At Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday I asked David Cameron about the Government’s recent announcement of an indefinite ‘pause’ on electrification of the TransPennine rail route between Manchester and Leeds. This line runs through Stalybridge and Mossley, meaning many constituents face many more years of delayed trains, cramped journeys and less frequent services, and I have been a frequent campaigner on this issue.
I laid out all these concerns to the Prime Minister, asking whether “these are the characteristics of a Northern Powerhouse?”. David Cameron’s response was to deny this was an indefinite pause, although he gave no date as to when the work would be completed.
The Prime Minister completely dodged the question and it is simply not good enough. Rail services in the North have constituently suffered under this Prime Minister. We have had the West Coast franchise fiasco which had knock on effects on franchising in the North, we have continually suffered with poor rolling stock whilst our best trains are sent to Oxfordshire, and now we’ve had the Northern Powercut with the ‘pause’ on electrification.
This puts the Government completely at odds with its Northern Powerhouse agenda, and it is time the Government started taking some of the responsibility instead of passing the whole blame onto Network Rail.
You can view a video of my exchange with the Prime Minister here
Commenting on the announcement by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin of a ‘pause’ on the electrification of the TransPennine route between Manchester and Leeds, Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds said:
“I am extremely disappointed by the Government’s announcement today, and I know that this disappointment and anger will also be felt by many of my constituents who continue to suffer overcrowded trains every day. I have grave concerns that by announcing a ‘pause’ the work may not even be completed, which would be outrageous.
This is yet another example in a series of announcements in recent years that have hit rail infrastructure in the North; we had the West Coast franchise fiasco which had knock on effects on franchising in the North, we have continually suffered with poor rolling stock whilst our best trains are sent to Oxfordshire, and now the news today of a ‘pause’ on electrification.
This puts the Government completely at odds with its Northern Powerhouse agenda, and it is time the Government started taking some of the responsibility instead of passing the whole blame onto Network Rail.”
Jonathan Reynolds, Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde, recently attended the opening of the newly re-located Tameside Carers Centre at Hyde Town Hall.
Since it was first launched in 1995, Tameside Carers Centre has gone from strength to strength, providing free, impartial confidential information and support for people who are spending a significant proportion of their time providing unpaid support for a member of their family.
Commenting on the opening, Mr Reynolds said:
“It was a pleasure to visit the new facility at Hyde Town Hall and to meet the staff who will be running the service, especially during Carers week, a national week of campaigning to highlight the valuable work of carers.
Tameside Carers centre offers an important and valuable service for unpaid carers, not just across my constituency but across Tameside and I pay tribute to the staff who are here to help the hundreds from our area who are supporting people close to them each and every day.”
Tameside Carers centre is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm for drop-ins. People can also call the centre to book an appointment outside of these times if necessary. The centre also has an email address, Facebook page and telephone number during office hours as below.
Tel number: 0161 342 3344
Jonathan Reynolds MP is pictured with Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Brenda Warrington, Executive Member Adult Social Care and Wellbeing and members of the Tameside Carers team.
Jonathan Reynolds MP secures meeting with Transport Minister about transport improvements in Londgendale
MP Reynolds secures meeting with Transport Minister about transport improvements in Londgendale
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds today (Thursday 11th June) raised the issue of transport improvements around Londgendale in Parliament for this first time following the General Election, with the Transport Minister agreeing to meet with him. There had been some positive announcements from the Government previously on this issue following Mr Reynolds’ tireless campaigning on this issue, and he was keen to make sure it stayed at the top of the Government’s agenda.
Speaking in Transport Questions in the Commons, Mr Reynolds highlighted how the scheme would benefit the people of Longdendale, and also the wider area with greater connectivity between Manchester and South Yorkshire. Mr Reynolds also stated that there will still issues that needed to be sorted out however, and the Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP was happy to accept the request for a meeting.
Mr Reynolds said:
“I believe that one of the most important decisions in the previous Parliament was the decision to proceed with the Mottram Bypass. A number of issues still need to be resolved however, such as whether Hollingworth will benefit directly, and also the feasibility of building a new tunnel under the Pennines.
The Mottram Bypass will be of huge benefit to my constituents, so I am pleased that the Transport Minister has agreed to meet with me where I will be putting these issues to him”.
You can see the exchange in the Commons chamber by clicking here.
Silver Springs Academy Receive Special Commendation in Parliament
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds was delighted to see the governing body of Silver Springs Academy, based in Stalybridge, rewarded for their hard work at a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 9th June). The ceremony, organised by the National Governors’ Association, was to recognise outstanding governance, and Silver Springs were one of only 6 schools, chosen from the whole of England and Wales, to make the final cut.
The awards were hosted on the Terrace of the Houses of Parliament, overlooking the River Thames, and featured speeches from the Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Tristram Hunt MP, who also handed out awards. Whilst Silver Springs were ultimately not successful in claiming the top prize, they did receive a special commendation from the judges for their skill, teamwork and clarity of direction, and for the fantastic work the governing body have done at Silver Springs.
A beaming Mr Reynolds said:
“It is absolutely fantastic that the hardworking governing body at Silver Springs have been recognised for the brilliant work they have done at the school. The special commendation from the judges is no less than they deserve, and my perhaps slightly biased opinion they should have won!
As someone who was previously a school governor, I know what is involved in this very important role. School governing bodies across Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Dukinfield and Longdendale work incredibly hard, often in challenging circumstances, and I pay tribute to them all.”
Pictured with Jonathan is Silver Springs Headteacher Deborah Mason, and Tony Powell from New Charter