have waned, despite the critical and growing capacity constraints on the London rail network. Grayling’s support for a diesel car scrappage scheme has raised expectations, but the plan may experience Treasury resistance. And, of course, the legislation to extend HS2 from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds via the East Midlands is also due in this parliament. 

As new programmes begin, existing projects are slowly unwinding. The DfT and Network Rail committed to a multi-billion pound investment programme without a clear understanding of its costs or deliverability. Important investment programmes, such as main line electrification and freight schemes, are now delayed, over budget, and at risk of cancellation. Maintenance work is now being cut back despite serious safety concerns raised by the regulator and rail workers. Highways England’s Road Investment Strategy – which includes the flawed policy of removing the hard shoulder from motorways – looks set to suffer a similar trajectory.

Every region has a long list of promised or half-promised projects, the delivery of which now looks in doubt. In addition, the new Bus Services Act is about to come into contact with reality for the first time, and it is likely that some operators will fight tooth and nail to defend existing, de-regulated structures. And, as Labour’s frontbench has said, a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy has finally been produced, but there is precious little investment attached, raising serious questions over how the government will meet its target of increasing the share of sustainable transport journeys.

One of the Department for Transport’s most significant tasks has been its management of the rail franchising programme. Political attention has understandably focused on the question of ownership, but the existing franchise model is struggling on its own terms. Operators are exiting the market and the average number of bids is now below the department’s own target for realising value for money. Behind closed doors, it has been acknowledged that the risk of an operator defaulting has risen.

Ministers must make a significant choice. The status quo of direct awards to incumbent operators delivers neither the competition they want nor value for the taxpayer, but the alternative management contract model has failed on such a scale on Southern that it is not a politically viable option. Direct operation, which was successfully employed on East Coast and was championed in the recent Labour manifesto, is probably out of the question under a Conservative administration. And of course, the planned extension of Driver Only Operation – an assumption of future franchise awards – will be more difficult in a hung Parliament, which should lead to a reassessment of the Department’s industrial relations priorities.

Change is needed, but there are dangers associated with the remaining options that need to be taken into account. If a sudden decision was taken to radically change the existing franchise model – such as by auctioning off lucrative intercity access rights, as proposed by the Competition and Markets Authority – then there is a real danger that timetables could become unworkable. The UK’s world class rail supply chain thrives on certainty and contracts without it. With service quality and jobs at stake, effective scrutiny of rail policy will be even more important in this Parliament than in the last.

These are some of the imminent policy decisions facing ministers, but passengers may see things differently. Transport costs are an inflationary pressure on household budgets: regulated rail fares are up by 27 per cent since 2010; bus and air fares have risen by a third.

Proposals from the last parliament to improve travellers’ experiences, from advertising the cheapest available prices at petrol stations to motorway drivers and flexible rail ticketing, are in danger of falling off the agenda. Cuts to bus routes, investment delays arising from Network Rail’s financial difficulties and de-staffing proposals all have a negative effect on disabled passengers. These voices must be represented in the months and years ahead.

With so much going on, it’s welcome that more controversial proposals inherited from the Cameron administration – such as the planned privatisation of the government’s remaining stake in national air traffic control services – look unlikely to be pursued in a hung Parliament. The challenge for backbench scrutiny is to ensure that other important but stalled policy areas, such as updating the antiquated law on taxis and private hire vehicles or level crossing safety, are not left permanently in the ‘too difficult’ box.

As we head into this new and uncertain parliament, the transport agenda is crowded and congested. With no overall majority, effective scrutiny on a cross-party basis has become even more important – but I’m confident that backbenchers can play their part in improving infrastructure and services for passengers, drivers, and all other transport users.

Lilian Greenwood is the Labour MP for Nottingham South, the former shadow transport secretary and the new chair of the transport select committee.

Transport Challenges Ahead

  “Difficult decisions are now due”: the transport challenges ahead   By Lilian Greenwood The new chair of the transport select committee on the challenges ahead.   If Chris Grayling’s re-appointment was...


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