Jack Lopresti MP joined Keith Jordan, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail Europe with his senior site staff and local Councillors to see the progress on construction of the company's new Train Maintenance Centre in Stoke Gifford. The superstructure of the main maintenance building which started in August 2013 is nearing completion and the £80 million facility should be finished by the end of 2015.
Once completed, the modern depot will comprise a maintenance building with two full-length internal roads, office and staff accommodation space, stabling and servicing roads, and a carriage wash plant. The facility will serve as one of Hitachi Rail Europe's maintenance facilities for the new Great Western Main Line rolling stock it is building as part of the Government's £5.8bn Intercity Express Programme.
Jack Lopresti MP said, 'It was very interesting to see the progress made so far in the construction of this state of the art facility. I am pleased that Hitachi has today reconfirmed to me their commitment to filling as many jobs as possible from the local work force, including apprentices. They are very keen to develop strong links with local educational establishments, engaging young people with the fantastic opportunities offered by a career in engineering."
Photo from left to right:
Cllr Brian Allinson, Amanda Deeks, Pat Hockey, Ruth Davis, Roger Hutchinson,
Jack Lopresti MP, Keith Jordan, Hitachi Rail Europe, John Calway, Leader of South Glos Council
Cllr Keith Cranney, Susan Lawson, DfT, Ross Cunningham, Hitachi Rail Europe
Jack Lopresti MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke today asked, in the House of Commons at Business, Innovation and Skills questions, whether the Minister supported the plans to develop an aerospace apprenticeship training centre as part of the "iAero" proposals on former Filton airfield land.
Matthew Hancock MP, the Minister for Skills and Enterprise, confirmed that discussions about the proposals were taking place between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the local Aerospace Businesses in Filton and Bradley Stoke. The Minister said he was enthusiastic about the proposals. The Minister also mentioned that the number of apprenticeships in Filton are up by 60% in 2010.
Jack Lopresti MP says: "An aerospace apprentice training college at Filton will further confirm our area's continued world pre-eminence in the aerospace industry and will help develop the engineers and scientists of the future.
"Under this Government we have delivered, nationally, 1.7 million apprenticeships over this parliament so far; which will help ensure that we are nurturing talent so that we can continue to compete in the global race as well as enhancing and increasing social mobility."
Jack recently visited the site set aside for the Bristol Aerospace Centre at Filton Airfield to be briefed about the progress they have made and the next steps in bringing the project to fruition. Filton has been at the centre of Bristol's aerospace industry for just over a century, and the Aerospace Centre will bring together both Filton's history and the history of the site. Concorde 216 will also have a new purpose built home there.
The Bristol Aero Collection was formed in 1988 and comprises several aircraft that were developed and built at Filton. The Collection was originally stored at Kemble Airfield, but is now housed in the Brabazon hangar and is being maintained and updated by volunteers, most of whom are former local aerospace employees. Jack was able to meet the volunteers and discuss some of the work they are doing.
Lloyd Burnell, Project Director of the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, took Jack through the progress they have made securing the finance for the Bristol Aerospace Centre. Substantial pledges of support have been received from BAe Systems, Rolls Royce and Airbus, and a major grant has been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Finally, Jack visited Hangar 16S, which is one of the two Grade II listed hangars that date from the First World War, and will house a substantial part of the Aero Collection. These hangars will be refurbished before the exhibits are moved in, and Jack was given a rare opportunity to look inside them to see what work needs to be done.
'I was delighted to hear that good progress is being made to raise the funds that needed for this project and that the Aerospace Centre is on course to open in 2017. It will be a fantastic setting to display the history of Aerospace at Filton and as a home for Concorde 216.'
Jack is pictured with Lloyd Burnell and John Heron, Trustees of the Aero Collection Trust, outside Hangar 16S.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, visited his home city of Bristol today to hear about the improvements to broadband for many residents of Bradley Stoke. Slow internet provision in Bradley Stoke has been a problem for several years, and Councillors had a meeting with Communications Minister Ed Vaizey back in 2010 to stress the need for investment to be made in better provision. South Gloucestershire Councillors John Calway, John Ashe, John Godwin and Trevor Jones met Mr Javid today to talk about the difficulties residents and business had with slow internet speeds and their happiness that the work is finally being done.
The Government has invested £4.6million through the BDUK project to upgrade broadband across South Gloucestershire alongside a contribution of £2million from the local authority. So far this year, several of the Cabinets in Bradley Stoke have been fibre enabled through the Government's Broadband Delivery UK scheme and are ready for service, meaning that Bradley Stoke residents now have access to faster and more efficient internet services via fibre broadband, a service that many have already taken up. This is well in advance of the summer 2014 target. The remaining two Cabinets are in line to be surveyed later this summer.
