I recently heard reports that Jardines is set to close as the landlord of the site (the Royal Bank of Scotland) wishes to end the lease and apply for planning permission for a change of use to retail purposes (see my blog post of 21 July entitled ‘A Letter in Support of Jardines Bowling Club‘). As I said at the time, I know that Jardines is a very popular venue for local families and have enjoyed visiting it with my own family. I wrote to RBS in order to ask them to reconsider this decision, and have now received a response. A copy can be seen below.
Archive for the ‘General’ Category
I have heard reports that Jardines is set to close as the landlord of the site (the Royal Bank of Scotland) wishes to end the lease and apply for planning permission for a change of use to retail and office purposes.
I know that Jardines is a very popular venue for local families, and have enjoyed visiting it with my own family. I am therefore disappointed by this news, and have written to the chair of RBS in order to ask him to reconsider this decision.
A copy of my letter can be seen below. I will post any response I receive on this web-site.
I have written to the Chair of the English Bridge Union to congratulate that organisation on reaching its 75th birthday. The union, which has its headquarters in Broadfields in Aylesbury, does a great job at representing communities of bridge players at club, county and national level, as well as ensuring the future strength of the game through its ‘minibridge’ programme in schools. I wish the Union much success for the future.
The Coalition Government wants to be the first government in modern history to leave office having reduced the overall burden of red tape and regulation, instead of increasing it.
To help it achieve this, the Government has launched the ‘Red Tape Challenge’. It is asking members of the public to suggest regulations which affect their daily lives at home, at work, or in the community, and which they think should be cut.
While well-designed and proportionate regulation is of course sensible and needed, I do feel that giving the public a chance to have their say on the less worthwhile regulations that affect their everyday lives is an important step forward.
More details can be found on the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ web-site.
As you can see, I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond MP, to take up a number of points regarding HS2. The points that I have raised include whether the DfT plans to publish the Arup high-speed rail route, how the DfT plans to conduct the public consultation, if plans have been made for the line to carry freight, and how HS2 fits into HM Treasury’s National Infrastructure Plan 2010. I will of course post up the replies that I receive on this website.
Please find below the replies that I have received from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, The National Trust and Natural England to the letters that I sent as part of HS2 Update 6 (see post dated 10-02-11). As you can see, all three organisations are concerned about the environmental impact of high-speed rail, and will be responding to the public consultation to ensure that the Department for Transport is aware of their views.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England’s report, Getting Back on Track, can be viewed here.
I shall be studying carefully the documents that have been published today regarding the HS2 public consultation. I intend to send in a response myself to the consultation, drawing on the arguments and evidence presented to me by my constituents. During the next few weeks and months I shall be consulting local authorities, local campaign groups, and individual constituents, to ensure that I am fully aware of their views.
I would urge every constituent who has strong views about HS2 to make a submission to the Department for Transport before the consultation ends on Friday 29 July 2011. It is also important that local businesses, amenity groups, and parish councils make their views known to the Department.
I shall continue to take up with the relevant Ministers detailed questions or points of concern raised with me by my constituents.
Please find below the letter that I received from Transport Scotland in response to my letter dated 7th December 2010, which I have included for your information. In addition, I have also received a response from the Secretary of State to my letter about concerns that the reasons for building HS2 were shifting from those originally posed by the Department (see post dated 15-12-10).
Here are the follow-up letters talked about in my most recent HS2 update (please see below). As you can see, I have written to The National Trust, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Natural England to investigate what action they have taken in response to HS2. In addition, I have also included below a recent Parliamentary Question asked by Tony Baldry MP about the Exceptional Hardship Scheme, which you may find of interest.
Tony Baldry (Banbury, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many applications have been made to the High Speed Two Exceptional Hardship scheme; how many such applications have been (a) accepted and (b) refused to date; what estimate he has made of the time taken from receiving an application to the applicant being informed of the decision; what the date was on which the least recent application not yet decided upon was received by his Department; and what the total amount of compensation is that has been committed under the scheme to date.
Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
The Exceptional Hardship scheme (EHS) has, as of 21 January, received 115 applications. 20 applications have been accepted so far and 65 applications have been rejected. The remaining 30 applications have not yet reached the decision stage in the EHS process.
For those applications where a decision has been made, it has taken on average around two months from receiving the application to inform the applicant of the decision, although this varies from application to application. Our aim is to give applicants a decision within three months wherever possible. The oldest application not yet decided on was received on 12 October.
The total committed spend under the scheme so far is £9,083,750. This is the cost of properties where a valuation has been obtained and agreed with the applicant. Applications that have been accepted under the EHS but where a formal valuation of the property has not yet been agreed are estimated at a further £13,800,000.
Please find below the recent letters that I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Mr Hammond MP, regarding HS2. The letters cover HS2’s revised benefit cost ratio, the issue of why route 3 was chosen for public consultation, concerns about the consultation itself, and route 2.5. In addition, the follow-up letters talked about in HS2 Update 6 (see below) will be posted on this website shortly.