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BILL WIGGIN MP

MP for North Herefordshire

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Bill Wiggin reaction to Manchester attack

I was deeply shocked and saddened to wake up to the news of the appalling events in Manchester. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all those affected by this dreadful attack on young people and families leaving a concert.

It is right that, out of respect for the families of the victims, all major parties have suspended campaigning as we reflect on this tragedy. The Prime Minister is chairing a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee this morning, to coordinate the UK’s response to the latest terror threat.

Once again, this country’s emergency services have demonstrated extraordinary bravery by heading towards danger in order to save lives, and I would like to pay tribute the wonderful job they do to keep us all safe.

The solidarity shown by the people of Manchester is a reminder that we should not be cowed by terrorism, but rather remain defiant in the face of those who seek to destroy our way of life.

Bill Wiggin MP supports Mondelēz International Annual Parliamentary Reception 2017

 

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, yesterday met with fellow MPs at the Mondelez International Annual Parliamentary Reception.

Bill Wiggin met with fellow MPs, the Mondolez President for Northern Europe, Glenn Canton, and suppliers before giving a speech to those in attendance.

Mondelez International employ over 5000 people across 10 locations in the UK, including the Marlbrook site, near Leominster, in Mr Wiggin’s North Herefordshire constituency.

The Marlbrook site has been operational since 1936, and is the companies’ Crumb Making Centre of Excellence. It has 96 full time employees and deals with 93 dairy farms supplying 500,000 litres of milk per day, and processes up to 93,000 tons of chocolate crumb per year.

Commenting after the event, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I was delighted to attend this event for Mondolez International, who have such a positive impact on the local economy in North Herefordshire.

Mondolez continue to invest £1.5m into local communities and provide young people with an excellent pathway to work through their early career programmes, which include apprenticeships, internships, graduate and school leaver programmes.

As Mr Canton said in his speech, Mondelez have invested over £20m in the Marlbrook site in the last few years, which is so important for jobs and dairy farmers across my constituency.

I look forward to working closely with Mondolez to ensure more success in the coming years.”

 

Bill Wiggin MP Statement

As I left the division lobbies having voted, the Leader of the House announced that an incident had occurred outside. It was hard to discover what was happening so I returned to my office moments before the chamber was locked. On television I was able to follow the events unfolding while I could see the ambulance lights flashing on Westminster Bridge out of my office window.

The murder of two and the injury of about forty pedestrians on Westminster Bridge is an atrocity.  This was compounded by the murder of PC Keith Palmer who was guarding the carriage gates at the Parliament Square entrance to the Palace of Westminster.

It is worth pointing out that thanks to the superb reactions of PC Palmer and the security forces this cowardly attack failed absolutely, with the murderer not even making it 20 metres inside the secure zone. Parliament sits as normal today, in defiance of this murderer’s attempt to attack our democracy.

The attacker who has not yet been identified was shot and later died. Overnight the Police have arrested eight people who may have been connected.

The courage, bravery and dedication of our emergency services should make us all feel proud that we have such people willing to stand in defence of democracy and freedom, and to run towards danger whilst encouraging others to get out of harm’s way.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all affected. There were more than ten nationalities hurt by the murderer and these people were just innocent tourists enjoying the sights of London. They too deserve to be safe and welcome in our country.

I felt throughout for the safety of my staff as well as the other workers caught up by this attack. We were kept locked in for most of the day and evening as it was hard to identify if there were more threats expected.

This was an attack on our democracy, our values and on our liberty.

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of our emergency services who do so much to keep us all safe.

In the coming days, weeks and months, we will show that we are not cowed by attacks such as these, but rather continue to embrace the values of democracy that we all share and hold so dear.

 

Bill Wiggin MP

 

Bill Wiggin MP supports World Cancer Day 2017

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire attended an event in Parliament yesterday to show his support for World Cancer Day on Saturday 4 February, 2017.

Bill Wiggin MP met with representatives from seven of the UK’s leading charities who have joined forces to unite the nation and help people affected by cancer.

Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care, Breast Cancer Now, CLIC Sargent, Anthony Nolan, Bowel Cancer UK and Marie Curie are calling on people across North Herefordshire to show their support by wearing a Unity Band or donating.

By joining forces, the charities will make a bigger impact in transforming the lives of millions who are affected by cancer.

The Unity Bands are made of two parts, knotted together, to symbolise strength in unity and the power of what can be achieved when people join forces.

The bands are available from each charity on their websites, shops and other retail outlets for a suggested donation of £2. All money raised from the Unity Bands will go towards the charities individual work.

One in two people born in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Bill Wiggin MP said: “I’m calling on people in North Herefordshire to join me in support of World Cancer Day which is on Saturday 4 February.

“Whatever your motivation – to remember a loved one, celebrate people who have overcome the disease, or to rally in support of those going through treatment – World Cancer Day is a chance to get involved and transform the lives of millions of people who are affected by cancer.”

 

Bill Wiggin MP Welcomes Access Fund Boost for Herefordshire Council

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today expressed his delight at the announcement that the Department for Transport has agreed funding for Herefordshire Council’s Destination Hereford 3 programme.

Herefordshire Council will receive £1.5m from the Access Fund, awarded over a period from April 2017 to March 2020. The primary objectives of the fund are to support the local economy by supporting access to new and existing employment, education and training and to actively promote increased levels of physical activity through walking and cycling.

Commenting on the announcement, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I was delighted to learn that Herefordshire Council were successful in their bid for funding to help with the destination Hereford 3 programme. This funding will ensure improvements in accessing the cities education, training and employment facilities. In conjunction with the proposed new University in Hereford, this news spells an exciting time for the city.

I welcome the news that the funding will place an emphasis on increased levels of walking and cycling, better health and air quality, and less congestion and CO2.

Many of my constituents travel to Hereford for work or study, and these proposals to transform the way people move in and around the city can only be a benefit to them.”

Bill Wiggin welcomes Weobley Post Office move

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today expressed his delight at the decision to maintain Post Office services in Weobley, after it was announced that the villages’ branch would be moved to a new location.

The move has been welcomed by Bill Wiggin MP and residents alike, after initial fears of a permanent closure. Now, the Magpie Corner Gallery in Weobley will operate as a new local style Post Office branch.

Commenting on the news, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I am pleased that common sense has prevailed and that we have persuaded the Post Office to allow the branch to remain in Weobley. It is absolutely vital for my constituents in more remote areas to have access to these important services, and the new facility will be a wonderful boost to the residents.”

Mr Wiggin also praised the hard work of the residents who fought so hard to keep the Post Office in the village, saying:

“During the public consultation, many residents made their feelings known and they should be congratulated for their efforts in supporting the continuation of Post Office services in Weobley.”

Departing Postmaster, Mrs Anne Tootell, said she was “delighted that we have managed to save the Post Office after a long hard struggle.”

Bill Wiggin MP said of Mrs Tootell:

“Mrs Tootell has been a fantastic custodian of the Weobley Post Office, and it is thanks in no small part to her determination that we have the resolution we all wanted. I wish Anne the very best in her retirement.”

 

Bill Wiggin MP welcomes new modern Industrial Strategy which will support business growth and create more high skilled, high paid jobs for West Midlands.

Bill Wiggin MP has welcomed a green paper on a new modern Industrial Strategy which will support businesses in West Midlands to grow and create more high skilled, high paid jobs for local people.

The Industrial Strategy will ensure everyone in West Midlands can benefit from success through ten ‘pillars’ – including investing in science, research and innovation, and upgrading infrastructure – that underpin a new approach and will identify all of the new opportunities across our economy. This strategy will create the conditions where the winners can emerge and grow in different types of business across West Midlands.

During an Industrial Strategy Consultation in the House of Commons, Bill Wiggin MP asked the Secretary of State:

‘The New Model in Technology and Engineering, or Hereford University as it should properly be known, has received tremendous support from the Secretary of State’s Department, but will the £170 million that he has promised in this statement be too late for Herefordshire, as we only have until 28 January to apply for new funding?’