"It is great news that faster broadband has reached Bradley Stoke" commented Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti. "Bradley Stoke was a particular blackspot for internet services, and this investment from Government has allowed them to order fibre services from their Internet Service Provider. This can only help them enjoy the benefits of better provision for their businesses and in their home."
Nationally, the Government is investing £780 million to reach a target of 95% of the UK having access to superfast broadband by 2017. This is part of the Government's plan to improve competitiveness of UK businesses, leading Ofcom to state that the UK now has the best internet coverage of the five largest European economies.
"I'm delighted that most Bradley Stoke residents are now able to access superfast broadband" commented the Secretary of State. "This has happened thanks to the Government's investment in the Broadband scheme - an essential part of our long term economic plan which is making it easier for Britain to do business. I am delighted that the town is seeing the benefits and very grateful to Jack Lopresti for inviting me here."
Left to right: Cllr John Calway, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council; Cllr John Godwin, Secretary of State The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP; Cllr John Ashe, Mayor of Bradley Stoke; Cllr Trevor Jones; Jack Lopresti MP.
Jack Lopresti MP organised for The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP to be shown around EE's National Control Centre in Aztec West in Jack's constituency today. Jack and the Secretary of State were met by Stephen Harris the Chief Corporate and Strategy officer, who following a brief meeting, showed them around and then introduced them to EE apprentices.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP said: "Extremely interesting look at EE's network control centre live on a busy Friday on a very large plasma screen. Good to meet with EE's apprentices afterwards."
Jack Lopresti MP says: "It was great to show Sajid the heartbeat of the EE network. The technology is impressive."
Stephen Harris, Chief Corporate & Strategy Officer at EE said: "EE has a long history and is a major employer in the Bristol area, and I was delighted to welcome our MP, Jack Lopresti, and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, to our office today to meet members of our award winning apprenticeship scheme and see our industry-leading network management centre."
Jack Lopresti MP joined members of Airbus staff in the garden at Pegasus House in Filton to support the Royal British Legion's Centenary Poppy Campaign. The campaign aims to cover the UK with poppies during the centenary commemorations to encourage everyone to remember all the men and women who lost their lives in World War I.
A short remembrance and poppy seed planting dedication was conducted within the Pegasus House garden today at 11am by the Reverend Canons Brian Arman and Elspeth Desmond of St Peters Church in Filton. Members of Airbus staff with colleagues from local aircraft industries rang a peal of bells at St Peters to mark the event. A number of Airbus staff including past serving members representing the armed services, joined the service and planted seeds in the garden. Packets of poppy seeds are being sold in Airbus on-site food outlets. Employees can buy a pack for just £1 and take them home to sow in gardens or community areas. All proceeds will be donated to the Royal British Legion.
Jack said, 'It was a huge privilege and an honour to have been invited to join Airbus for this dedication ceremony. As the Vice- President of the Stoke Gifford Branch of the Royal British Legion, I cannot praise highly enough the hard working dedication of RBL volunteers in their support of veterans and their families. This year we are especially remembering and honouring those who gave their lives in the service of our country during the First World War.'
It's not enough that the last Labour Government downgraded our beloved Frenchay hospital; they are now trying to play politics again with Frenchay's closure.
Today, Labour turned up at Frenchay Hospital to protest against its closure. It is astonishing that they are now doing this. The hospital was downgraded under the last Labour Government. It just goes to show how out of touch they have become and with what little regard they hold local people and our community.
It was the Labour Party's decision to close Frenchay in 2005 in favour of Southmead Hospital, despite ardent local opposition. Indeed, the Labour Health Secretary at the time, Patricia Hewitt MP, refused to listen to local residents. She chose to ignore a 50,000 signature petition by local people calling for an investigation into the decision to close Frenchay A&E and downgrade the hospital. Moreover, only a few months ago local Labour councillors voted against a Conservative motion to save beds at Frenchay Hospital- condemning it to closure. Frenchay's closure is Labours worst legacy in our area.
Conservatives have always fought hard for Frenchay. As local MPs, Chris Skidmore and I have called two debates on Frenchay in Parliament- not one Labour MP attended. When the decision over beds at Frenchay was referred to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel last year, something the previous Labour Government refused to do, we wrote jointly in support of the hospital.
