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.
Any parent, wherever or whoever they are, wants a good education for their children. In today’s global ‘knowledge economy’ it’s what’s between your ears that matters most. And if we get it wrong, there’s an ever-growing crowd of highly-skilled people from India, Brazil or China who will happily do a lot of jobs online, from the other side of the world.
Weston’s MP, John Penrose has met developers Barratt Homes to make sure they understand why he, and the entire village of Congresbury, are so concerned about their plans to build an estate of new houses on the edge of the village.
Weston’s MP John Penrose says he’s delighted by new figures showing that Weston-super-Mare and the rest of North Somerset attracted more than 8 million visitors in 2013, an increase of 16% over 2012...
The Bristol Post reports on the news that John Penrose MP's calls for movement on Birnbeck Pier have resulted in a number of positive developments. Not only has Mr Samady said he will stand aside should a more viable alternative be put forward, but he has also hired a team of advisers to review his own business plans.
In this fortnight's Weston Mercury column, John talks about the latest figures that show local unemployment has almost halved since May 2012...
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