Getting housing, jobs and transport into sustainable balance for Weston & the villages
Since John became the town’s MP in 2005, Weston has been steadily transformed. With a combination of public and private money the Grand Pier, seafront promenade, Pier Square and children’s water park have all been rebuilt, and work is underway on Dolphin Square.
There’s a better and less crowded train service for people commuting to Bristol now that intercity trains stop at Weston and Worle stations during the rush hours.
We’ve become a more sustainable community, rather than just a dormitory for Bristol, by bringing new jobs to the area and upgrading local services like schools, play areas and GPs to match all the new houses that had been built without proper local facilities for 30 years or more.
More local students are staying at college or school to get better qualifications than ever before, and our local unemployment rate is well below the national average too.
There’s plenty more to do, of course. Recent victories include scrapping the previous Government’s plans to impose 12,000 unwanted houses on Weston, without providing the new jobs or local services needed to balance the extra people and create a sustainable community.
John’s work to save our direct intercity train services between Weston and London, which were due to be scrapped when the new rail operator is chosen in 2013, was an important milestone too. Retaining the direct service will keep down journey times to the capital, and prevent overcrowding on rush hour commuter trains to Bristol to boot. And winning much-needed Government funding to upgrade Worle Station and Junction 21 of the M5, due in 2013, should make life better for thousands of visitors and local residents every day as well.
John’s work won’t stop here either. We must finish the rebirth of Weston’s seafront; it’s miles better than it was a few years ago, but we’ve still got to deal with issues like rebuilding Birnbeck Pier and finding an alternative site for a covered pool if we can’t have the Trop.
And we need even more local jobs, to balance all the new housing that’s been built over the last 30 years and create a greener, more sustainable community, where fewer people are forced to travel to work in Bristol (unless they want to, of course – it’s a free country after all!) because there are more local firms to hire them instead.
Video of John pressing the case for electrification of Weston’s rail service to Bristol, after Ministers announced that other projects have been delayed. John asks that Ministers provide cost-benefit ratios of the delayed projects so local people can compare them to electrifying our local line and states that it is unreasonable that the area, one of the UK's most economically important, be overlooked...
John Penrose MP has intervened during a debate in Parliament to press the case for electrification of Weston’s rail service to Bristol, after Ministers announced that other projects have been delayed.
Ministers have announced that strict limits on the height of houses could be axed under the biggest overhaul of Britain's planning laws for more than 70 years, matching suggestions John made in his up-not-out campaign.
Last Saturday saw the grand opening of the new Animal Discovery Barn at Puxton Park, with guests John Penrose MP and Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep. The new attraction further boosts Puxton's ability to offer an 'all weather' day out for locals and tourists.
Weston’s economy has been growing at a heck of a rate over the last few years, but this does mean we’re starting to feel the pinch in our local infrastructure. In this week's article for the Weston Mercury, John declares it's about time for Junction 21a...