February update from Priti Patel MP

Over the last month Priti has been working in Parliament and across the Witham constituency supporting residents and businesses.

In Parliament Priti has been standing up for Britain and working with colleagues to address the challenges presented by Brexit. During the meaningful vote, Priti expressed strong concerns that the Withdrawal Agreement was not in our national interests, could threaten the integrity of the United Kingdom and would cost taxpayers £39 billion for nothing in return. After the meaningful vote, along with colleagues who supported both Leave and Remain in the Referendum, Priti has worked on proposals to secure a commitment from the Government to seek to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. The House of Commons supported this approach and Priti will continue to work with colleagues and the Government to seek revisions to the Withdrawal Agreement as well as pressing to ensure that this country is fully prepared to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 under any circumstance.

As well as speaking in Brexit debates, Priti has been raising local issues in Parliament and pressing for Government action. After meeting residents campaigning against the Rivenhall Incinerator Priti questioned the Secretary of State responsible for planning and reiterated her request for the planning application to be called-in. She also challenged the Government to review local government funding to make more resources available to local councils and called on the Treasury to look again at funding formulas for healthcare, education and police.

In the Witham constituency Priti has been continuing to work on securing the development of a new multipurpose healthcare centre in Witham. She met with local GPs and the Clinical Commissioning Group and held a separate discussion in Westminster with the Secretary of State for Health on the benefits of this facility. She is continuing to push for the new healthcare centre to have its business plan finalised and for all local GPs to sign up and support it.

Priti has been joining residents in campaigning to oppose the development being planned for the Gimsons sit off of River View, Witham. She has met with campaigners and continuing to press Braintree District Council to refuse the planning application. Priti has campaigned to oppose development on this site since being elected as Witham’s MP in 2010. Priti has also been supporting residents in Tiptree in opposing an appalling development proposal for a site off of Barbrook Lane. Having lobbied and made representations to Colchester Borough Council, Priti was pleased to see that the planning application was refused.

Priti has visited four schools including Southview, which specialises in special needs, St Andrews in Hatfield Peverel, Templars in Witham and Elm Hall where she was quizzed by pupils about her work as a MP. She is taking up with Essex County Council and with the Government matters raised during discussions with head teachers, including the importance of there being more funding made available for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

Priti is continuing to lead efforts across the region to campaign for improvements to rail services. She chaired a meeting of the Great Eastern Mainline Rail Taskforce to discuss investment in infrastructure, the introduction of 15 minute Delay Repay, rail performance and new rolling stock. She also expressed concerns over rail disruption in the new year, increases in rail fares and spoke in a Parliamentary debate pressing the Government to invest in rail services.

Concerns continue to be raised with the delays to the A12 widening scheme which have come about as a result of Colchester Borough Council changing its development proposals. Priti wants to see a decision on the route made a soon as possible and is pressing the Government to intervene in this process to get things moving. She is also continuing to raise with the Government the benefits of dualling the A120 and is pressing for a decision to be made this year on funding this scheme.

Priti has been showing her support for local businesses and community groups. She has visited local popcorn entrepreneur Greg Taylor to see his expanding business, Retrocorn and joined the Witham Lunch Club.

After securing additional funding for policing in Essex, Priti is raising with the police ongoing local concerns about crime in the Witham constituency. She has met with businesses affected by thefts and is pressing for an additional policing presence.

Priti signed the Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment in Parliament to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. She pledged to honour the memory of those who were murdered during the Holocaust and in other atrocities and genocides that have taken place. Priti also paid tribute to the extraordinary work of Holocaust survivors who share their experiences of the horrors they experienced to education young people.

The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP
Member of Parliament for Witham
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