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Bill Wiggin MP

Member of Parliament for North Herefordshire

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Flooding response from Herefordshire Council

An update I received from Herefordshire Council on Monday 17 February:

Public advised not to put themselves at unnecessary risk

Herefordshire continues to experience significant and widespread flooding from rising river levels and deep surface flooding. There is currently a severe flood warning, meaning danger to life, for the River Wye at Blackmarston. Residents have been evacuated from the Hinton and Putson areas of Hereford city and we expect river levels to remain high over the next couple of days. We are closely monitoring the situation. 

There is potential risk of further and significant flooding over the next few days in Greyfriars and Hampton Bishop in Herefordshire. The River Wye at Ross-on-Wye is expected to peak tomorrow (Tuesday 18 February) with risk of further flooding at Ross and at Symonds Yat. Residents in these areas are advised to activate any property flood protection products they may have, such as flood barriers and air brick covers and have a bag ready with vital items like medicines and insurance documents.

All partners are working together to keep people safe and plans have been put in place for the coming days. Emergency response partners including Herefordshire Council, West Mercia Police, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Environment Agency and health partners are working to support residents and protect the most vulnerable. We are concentrating our efforts to ensure vulnerable residents are evacuated where needed and rest centres are being set up for any residents that need to be evacuated at:

·       Holmer Leisure Centre, Holmer Road, Hereford

·       thePoint4, Venns Lane, Hereford

·       Leominster Leisure Centre, Coningsby Road, Leominster

·       Larruperz Centre, Grammar School Close, Ross-on-Wye

Further rest centres will be made available as required.

The multi-agency lead, Superintendent Sue Thomas said:

“The safety of residents is our priority. The river levels are unprecedented and we are doing everything we can to keep people safe- but we need the public to help the emergency services. Please do not put yourself at unnecessary risk – avoid any unnecessary travel and do not enter flood water. Also, please check on your neighbours, especially if they are elderly or vulnerable.”

Leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor David Hitchiner said:

“We are grateful to our local community for stepping up at this time of need, offering help and support to residents and our emergency response teams, including council officers- who have been working day and night. Herefordshire has never seen flooding like it and together with partners, we are doing all we can to ensure residents are safe. Thanks also to the local community groups who are opening their doors to residents who need localised shelter and support. Please keep checking the Herefordshire Council website for the latest information.”

Please do not travel unless absolutely necessary. Many roads are closed and impassable so please respect any road closures and diversions as they are in place to keep you safe. Please do not venture close to swollen rivers or floodwater and follow official flood advice.

Herefordshire Council is co-ordinating all official information such as road closures, live updates and messages from partner agencies. Follow @HfdsCouncil on Facebook and Twitter or www.herefordshire.gov.uk

Please do not enter flood water or put yourself at unnecessary risk. If your home has been flooded and there is no threat to life, dial 01432 260000. If you are in danger, always call 999.

Bellwin emergency financial assistance scheme activated

An update I received from the office of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP on Monday 17 February:

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has asked me to inform you that following the flooding caused by Storm Dennis this weekend, he has activated the Bellwin emergency financial assistance scheme for areas which have seen significant impacts over the weekend. The scheme has been activated for qualifying areas in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, and includes a Council in your constituency.

Under the Bellwin scheme, local authorities dealing with the effects of the storm can apply to have 100% of the eligible costs they incur above a threshold reimbursed by the government.

Further information on the scheme can be found here.

Officials from MHCLG have contacted Councils directly and lines of communication are open. The government continues to monitor the risk of flooding and is working closely with police, fire and rescue, local authorities, local resilience forums and partners to keep communities safe and to support their recovery.

Update from the Environment Agency: Flooding in the West Midlands

An update I received from the Environment Agency on 16/02/20 at 14:04:

Good afternoon,

Storm Dennis is now in full flow and is already having a devastating impact on parts of the country, including the West Midlands with the very heavy rain overnight falling on saturated ground and already high rivers.

We have received many reports of flooding across the West Midlands area, although we expect this number to rise as the impact of the storm unfolds.

What we are doing

Our incident rooms have been open 24/7 throughout the weekend and will continue to be so into next week.

We are attending Strategic and Tactical Command Group meetings and working with partners to assess the impact of the rain and will be supporting communities impacted.

We will continue to monitor rainfall and the corresponding impact on river levels. A high number of Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings continue to be issued as appropriate.

Flood defences have been deployed across the West Midlands (Brookvale, Bewdley, Shrewsbury, Hereford, Upton), with more today (Worcester, Ironbridge, Coleham Head) – where conditions are safe to do so.

Our operational staff are out checking that gates and sluices are free from blockages and debris build-up so that flood water can move quickly through the system.  We’ll continue to work 24/7 throughout this period. 

We continue to encourage the public to protect themselves

We encourage all those who may be at risk of flooding to remain vigilant and take steps to protect themselves by:

They can also follow us on Twitter at @EnvAgencyMids to keep updated on the work we are doing. 

If your constituents have been affected by flooding:

There is information available on our website: https://www.gov.uk/help-during-flood  and from the National Flood Forum: https://nationalfloodforum.org.uk/

We will update you with any significant developments in due course.

Yours sincerely

Mark Bowers, West Midlands Area Duty Manager

Bill Wiggin MP responds to Countryside Alliance Awards nominations

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today expressed his delight after two businesses in the constituency have been nominated for Countryside Alliance Awards.

Yarpole Community Shop & Post Office and Mortimers Cross Inn are both amongst the Midlands regional finalists for this year’s ‘Rural Oscars’.

