Historic Day as Article 50 Triggered

 

Today (29 March) is a day that will go down in British history as the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, officially triggered Article 50 for our country to begin the process of leaving the EU.

In doing so, the PM has carried out the will of the British people as expressed in the Referendum last year.

This historic moment came as the letter signed by the PM notifying the EU of Britain’s intention to leave the EU was delivered to European Council President, Donald Tusk in Brussels, by Tim Barrow, the British EU Envoy.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister described this as a “historic moment from which there can be no turning back”, and gave assurances that she has a “fierce determination to get the right deal for every single person in this country”.

The Prime Minister went on to say: “We are one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future. And now that the decision to leave has been made – and the process is underway – it is time to come together. For this great national moment needs a great national effort. An effort to shape a brighter future for Britain.”

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was among the MPs in the House of Commons as the Prime Minister delivered her statement. Mr Evennett commented: “leaving the EU presents real opportunities for our country, and we are committed to building a better future for all our citizens.”

“I am sure the country can unite, seize the opportunities, and ensure a successful future after our EU exit.”

“I am looking forward with optimism. Outside the EU we will remain a close friend and ally of Europe and we will be a major global player. There will of course be challenges, but the enduring power of the British spirit will ensure we overcome these, and I believe Britain’s best days still lie ahead.”

Need for rail improvement

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, attended a round table meeting earlier today (28 March) with the Rail Minister, Paul Maynard MP.

Mr Evennett used the meeting as an opportunity to criticise Southeastern’s performance and to highlight the concerns he has surrounding the South Eastern franchise consultation.

Mr Evennett commented: “The train services from Bexleyheath and Crayford into central London have been extremely bad. There are constant delays, cancellations, overcrowding, and a severe lack of information from staff. Southeastern and Network Rail have let my constituents down, and there have been too many excuses.”

“I raise the issues with the Rail Minister, Southeastern, and Network Rail regularly yet things do not improve so I welcome the consultation on a new franchise.”

“There must be greater co-operation between the operator and Network Rail to deliver more rolling stock and better reliability, and I therefore support the proposals to ensure they work together as one team with a focus on performance.”

“However, I strongly oppose the suggestion to reduce the number of terminals that can be reached from Bexley, and believe the services to Charing Cross and Victoria are essential. This is something I have already raised with the Rail Minister and will be included in my submission to the consultation.”

Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative Association AGM

The Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative Association held their Annual General Meeting on Friday evening (24 March) at the Bexleyheath Conservative Club.

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, spoke about the Prime Minister’s agenda, including “building a country that works for everyone, uniting the nation, and not looking for centre ground but instead the common ground. Opportunities and fairness are hallmarks of the Government approach.”

He went on to discuss the policies that people were most concerned about, including Brexit, but also housing, the NHS, education, and transport.

Mr Evennett concluded by saying “Britain will be united, confident and successful. The Prime Minister, Theresa May, is popular as she understand and supports hardworking people and families.”

Barclays Breakfast Round Table

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was the guest speaker at a business breakfast event hosted by Barclays in Pradas restaurant, Bexleyheath, on Friday 24 March.

The event was well attended by representatives from a number of businesses, all of which either operate or are based in the constituency.

Mr Evennett spoke about the ways in which the Government is supporting businesses, before discussing the many positive opportunities and challenges facing the local area.

The discussion that followed covered a range of topics, including local transport links (particularly River Crossings), apprenticeships, technical education, and housing.

Following the event, Mr Evennett commented: “It was a pleasure to meet business owners and staff from a range of different sectors this morning to discuss the issues they are facing and to hear their perception of the economic situation locally.”

“They raised a number of interesting points, which I shall raise with my colleagues in Government.”

2018 Parliamentary Boundary Review

 

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) are asking members of the public for their views on the proposals to change Parliamentary constituencies. Responses can be made at: https://www.bce2018.org.uk/node/add/informed-representation/6485

An initial 12-week consultation was held in the autumn of last year, where people had the opportunity to comment on the initial draft proposals. These responses have now been published, and the second stage of the review closes on 27 March.

Among the respondents was Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford. Mr Evennett’s initial submission can be found at: https://www.bce2018.org.uk/node/31361/view. He has also made representations for the second stage of the review.

Mr Evennett commented: “I have objected to the Parliamentary Boundary Commission proposal to place St Michael’s Ward in the new Woolwich constituency, as historically and geographically there are no links between the two areas. I have urged the Commission to think again, taking into account the strong community ties St Michael’s Ward has with the towns of Welling and Bexleyheath.”

“I am also concerned about plans to split Bexleyheath across three Parliamentary constituencies, and I believe the town of Bexleyheath should be recognised in the name of the new constituency.”

A copy of Mr Evennett’s second submission is included below:

Dear Sirs

RE:     Publication of responses to the Boundary Commission’s draft proposals for London Borough of Bexley

I am writing following the recent publication of responses to the 2018 Parliamentary Boundary Review.

