Long overdue improvements to the A303 were announced in Parliament this week, including the construction of a tunnel to protect the area around Stonehenge from damage caused by traffic on its way to and from Somerset, well-known destination for tourists, visitors and holidaymakers.
But, it’s not just big road projects that are important locally. The proposed ‘Strawberry Line’ extension between Wells and Cheddar – an ‘off-road’ path for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and disabled vehicles – needs a helping hand too.
With the support of Sustrans, a leading charity supporting healthier, cleaner, cheaper journeys, local campaigners have spent years trying to give school children, locals and holidaymakers – and a growing number of cyclists – a safe green alternative to using the dangerous, narrow A371 route between Wells and Cheddar, both popular tourist destinations. Rural roads are recognised as the most dangerous, especially with the increasing popularity of cycling.
After over a decade of meetings, lobbying and funding various reports and studies, the Strawberry Line Planning Application has been languishing in the dust on a shelf at County Hall for the last 4 years.
Somerset MP Tessa Munt has welcomed today’s announcement that the Government will start closer discussions with Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to establish whether tidal lagoon projects in the West Country are affordable and value for money for consumers.
“Earlier this year, I used my position as Chair of my party’s Energy & Climate Change Backbench Committee to introduce Eva Bishop, Director of Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd. to Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change.
I never waste an opportunity to encourage him to meet experts and entrepreneurs operating in the clean, green, renewable sector and it seems it’s finally paying off.
He was persuaded that tidal power is in reach, a reality and a fantastic resource here in the West, where the tidal range in the Severn Estuary is the second highest in the world. I’m a long-term supporter of tidal power.
The potential of this technology is immense and most of us here in the West Country understand that. Harnessing the power of the nation’s tides has the potential to supply as much as 10% of the UK’s electricity.”
2nd December 2014
Members of Parliament from across the political divide have voted overwhelmingly to ensure abortion undertaken for reasons of sex-selection is made illegal.
MPs voted 181 to 1 for a Bill put forward by Tessa and 11 other MPs aiming to end confusion about the legality of this practice.
The uncertainty was revealed by The Telegraph last year when the Director of Public Prosecutions chose not to bring charges against two doctors caught on camera agreeing to arrange abortions of baby girls purely because of their sex.
The case was investigated by Scotland Yard and passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service, which said that although there was enough evidence, it was not “in the public interest” to bring charges.
“Whilst this incident was a rare occurrence in the UK, in countries like India, China and Pakistan it’s a big problem. I felt it would be helpful to clarify the law for the avoidance of doubt in the future.”
The Bill will have its second reading in Parliament in January.
26th November 2014
Tessa recently spent the day with Quentin Wilson, leader of the FairFuelUK campaign to talk about her work in Westminster supporting the successful campaign to have Fuel Duty frozen in every year since her election.
Founder of Fair Fuel UK, Howard Cox & Quentin Wilson said:
“Tessa’s been there right from the start in backing FairFuelUK.
We have met with hundreds of MPs in 5 years of campaigning, very few deliver on their promises.
Without her continuous and unambiguous support since January 2011, 32m tax paying motorists and businesses would have been paying £1.60p/litre every time they fill up.
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking and that best sums up Tessa Munt. She beavers away for her constituents and for causes that will make a difference for real people without generating a media song and dance in making them happen.
With Tessa on-board the Campaign’s successes have been achieved in part because of all the help she has given without making that song and dance and always delivering on her promises. She is a real ‘in touch’ person who delivers real results.
Her continuing support is not just welcome its essential for bringing common sense to punitive taxation issues such as the high cost of fuel.”
25th November 2014