As we enter the week of the emergency budget the effects of the previous Governments reckless management of the economy will become apparent. Last week several projects were cancelled as part of the plan to start reducing the deficit, these measures were in addition to the £6 billion pounds worth of in year savings already announced. These were tough decisions and not one’s that anyone would voluntarily want to make, but we have to be realistic about the public finances – we cannot afford everything we want and savings need to be made. By the time this column is published however, the real savings that need to be made will be outlined in the budget. We all know that the budget will be the toughest in many years, but regrettably tough times require tough decisions and a Government prepared to take them.
Last week I was finally allocated an office which means I can start making permanent arrangements to deal with the case work that is coming in and also to really begin to start working efficiently in Westminster. The lack of an office for the last few weeks has been incredibly frustrating, but I am delighted that now I can start functioning properly.
Last week I put in my first oral question and was placed at number 16 on the order paper. The question was on the subject of a solution to the traffic problems of Glossop and Tintwistle. I had already written to the Secretary of State, but I am determined that the High Peak will not get forgotten on this issue or indeed any other, so an oral question in the House seemed a good opportunity to once again bring the matter to the fore. Unfortunately time constraints meant that the Speaker didn’t reach my question. Whilst this deprived me ofthe opportunity to put my supplementary question, I have subsequently received a written answer. The answer doesn’t provide any assurances, but together with many things this is reliant on funding of which we know there is precious little at the moment. Rest assured though, as your MP, I will continue to press on this and indeed other High Peak issues so that when money does become available they are firmly lodged in Ministers minds.
Locally I was extremely disappointed to hear the news regarding the second bridge in Whaley Bridge. The stance of United Utilities has dealt a fatal blow to all the work that has been done by so many people and I have written to United Utilities on this matter and others, where I believe they can work better to help us all as residents. I have asked for a meeting with United Utilities to discuss ongoing issues in Whaley Bridge, Tintwistle and on the Melandra waste site.