Constituency Update March 2024

Constituency Update March 2024

Our local MP updates constitutes on the recent waste disruption in Uttlesford and closer to him, TouchPoint’s success.

It has been an exciting, albeit extremely busy start to 2024. I kicked it off with a trip to Turkey to boost trade as part of my role as Secretary of State, followed by the first round of Business and Trade questions in the Commons, Women and Equalities questions, as well as leading the debate on the second reading of the Trade (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Bill.

I have been in Nigeria to sign a landmark UK-Nigeria economic partnership and most recently in Abu Dhabi for the 13th WTO conference to meet international counterparts and defend free trade.

Most of my time is being spent trying to sort out the mess around the Post Office, especially getting compensation to the postmasters and looking to overturn their convictions. However, I am still making sure I am getting out and about in the constituency, speaking with pharmacists about the Government’s new Pharmacy First scheme and co-hosting a joint Community Crime Forum in Dunmow with our excellent Police Commissioner Roger Hirst – more details below.

For those who are particularly interested in the work of the department, I rounded up our year of championing British trade here. The work I am doing in the department impacts residents across the constituency, particularly small businesses that are the cornerstones of our communities and vital to our local economy.

Talking of trade and investment, my latest column for our local papers focused on just some of the excellent investment we are seeing in our constituency, have a read here.

I hope by now most of you have received my Reporting Back leaflet that gave an insight into some of the projects and issues I have been working on across the constituency – if you didn’t receive a copy, please get in touch so we can share it with you.

With lots of international trips lined up and events organised across the constituency, it is looking like another busy few months ahead. I look forward to updating you all in the next edition of my newsletter.

As always if you have any issues or concerns, you can email me at and my team and I will be available to help.

Severe waste disruption across Uttlesford

Uttlesford residents have been facing severe disruption to their waste collection following the revocation of Uttlesford District Council’s operator’s licence.

I have been calling on R4U’s Leader of the Council to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, whilst also sharing the significant impact the revocation of the licence is having to the Traffic Commissioner.

I was pleased to be informed that the Traffic Commissioner has now granted the council an interim licence, giving councillors the space to take accountability of the issue and fully resolve it.

I received a significant amount of correspondence from residents frustrated by the disruption and concerned about what this is going to cost them as taxpayers. My most recent letter to the Leader of the Council raises this and seeks answers as to how this all happened.

You can read the letters I have sent to the Leader of UDC here and I will continue to update residents who have written to me on this issue

TouchPoint, Stansted

It was great to join the Stansted Airport team, local councillors, and the community to award Touchpoint £50,000 from Stansted’s Community Fund Grant!

TouchPoint Stansted is a local charity connecting and supporting people in Stansted and the wider Uttlesford district.

Their cafe and gardens next to Stansted library have become a vital hub for the community and the funding will be helping to refurbish the building next door to give them more capacity.

The charity also received over £33,000 from the Government’s cost of living fund recently and has benefitted from the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

I will continue to support the team at Touchpoint and thank them for all their work across the district.

Pharmacy First

Earlier this month the Government launched the Pharmacy First scheme, allowing local pharmacies that have signed up to treat more common health conditions, helping to reduce pressure on GPs and freeing up appointments – something that was welcomed during my recent visit to Well Pharmacy in Saffron Walden.

Backed by up to £645 million of Government money, the Pharmacy First approach builds on the other measures outlined in the Primary Care Recovery Plan last spring, including tackling the 8am rush by giving GPs new digital tools and providing more GP staff and more appointments.

More details:…/launch-of-nhs-pharmacy…/

And don’t forget you can get a free blood pressure check at your local Well Pharmacy – I managed to get mine done during my visit! Thanks to the team for all their hard work.

Crime & the Community

An informative public meeting in Dunmow recently which I co-hosted with our Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst on community crime.

Some of the topics discussed included car theft (specifically keyless), the Dunmow Youth Club and some of the excellent work our policing teams have been doing to tackle hare coursing.

Cutting rural crime, tackling anti-social behaviour, and improving police visibility across Chelmsford and Uttlesford are my key priorities. Last year the Government delivered on its manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 extra officers, of which 500 were in Essex – these officers are already making a different across the constituency.

I’d like to thank all those who came along to the meeting; your questions and feedback gave Roger and the team a useful insight into the issues residents are most concerned about

Support you local pub

It was great to visit the newly renovated Axe and Compasses pub recently alongside Cllr Oliver, to meet the Greene King team and David and Emma Christou, whose family have been running the business for over 30 years!

Following a devastating fire in 2022, the pub has been attentively restored, retaining the historic fireplaces and beams, whilst bringing in modern solar panels, a heat pump, and new high-spec Airbnb accommodation.

I was pleased to hear that trade has been strong and that the pub is benefitting from the Government’s Rural Rate Relief, designed to support stores, shops, post offices and pubs in small, rural communities like Arkesden.

Our village pubs are not just businesses; they are part of our community. The Axe and Compasses, with its rich history, plays a vital role in preserving the cultural heritage of Arkesden – we must make sure we continue to support it!

School visits

I had a useful visit Henham and Ugley Primary School recently, sitting down with headteacher Mr Davey to speak about some of the challenges local schools face – including teacher recruitment and funding.

I also dropped into a few classes to speak to some of the pupils and answer their questions about being an MP!

Being one of the schools in our constituency impacted by RAAC. I was very pleased to receive the news that Henham and Ugley will be part of the Government’s School Rebuilding programme – which carries out major rebuilding and refurbishment projects. I am looking forward to hearing more about this vital investment and the benefits it will bring for the school community.

Progress for Boreham

I met with councillors in Boreham recently to discuss bus services, the A12 widening scheme, housing and local issues impacting the community.

We also discussed Beaulieu station and its construction which is progressing well.

I also met with Peter Horton to see some of the renovation work required at St Andrews Church in Boreham recently. We were joined by Cllr John Spence and Cllr James Raven.

St Andrews is a Grade I listed building with Saxon, Norman and Tudor heritage. Set in the heart of the village it is an important asset for many in the community.

Following the collapse of the roof in 2019, the church requires extensive refurbishment and I look forward to continuing to support the project as it progresses.

Funding boost for Roxwell

Excellent news recently that the Roxwell Chequers Community Benefit Society was awarded over £276,000 from the Government’s Community Ownership Fund to establish a community pub in Roxwell.

I am pleased to have supported their bid following a visit earlier this year where I heard how important this was to the community. They have put so much effort into making this happen.

Another example of this Government investing directly into our constituency.

National Grid Power Review

As residents will be aware, the National Grid Electricity Operator (a separate organisation to National Grid) announced a review into electricity network infrastructure in East Anglia earlier this year following pressure from neighbouring MPs and I in relation to National Grid’s Norwich to Tilbury pylon proposals.

This review will independently assess the different ways the electricity being generated can be transported, once is has landed, to where it is needed.

The review is due to conclude this month, and I will be updating residents on next steps following its conclusion. In the meantime, if you would like further information on the review, click here.

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