Iain Stewart MP column: 2021 Budget will help working families in Milton Keynes
Iain Stewart takes you inside his life as a Milton Keynes MP with his latest column for the MK Citizen
With the nights now getting darker and colder, I hope you have been keeping safe and well. As well as my regular meetings and visits with constituents and local businesses and organisations, in my Ministerial role I have been involved with the COP26 conference in Glasgow. My Department is funding a number of clean energy innovation projects including tidal power and geothermal community heating projects.
Since my last piece, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his 2021 Budget to Parliament. This Budget will make a real difference to people in Milton Keynes South, helping working families with the cost of living, supporting businesses with their recovery, and investing in our public services so that everyone gets the world-class hospitals, schools, and police services they deserve. I was elected on a promise to level up and improve opportunity for people in Milton Keynes South – and the Budget shows how this Government is delivering on that promise as we build back better.
In the Budget, it was announced Milton Keynes will receive £16.6 million of funding for 56 zero emission buses as part of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme. These buses will help to reduce MK's carbon footprint whilst, hopefully, improving connectivity for residents. After lobbying Department for Transport Ministers with Ben Everitt MP, I am pleased we have been successful.
I visited the Volkswagen Group UK, who are based in Blakelands and are one of the larger local employers. I welcomed the opportunity to be briefed on the latest news and updates with Volkswagen. I was pleased to learn about the performance and the economic impact of Volkswagen Group UK. Also, I was impressed to hear Volkswagen's strategy and approach to e-mobility. At the end of my visit, I really enjoyed being able to test drive the Volkswagen ID 3, an electric car, on the grid roads of Milton Keynes.
Also, in the last month, I was invited to the first meeting of the Milton Keynes Pet Theft Taskforce. The meeting was very insightful as I heard from local trainers and breeder on how we can tackle the horrible crime of pet theft. I look forward to working with the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, the Milton Keynes North MP and the Leader of the Conservative Group on MK Council to look at solutions to protect MK’s pets.
Finally, I want to write a few words following the appalling murder of my colleague, David Amess. I knew David and his death has upset me greatly. Like the vast majority of MPs, I receive abusive messages which go way beyond legitimate debate and are unacceptable. We have to raise the standard of political discourse and be more respectful when someone has a different point of view. I also wish to assure you that I will not allow such abuse or threats to curtail my work in and for the constituents.
If my team or I can be of help to you, please do get in touch with us and we will do our best to assist.