I am pleased there have been so many responses from Bexley residents, and I note that in our area it is clear there is a very strong feeling that the Commission should avoid splitting local towns over different Parliamentary constituencies. Most respondents are concerned about historical, geographical, and local ties being severed by the original proposals, particularly in Bexleyheath, Welling, and Thamesmead towns. This is an issue I too highlighted in my first submission.

Having thoroughly analysed the submissions that impact upon Bexley constituencies, and looked in detail at the alternative proposals, I believe the Conservative Party’s main submission is the one that best addresses the real concerns of communities in the Borough.

There is, of course, the second proposal submitted by the Conservative Party which does not involve crossing a ward boundary, but maintains community and geographical ties. This is the only other feasible alternative submitted so far.

I would also like to reiterate my strong support for the inclusion of Bexleyheath in the name of the new constituency as this is the main town in the Borough.

Yours faithfully

Rt Hon David Evennett MP

Bexleyheath and Crayford

Evennett welcomes South Eastern franchise consultation

Yesterday (14 March) the Department for Transport (DfT) launched a consultation seeking views on South Eastern rail services ahead of the new franchise agreement next year.

The DfT’s ambitions for this franchise include:

  • Creating more space for passengers by running longer trains and upgrading or replacing older trains
  • Increasing reliability and reducing delays by the train operator working closely with Network Rail
  • Improving compensations arrangements with a simple automated system
  • Introduction of a smarter payment system, including mobile phones
  • Improving customer service with staff able to respond quickly and effectively to passenger’s needs

The new franchise will also be the first to have an integrated operating team between train services and infrastructure, which means the new operator must work with Network Rail as one team to deliver a better service for passengers.

Mr Evennett commented: “services from Bexley to central London have been very poor. Delays, cancellations, and overcrowding have become the norm, and my constituents and fellow commuters deserve better.”

 “I would encourage as many people as possible to participate in this consultation, as appointing a new franchise operator next year that will work closely with Network Rail provides a fantastic opportunity to begin to address the many issues Bexley residents have suffered on Southeastern for far too long.”

Budget 2017: Keeping our economy strong and preparing for our future outside the EU

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has welcomed the Budget Statement delivered earlier today (8 March) by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP. Mr Evennett was present in the House of Commons as the Chancellor gave his speech.

The Chancellor announced that the economy is forecast to grow by 2% in 2017 (up from 1.4% forecast in November 2016), real wages have grown for 27 straight months and are forecast to rise in every year to 2020/21, and the deficit is set to fall to 0.7% in 2020/21 – the lowest in over two decades.

The measures announced in the Budget include:

  • The National Living Wage will increase to £7.50 in April – an income boost of over £500 for a full time worker this year.
  • The personal allowance will rise for the seventh year in a row, benefitting 29million people and meaning a typical basic rate taxpayer will pay a full £1,000 less income tax than in 2010. The higher rate threshold will also rise to £45,000.
  • Additional grant funding of £2billion to social care in England over the next three years. There will also be a further £100million available immediately for up to 100 new triage projects at A&E in English hospitals in time for next winter.
  • Funding for a further 110 new free schools, on top of the current commitment of 500. This is alongside an additional £216million over the next three years to look after our existing schools.

Mr Evennett commented: “this Budget helps ordinary working families with the cost of living, supports the NHS and our elderly by providing substantial funding for the social care system, and ensures young people can get the skills they need to do the high-paid, high-skilled jobs of the future.”

“The Budget also redoubles our commitment to a strong economy, laying the foundations of a stronger, fairer, more highly-skilled global Britain outside the EU – a country that works for everyone.”

Evennett slams local rail service

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has slammed Southeastern and Network Rail for the appalling service on the Charing Cross to Bexleyheath line over the past few weeks.

Mr Evennett has written to Mike Gibson, Public Affairs Manager of Southeastern, and John Halsall, Managing Director of South East Route for Network Rail, on behalf of his constituents and fellow commuters to complain about the dreadful service and their failure to have any contingency plans when problems occur.

Mr Evennett commented: “our service is normally poor to central London, but it has been especially awful in recent weeks for all travellers, particularly commuters. I will continue to take this up and have asked what they are doing to improve.”

People, Parliament and Policies

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was the guest speaker at a dinner held in Toscana Restaurant, Sidcup by the Bexley Conservatives Dining Club yesterday evening (6 March).

Over 50 people attended the sell-out event, which was Chaired by Linda Evans, and enjoyed a two course meal followed by a fundraising raffle.

The theme of Mr Evennett’s speech was ‘People, Parliament and Policies’. He spoke about a number of individuals, including his political hero, Margaret Thatcher, before moving on to discuss his role in Parliament. He then spoke about the Government’s agenda for the future, including triggering Article 50 and making a success of Brexit.