Ruth Edwards MP writes a monthly update for constituents.
Here in Rushcliffe, we have been dealing with flooding caused by Storm Babet.
Since my election in 2019, I have been working with flood agencies, parish councils and volunteers to improve flood mitigation across Rushcliffe. The number of properties that suffered flood damage after Storm Babet was considerably less than in 2020, but the storm has also highlighted the areas where there is more to do.
Amongst the worst affected by flooding is the Notts Gymnastics Academy. I know how important the facility is to many young gymnasts in Rushcliffe.
The team there have done an amazing job of getting the gym reopened, enabling gymnasts to carry on training, but we must identify the cause of the problem and fix the damage as soon as possible.
That’s why I’ve been on several visits to the site with the Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council Ben Bradley and with local county councillor Jonathan Wheeler. All three of us are committed to working together to help the academy get back on its feet as soon as possible.
I will continue to work with Nottinghamshire County Council and local flood agencies to make Rushcliffe more resilient against flooding. I am currently working to support a bid from Cllr Neil Clarke and the County Council to the Environment Agency’s £25 million Natural Flood Management Programme.
The Government has released a package of support for those who have been impacted by flooding, including residents and businesses. If you or someone you know might be eligible, you can follow this link.
At the beginning of October, the Prime Minister announced that he is scrapping HS2. The money that would have been spent on it, will now be invested in local and regional transport upgrades, across the Midlands and the North.
The Midlands will receive £9.6 billion of transport funding to improve East – West rail journeys, fix potholes – through a long-term road resurfacing fund, and improve local bus services, with £4.6m of additional bus funding coming to Nottinghamshire.
This change in approach will also guarantee £1.5 billion of funding for the new East Midlands Combined Authority, to be allocated by the new Mayor, once elected next May. It’s important that Rushcliffe’s needs are met by this funding so please share your views on how we can improve transport with me, by filling in my Better Transport for Rushcliffe Survey here.
I know that there have always been different opinions on HS2. I could certainly see the advantages of it coming to East Midlands Parkway. On balance however, I believe this redirected investment will help to improve the everyday experience that more people have with transport in Rushcliffe and better reflects the priorities that residents have raised with me.
Parliament is currently prorogued until the King’s speech next week. The last few weeks have been busy in the Whips Office, as we have been managing the ‘ping-pong’ of a number of Bills with the House of Lords, to make sure they are all agreed and become Acts of Parliament before the end of the session. In the last 18 months we have passed 39 Bills through Parliament.
These include: reforms to the planning system which will help protect Rushcliffe’s countryside; reforms to the energy market to improve our energy security and help us de-carbonise; help with the cost of living for those on the lowest incomes; support for all households with their energy bills; reforms to our migration system, to stop the boats and changing the law to better protect children from harmful content online and holding internet companies to account.
Next week, we will have the first King’s Speech since 1951, as King Charles III sets out the Bills the Government will be bringing forward in the next year. I look forward to updating you all on it and how it will deliver for people in Rushcliffe.