This week I hosted and organised valuable meetings on flood resilience and a Prime Ministerial visit to the constituency.
Flood resilience meetings
The meetings, which have now taken place for a large number of years, provided an opportunity for members of the public to question representatives of Gloucestershire County Council, Cotswold District Council, Gloucestershire Highways, Thames Water and the Environment Agency regarding what action has been taken following recent floods. These meetings involve a huge amount of organisation as it is important to make sure that all the relevant agencies are brought together at the same time in one room so none of them can shift any blame onto the other.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown chairing the Cirencester meeting
The meetings took place at the Cotswold District Council buildings in Cirencester and Moreton in Marsh. All were well attended by a number of concerned residents who wanted to know what action was being taken to prevent future flood risks.
I was happy to see representatives from both Thames Water, the Environment Agency and Town, District and County Council who were able to update all present on a number of prevailing issues regarding flood resilience.
A wide range of topics were covered in the agenda. Drainage problems around South Cerney, increased flooding risks from developments around Cirencester, funding and progress of the major flood alleviation scheme around Moreton in Marsh and issues surrounding the new Bovis Homes’ development.
I was quite unequivocal in my remarks to conclude both meetings that for all of the time and effort that is expended organising these meetings and publishing verbatim minutes I expect this time next year to not hear a repeat of any problem. I implore Thames Water, The Environment Agency and all levels of local government to take heed of residents’ concerns in order to best avoid any repeat of the devastating floods almost ten years ago and smaller incidents since.
Finally, I proposed restyling the flood meetings so that Cotswold District Council will take over the flood prevention forum and there will be two public meetings a year, one of which I will chair.
Visit to Renishaw
I was delighted to visit the headquarters of the engineering company Renishaw in Wooton-under-Edge with the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Following the announcement in this year’s Autumn statement of a £2 billion a year commitment to research and innovation, Renishaw was the ideal place to view a beneficiary of such investment first hand.
Renishaw annually invests over 15% of its revenues in research and development covering new technologies such as metal 3D printing, precision measurement and robotics.
With operations spanning the country and exporting 90% of its products around the world, Renishaw is the perfect example of a truly great British business success story both in The Cotswolds and nationally.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Geoff McFarland, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Rt Hon Theresa May MP
I believe that this year’s Autumn statement will provide much needed investment for The Cotswolds. Along with the R&D funding which will increase employment and boost exports, the £23 billion infrastructure investment will hopefully further improve road and rail links within the region and upgrade our rural broadband network.
Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
Following a long campaign of support by myself, including hosting a fundraising reception at my house in their honour, I was pleased to learn that the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has been successful in obtaining £1 million from the Libor Fines Fund provided by HM Treasury, which I campaigned for. This will enable them to purchase their own helicopter as opposed to leasing it.
The redirection of Libor banking fines – some £57 million – to charities across the country is an extremely worthwhile scheme and one that will help GWAAC with the acquisition of a new aircraft to expand their capacity.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown with members of GWAAC
GWAAC covers the whole of the South West and provides critical emergency care for around 2 million people. In 2015 alone, GWAAC responded to 1,655 missions of which 76 were in The Cotswolds.
Regardless of who you are or what you do, anyone of us at some point may require emergency treatment. Air ambulances are critical in helping to quickly and effectively transport critically ill patients to hospitals in order to offer them the best chance of survival
Call 020 7219 5043 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the matter you wish to raise and the possibility of a surgery appointment. Appointments are 10 minutes long. A concise synopsis submitted in writing beforehand will ensure a productive use of time.
View The Cotswolds in a larger map