The Secretary of State replied:

‘My hon. Friend is right to point out the prescience of his friends and neighbours in Herefordshire in making their proposal. This is a very good example of precisely the sort of reform that we need, and I think that its prospects are pretty bright.’

The modern Industrial Strategy will benefit West Midlands and proposes:

  • Cultivating our world-leading sectors, including the Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Sector in Birmingham and Solihull, which employs around 115,000 people and accounts for 60 per cent of the UK’s automotive R&D.
  • Supporting the development of major infrastructure projects, by providing development funding for major upgrades such as the Midlands Rail Hub.
  • Improving access to finance for businesses right across the country to grow, including through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

Commenting after the consultation, Bill Wiggin MP said:

‘This is an important step in building a modern, dynamic Industrial Strategy that will deliver more high skilled, high wage jobs and improve living standards and drive economic growth across West Midlands.

‘Local businesses and workers have the chance to contribute to this vision and submit their views to help us create a high-skilled economy in West Midlands where businesses can grow and more jobs are created.

‘This strategy will ensure we are backing are business in West Midlands and ensure more people share in the benefits of its success.’

Bill Wiggin MP backs UK Farmers in Rural Economy Debate

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, yesterday gave his backing to UK farmers in an opposition day debate on Leaving the EU: the Rural Economy.

Bill Wiggin MP gave a speech during the House of Commons debate and stated that:

“The assumption made in the motion that Brexit is something for farmers to be scared of is far too pessimistic. There are risks, but there are also opportunities.”

Mr Wiggin owns a small farm in his North Herefordshire constituency where he raises cattle, and stressed in his speech that while the European Union has, for many years, subsidised farms under the Common Agricultural Policy…“We have seen our farmers fall from pole position, and we are now behind some of our European partners in respect of profitability and innovation. Leaving the EU, and thus ending the common agricultural policy, should therefore not be a cause for concern in itself.”

Bill Wiggin MP was bullish about the prospects of Farmers in the wake of Brexit, saying:

“Now we are able to create a uniquely helpful agricultural policy for our farmers, prioritising the goals that we most want to achieve. It is important that we have an agricultural policy that works for our farmers, for we need their contributions, but it must also work for voters, the environment and all of us who need a healthy diet. That is particularly true as the NHS faces pressure from type 2 diabetes and other diet and exercise-related illnesses.”

In his closing remarks, Bill Wiggin MP spoke in support of the Government’s Brexit negotiating strategy, saying:

“I have placed on the record in this House multiple times the eminently sensible and straightforward position that this country stands to gain nothing from the Government setting out our negotiating position before the negotiations commence. The EU negotiators would gain the upper hand.”

Bill Wiggin MP welcomes Mobile boost for Leominster

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today welcomed news that people in Leominster are now able to benefit from much-improved 4G mobile phone coverage following a major investment by EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator and part of the BT Group.

Leominster is one of the latest rural locations in the UK to benefit from engineering work making it easier and quicker for people to get connected on their mobile phones.

It is EE’s ambition to connect 95 per cent of the UK landmass to its superfast 4G network by 2020, including some of the most remote parts of the country.

Commenting on the announcement, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I am delighted to hear that EE has rolled out 4G coverage across Leominster, which will benefit many local residents and businesses. Any improvement to Herefordshire’s network coverage is welcome, and I look forward to hearing about future roll-outs of network connectivity in other parts of the county.”

Marc Allera, chief executive of EE, said:

“We’ve seen the difference 4G is making right across the UK, and we’re delighted to be bringing this great network experience to more locations in Herefordshire”

Colin Bannon, regional director for BT in the West Midlands, said:

“The switch on of EE’s 4G network in any rural community is a hugely significant event and that’s definitely the case here in Leominster. There is a growing reliance on mobile devices to provide greater access to information and enable easier communication with customers, family and friends. Both local businesses and residents depend on them like never before and it’s great to see such investment taking place locally.”

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