Ever since I became your MP in 2017, I have made it a priority to fight for a fair share for North East Derbyshire - and to make sure that we make progress on improving our local infrastructure.
We have known for decades that we needed improvements in our area - whether to our roads, our schools, our local health facilities or everything else. The failure to plan, and win funding, by our old Councils over several decades has meant that North Derbyshire is way behind where it should be in infrastructure.
With that in mind, I have made it a mission to try to work to improve our infrastructure - along with our current District and County Councils who are also up for doing the same. We think there is a real opportunity to show how, working together, we can make a real difference for our area for the long-term.
WON ALREADY! REAL WINS WHICH RESIDENTS WILL SEE TRANSFORM OUR AREA IN THE COMING YEARS
And, in the last couple of years alone, we have made huge progress in winning funding to improve North East Derbyshire:
- £25 million to regenerate Clay Cross: in March 2021, we won a Town Deal for Clay Cross - meaning millions of pounds of spending will be available for us to make Clay Cross better over the coming five years;
- £25 million to regenerate Staveley: we've also won a similar Town Deal for Staveley - and were one of just a couple of areas in the whole country to get two Town Deals;
- A new school for Wingerworth: after years of being stuck due to lack of funding, we finally unlocked funding from the Government for a new primary school for Wingerworth - watch out for more details of when it will open soon;
- The biggest extension to the Royal Hospital since it was built: work has already begun, with spades in the ground, for a new, multi-million pound A&E and Urgent Care Village at The Royal in Calow;
- Real improvements to broadband across our area: I've worked with local communities as diverse as Spinkhill, Barlow and Grassmoor to plug not-spots in our broadband provision and to improve connections across North East Derbyshire.
- The full upgrade of Killamarsh Leisure Centre: working together, your Conservative District and Parish Councils in Killamarsh have transformed a loss-making sports centre into a facility that the village can be proud of once again. That was only possible because local politicians worked together for the first time in years to improve things, rather than the previous squabbling under Labour - and it shows what can be achieved for our communities.
MAKING GOOD PROGRESS! OPPORTUNITIES WHICH WE ARE SEEKING TO TAKE
At the same time, we are also actively seeking other opportunities to improve our area, too:
- Finally getting down to the details on the Staveley bypass: after decades of little progress, in 2020 we won funding from the Government to do the detail on the long-anticipated Staveley Bypass. The detailed work on this bypass - first mooted in 1927 - will be submitted to the Government a few months ago in 2022. We are now awaiting details of whether we have been successful - there's no guarantee but we are trying
- Bidding to re-open passenger services to Eckington, Killamarsh, Staveley and New Whittington: in 2021, we won initial funding from the Government to do a high-level study on the re-opening of the Barrow Hill line to passenger traffic. Earlier this year, we were successful in moving to the next stage of the process and Network Rail are now working up a detailed proposal. That will take some time and, again, there's no guarantee, but we will return to this in 2023 and keep pushing
- Getting some progress on the A61: the A61 has had no real plan to mitigate congestion for decades. Working with the County and District Councils, we have put together the Plan for Derby Road - a series of short-term agreed measures which are already being taken along with discussions about medium- and long-term interventions to actually reduce congestion. To support that, look out for three consultations in the coming months. The first (on the long-term options for Derby Road) has just closed and we will report back soon. The second (on speed limits) is coming up and then, in 2023, there will be another on how to improve getting around in Clay Cross.
I'm also continuing to work with our local District, County and Parish Councils on regeneration options for Dronfield, Killamarsh and Eckington, plus a number of other early stage ideas about how we make our area better for the long-term.
Getting our infrastructure into a better place is going to take decades - but I hope we shown some real progress in the last four years and a real determination to try to move things on. From working elsewhere in the country before I became an MP, the secret has been to have ideas and be ready to put forward proposals as and when opportunities open up. That's why we've got to keep pushing on all ideas we think might have merit - we won't win them all but, over time, we might be able to deliver some of them - we've got to be in it to win it!
Working with our local Councils, we will keep trying to level up North East Derbyshire in the years ahead. We've made huge progress in winning the Town Deals, the school and the funding to improve the Royal - the focus is now on delivering all of these successfully and looking at what else we might be able to achieve in the years ahead!