Derek Twigg MP

Member of Parliament for Halton

Recent Activity

I am growing increasingly concerned regarding the reports I am receiving about  incidents of anti social behaviour. Of particular concern are reports of people being intimidated by groups on bikes. This is not acceptable behaviour. If a bike hits someone it could result in serious injury or a fatality.

I have today written to Cheshire Police to raise my serious concerns and those of my constituents and asked them what measures will be undertaken to combat these incidents.

 

Derek Twigg MP

Derek Twigg MP on Anti Social Behaviour Reports

I am growing increasingly concerned regarding the reports I am receiving about  incidents of anti social behaviour. Of particular concern are reports of people being intimidated by groups on bikes....

Halton Draft Allocations Local Plan (DALP)

I am responding to the consultation on the DALP, my views are set out below which relate to my constituency of Widnes, West Runcorn & Hale Village and have been submitted to the consultation.

I am very concerned about a number of proposals contained in the DALP document. I would urge my constituents to read the DALP and submit their own comments to the consultation, the closing date to do so is Thursday 15th February.  You can find the details here.

 

Loss of Green Belt

The plan proposes a substantial loss of Green Belt in Halebank and North Widnes including Derby Road which, in such a densely urbanised area as my constituency, we can ill afford to have happen. I oppose development on any Green Belt in my constituency. The land provides an important visual amenity to residents and opportunity to walk, run or cycle in countryside and the outdoors. These areas contribute to the health and wellbeing of local people both for physical and mental health.  As para 3.8, page 17 of the document states “Health has been identified as a key challenge for the borough……” Removing Green Belt or valued Green Space does not help with this challenge.

I am not convinced that these plans adequately take account of the increased pressure on our roads, schools and health facilities. We know that many of our schools are full and parents are increasingly being denied their school choice for their children. Also, by way of example, the roads in North Widnes at peak times are very congested, large queues of traffic on the local road network are a regular occurrence. My constituents in Halebank have also raised with me the impact extra traffic might have on Ditton Bridge.

In addition, these areas are crucial for bio-diversity, where birds and wildlife generally thrive and give residents who walk and run there great enjoyment.

I also have concerns that the loss of Green Belt means urban sprawl bringing the boundary of Halton ever closer to that of Knowsley. I do not believe the proposals to build on Green Belt are justified.

 

Brownfield Land

I agree with the comments on page 25 about the need for urban renewal in Halton and that priority will be given to the development of previously developed land. However, I believe the council should look again at what brownfield sites could be developed and if the problem is with the number of sites that are contaminated, I am happy to work with the Council to make representations to government for grants to clean up the land; rather than seeing our Green Belt taken. Again, with any development we need to make sure that the infrastructure, roads schools and health facilities can cope.

 

Green Space

I do not support the loss of any Green Space in my constituency unless there is a clear benefit to the local community and the local community are in support and agreement.

I do not support the loss of any playing field, again, these are vitally important to the health and wellbeing of my constituents. I am concerned that in the technical supporting documents some playing fields have a comment that should they cease to be used as playing fields they could be developed. Some are in private ownership. The council should ensure all playing fields are protected.

I fully support the proposal to maintain the land currently occupied by Widnes Golf Club as designated Green Space. If this was ever developed it would change the character of the whole area, impact on bio-diversity and result in significant additional strain on the local road network. In addition, it would increase pressure on school places, making it even more difficult for children who live on the existing estates to find a place at Wade Deacon and potentially other nearby schools.

 

Runcorn Town Centre.

I have had many complaints over the years from my constituents in Runcorn about the steady decline of shopping facilities in the Old Town. I note the Council’s comments on Page 163. This plan provides an opportunity to take steps to help bring about more investment in Runcorn Town Centre and increase the footfall. Both the Unlock Runcorn project, to re-open the stretch of the canal to the Ship Canal and the work on the Silver Jubilee Bridge presents an opportunity to improve access to the town centre and Runcorn Railway Station.

 

Ditton Station

I note the comments on page 73. I support the need for Ditton Station to be re-opened especially with the planned re-opening of the Halton Curve, which I have long campaigned for. I am regularly contacted by my constituents about this issue.

Finally I have had a number of constituents who have contacted me to say they do not find the DALP accessible and it is confusing given the various supporting documents.

 

Derek Twigg MP

 

 

Halton Draft Allocations Local Plan Consultation

Halton Draft Allocations Local Plan (DALP) I am responding to the consultation on the DALP, my views are set out below which relate to my constituency of Widnes, West Runcorn...

Halton MP Derek Twigg has today written a joint letter with the Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury to Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government regarding the severe and punishing funding cuts levelled on Halton by government since 2010.  This follows the Local Government Finance Settlement statement in the House of Commons yesterday, when the Secretary of State suggested 'restructuring' as an answer to the serious concerns Derek raised about Halton's government funding.  You can watch the exchange here.

The Halton Parliamentary Constituency is made up of Widnes, West Runcorn & Hale Village. The Weaver Vale Parliamentary Constituency includes East Runcorn.

 

Dear Mr Javid,

Response to questions raised in House of Commons 19th December 2017 

We were hugely concerned to hear your response to Halton Council’s dire financial situation during the Local Government Finance Statement on 19th December 2017. 

Neither of us made any mention of council restructuring and there is absolutely no will locally to see Halton Council abolished, which seems to be what you were suggesting. This certainly does not fit in with your government’s “localism” agenda! Why should a council like Halton be restructured out of existence? A council that is one of the most successful councils in the country, having played a pivotal role in delivering major improvements to the Borough since it came into existence in 1974. This is a local authority that has just delivered a huge £billion infrastructure project, the Mersey Gateway, on time and to budget. 

You appear to have used your response to avoid addressing what is the fundamental problem - your Government is massively underfunding local government. You have forced Councils like Halton into making huge cuts to local services. Halton has had its funding cut by over 60% since 2010 and will have faced cuts of £63m by 2020. If the current underfunding continues then Halton will struggle to be able to meet its statutory obligations for Adult Social Care and Children’s Services.  Your announcement yesterday, allowing council’s to raise more from council tax locally, will not be anywhere near enough to address the funding problems Halton faces and will only put a greater burden on local people, who live in one of the most socially deprived boroughs in England.  Additionally, Halton does not get any great benefit from the changes to business rates because of its low base.

There is absolutely no appetite locally to see Halton merged with or swallowed up by a larger neighbouring local authority.  We should be about extending democracy not diminishing it. What is needed is a sustainable funding plan for the future of local government from central government.  A plan that halts and starts to reverse cuts to funding, so that councils can deliver the local services that ensure the needs of their local population are met.

We would request a meeting with you to discuss Halton’s financial position and the pressure it is facing, especially in Adult Social Care and Children’s Services. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future. 

Yours sincerely,

Derek Twigg MP – Halton

Mike Amesbury MP – Weaver Vale

Halton & Government Funding Cuts

Halton MP Derek Twigg has today written a joint letter with the Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury to Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government regarding...


View More Activities

By filling in your personal contact details and providing us with information about your views, you are opting in to allowing the Labour Party and its representatives to use the information you’ve given, as well as other information to which we have an entitlement, to contact you by email, text, phone, websites and apps even though you may be registered with the Telephone Preference Service. You may opt out of being contacted at any time. Your personal information may be used to help us provide you with information to match your interests. We may also use it to alert you of campaigns in which you may be interested and events happening in your area.   For the Labour Party’s full privacy policy and how we use your data please see: http://www.labour.org.uk/pages/privacy