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BILL WIGGIN

The Conservative Party Candidate for North Herefordshire

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Bill Wiggin MP welcomes new funding for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

The recent mass roll out of EV chargepoint infrastructure shows that the Government is stepping up its strategy to help people and businesses make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles.

In light of the launch of the £400 million Chargepoint Infrastructure Investment Fund this month, Bill Wiggin commented:

“I welcome the £70million funding specifically for EV charging infrastructure announced by the Department for Transport last week.

Following my Ten Minute Rule Bill on standardised electric vehicle charging portals last November, I am pleased that the Government is committed to seeing all new rapid and higher powered chargepoints provide card payment by spring 2020. There are now more chargepoint locations in the UK than petrol stations.

Increased funding for EV infrastructure is a vital step towards lowering our emissions and improving air quality.

It is important that rural areas are not overlooked in the allocation of this funding, and I will continue to argue for improved EV infrastructure in rural areas in North Herefordshire.”

Bill Wiggin MP delight as Leominster set to benefit from record Government investment

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has reacted with delight at the news that Leominster is set to receive £2 million as part of a record government investment aimed to breathe new life into historic buildings on the nation’s high streets.

The £95 million funding will be used to revitalise 69 historic high streets across England – the biggest ever single investment into the UK’s built heritage.

Commenting on the announcement, Bill said:

“I very much welcome this biggest ever investment into our built heritage. Leominster is a wonderful and historic town with many excellent independent retailers. I am sure this money will help to benefit businesses, support our much-loved buildings and help to make this community an even more attractive place to live, work and visit.”

Letter from the Department for Transport regarding The Thomas Cook Group

A copy of the letter I received from the Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, regarding The Thomas Cook Group.

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Brexit Update 4/9/19

Last night the Government lost the vote which would allow Labour and opposition MPs to set the agenda for today.

The Bill they propose will delay Brexit and is allegedly designed to prevent us from leaving the EU without a deal, but behind this is an agenda to remain despite the 2016 Referendum result.

If this Bill passes through the House of Commons today, which is highly likely, British negotiators will have no position to improve the deal which has currently been voted down three times by the House.

The Prime Minister therefore has no option but to call for a general election, but under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, 66% of the House of Commons must vote for a general election.

This is unlikely to be accepted as Labour and opposition MPs are fearful. We will then be left with a situation where the Government will have no majority and an opposition who are unwilling to fight a General Election.

There are several possibilities.

Firstly, a repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, but this will depend on the number of MPs willing to trust the public.

Secondly, a European country may choose to veto an extension to Article 50 which is possible.

As you are aware, there are a lot of variable outcomes and I will do my best to keep you up to date.

I shall be voting for a General Election as I am willing to trust the public.

Best wishes

Bill

Bill Wiggin MP set for Bypass meeting with Herefordshire Council

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, is set to meet with Herefordshire Council Officials on Friday to discuss the Hereford Bypass.

Mr Wiggin will use the meeting to urge the new Independent Administration to end the delays to planning consent for the bypass around the city.

Commenting today, Mr Wiggin said:

“I am hopeful that Friday’s meeting with Herefordshire Council will bring about positive action on the bypass. I am concerned that the new administration’s delaying tactics will deny Herefordshire the £180 million of Government funding that has been offered, not to mention the £10 million that has already been spent in the consultation phase.

I will use this meeting to highlight the concerns of my constituents who want this bypass built. When the Government funding is withdrawn it is they after all who will have to find the money needed for the project.

We must also consider the volume of HGV traffic in the city as well as the air quality impact of this delay, especially in the wake of the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency.”

Letter from the Prime Minister 28/08/19

Letter from the Prime Minister received on 28/08/19:

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Bill Wiggin MP urges new Prime Minister to prioritise sealing a Vertex/NHS drugs deal

Following the Adjournment debate tabled in February by Bill Wiggin MP on enacting a Crown Use Licence on the Cystic Fibrosis drug Orkambi, negotiations have continued between the NHS, NICE and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. MPs across the House are now uniting to call on the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make sealing a Vertex/NHS deal a priority for the new Government.

