I have today written to the new Transport Secretary to inform him that the cancellation of the South Eastern Franchise must not mean further to delays to vital planned infrastructure spending on our local rail networks. My constituents have been promised faster, higher capacity and more reliable trains – and they must get them.
I have urged the Department for Transport to work with Angel Trains, who stand ready with £1 billion to invest in the delivery of new trains, to give commuters the carriages they deserve.
This week I added my name to a letter to the new Prime Minister to urge him to look again at school funding.
There is an imbalance between the amount schools here in Kent receive compared to schools in cities. That needs to change.
There will be an opportunity in the next Spending Review to look again at all areas of our spending commitments, but I am clear that school funding must be a priority. No headteacher should have to face making cuts to simply prevent their school falling into deficit.
cystic fibrosis sufferers cannot access the most advanced medicines to aid
their symptoms, Orkambi and Symkevi. NHS England, NICE and Vertex
Pharmaceuticals, the company which supplies the medicines, have not yet been
able to agree a financial compromise.
That is why
I have joined fellow MPs to write to both the Health Secretary and the CEO of
Vertex to ask the government what else can be done in order to make sure cystic
fibrosis sufferers get these drugs without delay by whatever means necessary.
Patients must not have to wait for life-changing treatment – and I
expect to see a solution swiftly.
This week in Parliament I was pleased to support the Any Disability Sign campaign, which promotes a newly launched symbol to recognise both visible and invisible disabilities. It was designed by Lucy Richards in partnership with the Scottish charity Life Changes Trust.
Sir Michael Fallon has this week urged OFWAT, the
regulator for water in England and Wales, to take a tougher stance on water abstraction
from the Darent River in response to an appeal from the Darent River Preservation
The Darent, which consists of clean chalk aquifers fed
solely by rainfall, is routinely abstracted from by Thames Water – even though
the South East is the region with the lowest levels of rainfall in the
country. The Sevenoaks MP has warned
that continued abstraction is ‘unsustainable’.
Sir Michael said: “At current levels, the Darent is set to run dry. That is even before you consider the nearly 24,000 new homes both Sevenoaks District Council and Dartford Borough Council have been instructed to build in the coming years. OFWAT must exercise greater control over unrestricted abstraction and hold companies like Thames Water properly accountable for their actions.”
On 21st June I was very pleased to visit the Sevenoaks Heritage Exhibition. This exhibition, hosted by the Sevenoaks Society, is a visual display of the 900 year history of Sevenoaks with photographs, paintings and original artwork which includes the town’s iconic landmarks. It is part of Sevenoaks’ 50th Summer Festival.
Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon met Highways Agency managers last week to press for cleaner motorway verges and more action to stop HGVs passing through the town centre.
He has demanded new
signs and cameras to curb roadside litter, especially at the slip roads at M25
junctions 3 and 4. “Let’s see more prosecutions and warnings. Money
spent clearing up litter means less spent on road maintenance and potholes.”
Sir Michael also wants more done to divert lorries away from Sevenoaks town centre. “Better signage on the A21 would help direct more northbound traffic heading east up to junction 3”.