Julian Knight's Westminster Diary, 10/05/18

Solihull Observer.

Last week saw a strong result for your local Conservative team in the local elections as they were returned to the Town Hall with an increased majority.

Ever since I was first elected to represent Solihull in Westminster I have had an invaluable partner in the Conservative councillors group –so many of the issues residents get in touch with me about involve the Council in some way, and our strong working relationship has helped me and my team give more help to more local people.

I’m especially glad that Katy Blunt, who many of you may have met or spoken to if you have ever contacted my office, has been elected to represent Olton.

When the news broke about the contract workers at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) I promised to speak up for one of our town’s biggest employers, and last week I asked two parliamentary questions about the future of this flagship British business.

In addition to asking Steve Baker, a Brexit minister, for reassurance that protecting international supply chains such as JLR’s would be at the very heart of our Brexit strategy, I also asked the Leader of the House for a debate on the role of ‘clean diesel’ in the medium-term future of Britain’s transport industry.

I want the opportunity to explain to MPs and ministers how new diesel engines really can be cleaner than petrol, and warn again punishing innocent motorists and manufacturers for Volkswagen’s crimes.

When it comes to transport, however, there’s no greener way to get around than cycling – and my wife and I were glad to get out over the weekend and enjoy the Bank Holiday sunshine on the Bristol and Bath railway path. We had a lovely day in the countryside and looking around the beautiful city of Bath. I’m glad that Solihull is within easy reach of so many different parts of the country.

On that note, I have a date for the diary of Solihull’s cyclists: Sunday 23rd September is the Tommy Goodwin Challenge sportive. Tommy was a local Olympic champion who won two medals, and the sportive was set up to support the West Midlands Marie Curie Hospice, where he spent his last days. They have raised over £60,000 so far and have three routes, so there’s something for cyclists of all abilities.

Originally published in the Solihull Observer, 19/04/18.