Information uncovered by Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has forced the Government to admit that the planned electrification of the TransPennine rail line between Manchester and York has been delayed, with no date set for completion.
In a written answer to Mr Reynolds, Rail Minister Andrew Jones conceded that work would be delayed as Network Rail have decided that more work will be needed than originally planned. Mr Reynolds also plans to write to both the Minister and Network Rail to demand a meeting.
The electrification of the route was first announced in November 2011 as part of a wider programme to improve rail services in the North of England. The Manchester to York electrification would include stations such as Stalybridge, Guide Bridge and Leeds, with work originally expected to be completed by December 2018 which has now been plunged into doubt following the Government’s admission.
Commenting on the Government’s admittance that the work was to be delayed, a furious Mr Reynolds said:
“I am incredibly disappointed by the admission today by the Government and Network Rail that work on the TransPennine rail line will not be completed on time.
We are now in a situation where passenger numbers are increasing at stations like Stalybridge and Mossley and this electrification is badly needed, yet the Government and Network rail cannot even give a set date when the delayed work will be completed. This is unacceptable, and I will be writing to the Rail Minister and Network Rail to demand a meeting with both.”
Today (Monday 8th June) marks the start of Carers week and I was delighted to attend a drop-in event for MP’s in Parliament to highlight the start of this week’s important campaign.
The aim of Carers week is to raise awareness of caring and highlight the challenges carers face up and down the country; not least in areas such as ours. Roughly one in eight people from across the whole of Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Dukinfield and Longdendale is a carer, and each day they are doing what they can to make life a little better for those close to them.
Representatives from organisations such as Age UK, Carers UK and the MS Society were present to offer advice to MP’s on how to support constituents who are carers, and to suggest ways MP’s can speak up for carers in Parliament. With recent evidence showing that full time-time carers are more than twice as likely to be in bad health than non-carers, and that nearly half of carers are struggling to make ends meet, I was more than happy to pledge my support, and I will continue to support and speak up for carers in Parliament.
Last week I was delighted to be able to welcome Mossley residents Irene Raddings and Marie Milne to London in recognition of their fantastic work in the community in Mossley. Every year I can nominate two community activists to attend the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, and this year both Irene and Marie stood out for me. They both had a great time at the Palace, and they assured me that the cucumber sandwiches were of the highest quality. It was also a privilege to be able to give them a personal tour of the House of Parliament afterwards, ending with them taking in the views of London on the Terrace.
Their accommodation was kindly paid for by New Charter, and the day even got off to best possible start when they were upgraded to First Class free of charge on the train down by Virgin Trains.
Irene and Marie, who was also previously a Town Councillor, do outstanding work in their community in Mossley, and so it was only right that they were recognised for this. They are both important members of Mossley Town Team working to improve Mossley town centre, and also doing great work as part of the Micklehurst Estate Residents Association (MERA). They were fully deserving of being rewarded in this way, and I know that they will continue to work hard and be a huge positive part of the community in Mossley.
Commenting on the news that arrests have been made following the recent attacks in Hyde, Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds said:
“I am pleased that arrests has been made following these two disgraceful attacks and I again want to send my best wishes to the victims.
It is important to remember that for our area, attacks like this are very rare and I would like to thank the police for acting so quickly in identifying the possible perpetrators.
I will keep in close contact with the police on this matter, and look forward to further progress being made.”
I wanted to use this first website post following the general election to say thank you for re-electing me as your Member of Parliament. I have said this many times before, but representing the place I am proud to call home is the best job in the world. Not a day goes by where I don’t reflect on the great responsibility that brings.
But election victories are a time for humility, not hubris. I believe our area faces significant challenges, especially on issues like housing, transport, public health, skills and employment. We need a Member of Parliament who is ready to go to Westminster and make their voice heard, but who is also rooted and active in the community, willing to listen to people’s concerns and offer assistance when needed. Whatever your political views and however you voted in the election, I will be that representative.
I am of the firm belief that politics is the pursuit of noble causes; about how we can make the world around us a better place for each and every one of us. It is up to myself and my colleagues in Parliament to represent the best interest of our constituents, and that is exactly what I intend to do in the coming months and years.
Thank you to everyone who supported me in the election. It is a great honour to serve you in Parliament and I look forward to working with you over the next five years.
PS. You can watch the declaration for our constituency here: https://youtu.be/-6Ten-PLI_o