Bill commented:

“I am delighted to see that these deserving businesses are being recognised by the Countryside Alliance. The Rural Oscars give a great platform to our rural businesses and communities and everybody who is familiar with these businesses knows how central they are to the communities they serve and how vital they are to the local economy.

I wish both the Yarpole Community Shop and the Mortimer’s Cross Inn the best of luck in the upcoming awards, and continued success going forward”.

Regional winners of the ‘Rural Oscars’ will be announced in May of this year, when they will then compete against other winners from across the country.

Bill Wiggin MP pledges support for local pubs in North Herefordshire

This January, Bill joined more than 240,000 supporters of the Long Live the Local Campaign, including 316 in North Herefordshire, in signing the petition to help local pubs keep their doors open.

Bill commented:

“The brewing and pub sector is a vital part of our local economy. It is at the centre of our cultural heritage, hospitality industry and social life of every community.

We have a wonderful 131 pubs and 8 breweries in North Herefordshire, which support 1,318 jobs and contribute £44.5m to the local economy.

However, £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs goes to the taxman, and each pub pays on average more than £140,000 a year in tax. Alongside Business rates and VAT, Beer Duty is putting these pubs under considerable financial pressure.

Seven in ten alcoholic drinks served in pubs are beer, underlining how directly a cut in beer duty will help pubs.

That is why I am calling on the Government to cut beer tax at the Budget to support the survival of our local pubs.”

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“Beer duty has increased by 60% over the last 17 years and now the UK has one of the highest rates of tax in Europe.

When over two thirds of all alcoholic drinks purchased in the pub are beers, a cut in beer tax would go a long way to protecting pubs across North Herefordshire.

We are very grateful to Bill Wiggin for his support for the Long Live the Local campaign, and hope that the Government listens to MPs across Parliament and the thousands of people across the country who are calling for a cut in beer tax to protect our pubs.”

The next Budget will take place on 11th March 2020.

 

Bill Wiggin MP thanks North Herefordshire’s voters

I would like to thank the voters of North Herefordshire for supporting the Conservative Party and for once again placing their trust in me as their Member of Parliament.

My thanks also go to everyone who has helped with the campaign, my supporters, the Chairman of the North Herefordshire Conservative Association and my family.

It is an immense honour to be elected to serve the good people of North Herefordshire for a successive term with 63% of the votes cast, and a majority of 24,856.

The high turn out of 72.6% shows just how important this election has been in deciding on the course of action for our country.

I have been delighted to meet and share views with so many North Herefordshire residents during the campaign. I know how much we all want to move on from the Brexit deadlock so that our economy, public services, businesses, and communities can finally start experiencing the benefits of leaving the European Union.

I will continue to work to represent your voices in Parliament and stand up for North Herefordshire so that those of us living in rural communities are heard. I will work to support our farmers and producers, protect our environment, and secure funding for local hospitals, schools and infrastructure throughout this new Parliament.

The people of the United Kingdom have elected a Conservative Government with 365 seats in the House of Commons. This fantastic majority means that we can now pass legislation to get Brexit done and get on with improving our world class public services so that the UK is an even better place to live.

I look forward to working with my many new colleagues in this next Parliament; to deliver both Brexit and a dynamic domestic agenda.

Thank you again for your support.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust thank Bill Wiggin MP as Orkambi becomes available to sufferers in the UK.

After meeting with constituents directly affected by Cystic Fibrosis, in February 2019 Bill held a debate in Parliament that threatened to take away the patent on Orkambi, a drug for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers.

Bill was delighted when Orkambi finally became available to sufferers in the UK and received the following message from the Chief Executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust:

Dear Bill Wiggin MP,

Congratulations on your re-election as a Member of Parliament. We’d like to thank you for the support you have given to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. You were there to ensure the Government considered all methods of access to cystic fibrosis medicines by bringing an adjournment debate to the chamber in February, highlighting the urgency of this issue to all key parties in the negotiations.

This Christmas there are thousands of people with cystic fibrosis who’s hope shines a bit brighter. People who might imagine this Christmas could be their last, who now dare to believe new medicines can give them a happier, healthier future. Families who will hold their loved ones with greater hope in their heart that we can beat cystic fibrosis.

The drugs Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco, which – with thanks to your support and campaigning – are now available to eligible patients in the UK, treat approximately half of people with CF in the UK.

In 2020, we expect the European licensing of a fourth cystic fibrosis treatment from Vertex Pharmaceuticals. A triple-combination drug therapy (branded Trikafta™ in the USA). The data for the drug shows stunning impact on health and wellbeing, and critically that the drugs can help a far wider group of people with CF than Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco. We estimate that this could increase the number of people in the UK eligible to receive these medicines to 90% of those with the condition.

Now is the time for UK health authorities to work together so that the NHS is among the first healthcare systems in the world to prescribe this radically, game-changing medicine.

In the New Year, we will ask for your support again to help us make this ambition a reality but, for now, we wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Yours

David Ramsden

Chief Executive

Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Bill Wiggin condemns assault on Labour activist in Bromyard

Bill commented:

‘I was shocked to learn that a Labour campaigner was assaulted in Bromyard over the weekend.

My thoughts are with the victim of this horrific abuse and I hope that she makes a speedy recovery.

Such aggression is, as ever, completely unacceptable, and I wish to thank the police officers who swiftly attended the scene and who work so hard to keep us safe in North Herefordshire.

The wellbeing of campaigners is of utmost importance, especially leading up to the election. I would urge campaigners with any concerns over their safety to contact their local police.’

The Conservative and Unionist Party Manifesto 2019 and Costings Document

Click on the links below to view the Manifesto and Costings Document:

The Conservative and Unionist Party Manifesto 2019

Costings Document

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