I would like to start this week’s column by thanking everybody who turned out to vote in last week’s local elections.
The Conservative team have been of huge help to me since I was first returned to represent our town in Parliament, and I’m pleased that they were returned with an increased majority last week.
I was especially glad that Katy Blunt, whom many of you may have met if you have ever got in touch with my office, has been elected as councillor for Olton. I have seen first-hand her amazing work ethic and dedication to our community, and know she will be a real champion for residents of Olton and the borough.
Meanwhile, I have been speaking up in the House of Commons about Jaguar Land Rover, after the recent announcement regarding contract workers at their Lode Lane plant. I asked Steve Baker, a Brexit minister, for reassurance that protecting international supply chains such as JLR’s will be a top priority as we negotiate our future relationship with the European Union.
I also asked the Leader of the House for a debate on new diesel. I want a chance to explain to MPs and ministers that despite Volkswagen’s deceptions, modern diesel engines really can be just as good for the environment as petrol alternatives and have a key role to play in the medium-term future of transport in this country.
Ministers also need reminding that millions of motorists thought they were doing the right thing by switching to diesel at the urging of the previous Labour government, and neither they nor our car manufacturers should be unfairly punished to appease the green lobby.
Outside Westminster, my wife and I made the most of the bank holiday sunshine by going on a big cycle down the Bristol to Bath railway path. It was lovely looking around the beautiful city of Bath – we’re very lucky in Solihull to be within easy reach of so many different parts of the country.
Before I sign off, a date in the diary for any other cyclists out there: Sunday 23rd September is the next Tommy Goodwin Challenge sportive. Tommy was a local man who won Olympic medals for Britain in cycling, and this annual event is to raise money for the West Midlands Marie Curie hospice where he spent his final days. There are three different routes, so there’s something for everybody.
Originally published in the Solihull News, 27/04/18.