There have been many great events around the constituency in the last month. I had the pleasure of opening the new Wildlife Garden at the MS Therapy Centre in Bradley Stoke. The garden is a brilliant collaborative project that created a wildlife therapy garden with many sensory features that will benefit centre users receiving treatments, as well as the wider local community. It was led by the Avon Wildlife Trust, with the generous support of Rolls Royce apprentices, Wessex Water, and many others within the community.
I also had the pleasure of visiting a South Gloucestershire farmer, Will Grey, in Tytherington alongside the National Farmers Union's Will Frazer. Will, whose farm has been run by his family for generations, has invested in innovative new technology with a state of the art new milking parlour that will revolutionise his farming practices.
A major topic discussed was the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), that Will had to pay as part of his new investment. The CIL is a planning charge used as a tool for local authorities in England and Wales to help deliver infrastructure to support development and is payable on projects that create net additional floor space. South Gloucestershire Council is the only local authority in the South West that does not have an exemption for agricultural developments, harming development and investment in the agricultural sector.
I also attended the opening of ‘LiftWorks’ at Rolls Royce in Filton alongside the new Defence Procurement Minister, Stuart Andrew MP. While opening the new facility that will produce components of the new F35 Lightning Vertical Lift System, we met with employees, apprentices and graduates. This facility is further proof of the fantastic local engineering sector that plays a vital role in securing local jobs, as well as the local economy.
I am extremely disappointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s decision to reject the application for the Cribbs Causeway expansion. This expansion would have provided further brilliant retail options, infrastructure, as well as housing and 3,000 permanent jobs and 3,700 construction jobs. I will be meeting with the Centre Manager at Cribbs Causeway, as well as the Secretary of State to better understand the decision, and to explore what options may be available.
If you would like to discuss anything with me, be it as a resident, organisation or business, please contact my constituency office in Bradley Stoke on 01454 617783 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a surgery appointment, or to arrange a visit to your premises. For further details, visit www.jacklopresti.com.