I spent the parliamentary recess embedded with the armed forces to gain real insight into the work and training they do, as well as to better understand their concerns. Our forces are much reduced by the government but I will always stand up for our troops who risk their lives to keep us safe.
Elsewhere, we’ve learned recently that residents are about to see a huge increase in their council tax from April. On average, people will pay up to £124 per year more – that’s £10 a month extra. Living in Whitnash will cost over £2,000, in Warwick just under that, and in Leamington £1,767.
Since the government came to power in 2010, we are paying more and getting less.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, cuts to funding from central government have led to a 17 per cent fall in councils’ spending on local public services since 2009–10. In the same period, council tax for in Leamington has gone up by 21 per cent.
We absolutely need more funding for essential services like social care and policing, as well as resources to combat climate change. However, the government are relinquishing responsibility to pay their fair share of this cost. If you’re concerned about this increase in council tax, please do get in touch.
I’ve also written again this past week to the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, to request that HS2 is re-routed, in an attempt to save Cubbington Woods from destruction. Many people in Warwick and Leamington are hugely concerned about the destruction of the woods. Whilst the site falls just outside of my constituency, a great number of residents have contacted me to make representations.
A golf course in Kenilworth was saved from HS2 going through it. How can it be that a golf course is worth more than an ancient woodland? I will do all I can to ensure the negative environmental impacts are reduced as much as possible. We face a climate emergency and we must protect our woodlands, not destroy them.