For Labour to turn up now outside the hospital - which they did absolutely nothing to save and allowed to close under their watch - is insulting to local people. Where was Labour when local residents needed their support?
Jack Lopresti MP today visited Boeing at Dakota House in Bristol Business Park in his constituency. Having been welcomed by Neil Rae, Senior Stakeholder Manager, Jack was given an update on Boeing UK from Mark Kronenberg, Vice President in Business Development and heard from Neil, whose team of business relationship specialists supports the Partnership in engaging across the Ministry of Defence and Industry, about the support chain information services programme.
Jack then had coffee with the team who work closely with the Ministry of Defence on their logistics programme.
"Bristol is our largest single site in terms of employee numbers in the UK," said David Pitchforth, vice president and managing director of Boeing Defence UK Ltd. "It is where our interactions with our defense customer take place on a daily basis. We are proud of the support that Boeing provides to the UK's Armed Forces, which dates back more than 75 years. Jack is a strong supporter of our troops and a knowledgeable contributor to defense policy here. We are fortunate to have him as a local site MP for Bristol, we value his partnership and we are delighted to welcome him to our facility in his constituency."
Jack Lopresti MP says: "Boeing is leading the way in assisting the Ministry of Defence with logistical support and is a key provider of world class military aircraft to our troops, like the vital Chinook and Apache helicopters. We are hugely grateful for their support. I am delighted to have them in the constituency."
Jack Lopresti MP has met with residents and the police to discuss misuse of the bus lane on New Road, Stoke Gifford, near the Parkway station railway bridge. Residents had highlighted this issue to Jack recently, and he arranged a site visit with local police and Councillor Trevor Jones to look into finding a solution.
"There is a short section of bus lane at the top of New Road, just before the rail bridge, where it meets Brierley Furlong. There has been a problem for some time with other road users using this stretch of bus lane as a short cut to avoid queues on Brierley Furlong. Some of them are even driving the wrong way down it to get onto New Road," commented Jack.
Residents pointed out that these actions are dangerous for drivers turning out of New Road and Swallows Court as they don't expect to see vehicles coming this way, and it also triggers the traffic lights on Brierley Furlong, which holds up traffic on this road. The problem is worse at night when drivers don't feel that they are visible. The problem has been monitored by residents for some time, and they turned to Jack for help when it was clear that the problem was not going away.
The police were concerned to hear about these problems and agreed that it was a significant problem. They have agreed to send a team down to monitor the situation and to take action against any motorists who are breaking the law. They will also mention to South Gloucestershire Council's licensing authorities that taxis have been seen using the bus lane.
"I am very pleased that the police have agreed to take action on this problem,' said Jack. I am hopeful that some attention from the police will deter motorists from misusing the bus lane. I will also be writing to South Gloucestershire Council encouraging them to put either a barrier or bollards in place to end this problem once and for all. Residents in New Road and Swallows Court need to be assured that the lane is only being used by buses and I will be encouraging the Council to take action to ensure this happens."
Councillor Trevor Jones also commented "The Council are looking at a variety of sites where the use of CCTV may prove possible. I will be working for residents in my ward to get action taken at this location."
Today Jack Lopresti MP met with Robert Goodwill MP, the Minister for Roads at the Department for Transport to make the economic case for a new junction on the M49 to give access to Severnside.
Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area extends over 5 miles along the Severn Estuary. The proposed Junction is supported by both South Gloucestershire Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership in order to fully unlock Avonmouth Severnside's full potential. South Gloucestershire Council estimates that up to 13,400 jobs over 25 years could be accommodated on the site if the area was fully developed.
The Highways Agency have started topographical survey work on the site which will lay some groundwork for larger works at a later date. The Highways Agency have unsuccessfully bid for Pinch Point funding for the project and South Gloucestershire Council have bid twice, unsuccessfully, for Regional Growth Funds.
Jack said: "The M49 junction would be economically beneficial to my constituency, and actually Bristol and South Gloucestershire as a whole, as it will aid full development of what is the largest brown field site in Western Europe. The Minister was understanding and he was helpful with his suggestions as to how we should progress in order to be allocated the funding. I understand that the previous bids have failed because of design and proposed delivery schedules and these need to be re-examined. I will be having further meetings with other senior Minsters in the Department for Business, Industry and Skills and the Treasury."
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Jack Lopresti MP joined Keith Jordan, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail Europe with his senior site...
Jack Lopresti MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke today asked, in the House of Commons at Business,...
Jack recently visited the site set aside for the Bristol Aerospace Centre at Filton Airfield to be...