Bill said: “I would very much like to see a deal with Vertex, but if they refuse to accept the NHS offer then we should prepare to override their copyright protection, like in Argentina, where patients are able to acquire identical medication for a fraction of the price.

My proposal to allow Crown Use Licensing would have made similar low cost medicine legally possible here.

I urge the NHS and Vertex to keep trying to reach an agreement so that we do not need to use such serious powers as they do take longer and every day is precious to CF sufferers and their families.”

Endangered Spreading Bellflower re-introduced in Frith Wood, Ledbury

Bill Wiggin MP joined conservationists from Plantlife and Forestry England in Frith Wood to monitor the progress of the recently re-introduced Spreading bellflower (Campanula patula).

Plantlife Species Champion for the Spreading bellflower, Bill commented: “the Spreading bellflower is one of the rarest plants in the UK, growing in only a small number of habitats in the West Midlands and Welsh borders.

Increased levels of herbicides in roadside soil and changes in woodland management have brought the bellflower close to extinction in recent years.

Thanks to the hard work of Forestry England conservationists who re-planted the local bellflower seeds, I am delighted that this critically endangered species is alive and flourishing on our doorstep.

The newly flowering Campanula patula in Frith Wood demonstrate how the UK’s species diversity depends on a delicately balanced ecosystem, and that we must make sustainable land management a priority in order for endangered species to survive.

According to the UN Report on Biodiversity published earlier this year, 25% of species of flora and fauna globally are vulnerable, whilst 1 million species face extinction unless urgent action is taken to reduce biodiversity loss. It is therefore vital that we do all we can to protect biodiversity in North Herefordshire, and the re-introduction of the Spreading bellflower shows us what is achievable now on a local level.”

The biennial species can be recognised by its upright, funnel shaped purple flowers and narrow leaves. It flowers in June to September in its preferred habitat of fallow land, banks, meadows and open woodland.

Bill Wiggin MP holds environmentally conscious mobile surgeries promoting the use of electric vehicles

Bill Wiggin has been promoting the use of electric vehicles by using a BMW i3 to conduct his mobile summer surgeries in North Herefordshire.

Having won the opportunity to trial the fully electric car at a ‘Road to Zero’ Parliamentary reception hosted by the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) earlier this summer, Bill commented: “I am delighted to support the BVRLA and Alphabet’s important work promoting the use of electric vehicles. The benefits for the environment are clear; they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harmful tailpipe pollutants, and are also more cost effective to run than petrol and diesel vehicles.

In North Herefordshire we are serious about reducing emissions and it is vital that the car manufacturing sector develops efficient green technology to achieve this as a priority.

Following my Ten Minute Rule Bill on standardised electric vehicle charging portals in November, I am pleased that progress is being made to make electric vehicles more accessible across the UK. Last month, the Department for Transport announced that all newly installed charge points will provide ‘pay as you go’ chip and pin facilities by spring 2020 in order to encourage the uptake of the UK’s charge point network.

The vehicle leasing, rental and car club sector offers the fastest way to get electric cars on our roads, but the right incentives and infrastructure need to be in place.”

Alphabet, who supplied the BMW i3 for Bill’s summer surgeries, currently manages over 138,000 vehicles in the UK and advises businesses on integrating electric vehicles into their existing fleets through its ‘AlphaElectric’ service.

Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive of the BVRLA explained: “We are very grateful to Bill for supporting our campaign to increase the uptake of electric vehicles. Our members currently purchase around a third of all new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold in the UK.

Last year we pledged to go even further, with an ambition to see our members combined plug-in vehicle fleet size surge from 50,000 in 2018 to 720,000 by 2025. Achieving this pledge is only possible if we can secure the necessary support from the Government through forward thinking vehicle taxation, investment in charging infrastructure and adequate supply of the right vehicles.”

Bill is among nearly 50 other MPs who have so far signed a letter to the Government campaigning for the necessary infrastructure and funding required to increase the use of electric vehicles in the UK.

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