Karen Lumley, MP for Redditch County, has today (30 January 2017) reacted with frustration to a Government decision not to 'call in' the Local Plan for housing in the constituency.
Last summer (July 2016) Karen held emergency talks with Civil Servants at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in London to register her extreme concerns over plans to build thousands of houses in Webheath. It was her belief that the council hadn't investigated the alternative site of Bordesley in enough detail.
But today Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Gavin Barwell MP, announced he will not question any further the borough's Local Plan for some 3,400 new homes on the border of Redditch and Bromsgrove in Webheath.
The plans will now go before a vote at Redditch Borough Council's full council tonight (Monday).
Karen said: "Frankly I believe this is the wrong decision and I have told this to Gavin Barwell on the telephone today.
"I have for many years, since I was a councillor in Redditch, and still believe there are other sites more suitable, especially in Bordesley. I am bitterly disappointed by today's decision and hope councillors will take this into account as they vote on the plans.
"While I am grateful the Department has considered my point of view, it is unfortunate they came to the conflicting conclusion. However I tried my best and still believe Bordesley is best placed to site these houses because the infrastructure in Webheath is weak and it is not where I consider jobs will be created over the next few years."
Staff from my office have been busy organising two Pensioners' Advice & Information Fairs – one-stop shops to introduce support, voluntary and other relevant services and organisations to those of pensionable age in Redditch.
I have already hosted three very successful Jobs Fairs, an Apprenticeships and Skills Fair and a Charity Funding Fair, and the Pensioners Fairs are set to follow in the wake of their accomplishments.
So far around 20 organisations have confirmed their attendance at two events which are set to take place as follows:
Friday, 3 March, 10am-12pm at the Rocklands Social Club, Birchfield Road, Headless Cross B97 4LB
Friday, 17 March, 10am-12pm at the Mettis (formerly HDA) Social Club in Cherry Tree Walk, Batchley B97 6PB
Youngsters starting University have Freshers' Fairs and for those seeking employment I run regular Jobs' Fairs, so I wanted to replicate this successful concept for my older constituents who may not be aware of the fantastic breadth of organisations out there with services they may find valuable.
The idea is to bring together, under one roof, a mix of statutory, voluntary and activity-based bodies who can showcase their services.
Organisations confirmed as taking part are: Act on Energy, Age UK, Citizens Advice, Council Electoral Services, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, The National Trust, West Mercia Police, Home Instead, Carers Careline, Redditch Association for the Blind, Healthwatch Worcestershire, Care & Repair Worcestershire, Redditch Borough Council Health Improvement, The Alzheimer's Society, Severn Trent Water, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening and Trading Standards.
Admission to both events is free and refreshments will be provided as well.
Get in touch with Karen's office if you'd like to meet with her. Due to high demand surgeries are by appointment only to make sure there is time to give every case the attention needed.
See her upcoming surgery dates here.