Before I launch into my usual monthly constituency update, I thought it important to explain what has happened recently in terms of my own party allegiance. As you will know, I left the Conservative Party in February to sit as an Independent MP because I was concerned the Party had drifted to the right and it was more concerned with its own survival than the national interest. Early polling results gave us, as Independents, the confidence to formalise into a party structure, named “Change UK” to fight the European elections at the end of May. However it soon became clear that the Brexit Party was storming ahead. Believing passionately that the National interest must always come first, and that Nigel Farage did not have the right answers for the country’s future, I felt our support should shift to other Remain parties who were faring better than us in the polls.
I was unable to convince a majority of Change UK MPs of this strategy and they remained steadfastly of the opinion that the party should seek to achieve as many votes for itself rather than collaborate with other parties
Now the European elections are over, I remain unwavering in my strong belief that the country must always come first. As such, I have stepped down from Change UK and returned to sit once again as an Independent with four other colleagues – Sarah Wollaston, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith and Gavin Shuker.
There are two principal reasons as to why I have done this.
I do not believe I can serve my constituents and country well if I put party interests ahead of theirs.
Secondly, the political landscape remains very volatile. In the coming weeks and months I can easily envisage MPs leave the Conservative Party because they cannot tolerate a new Prime Minister who advocates a hard Brexit or no deal Brexit. Equally, there are Labour colleagues who will no longer tolerate Jeremy Corbyn‘s inability to fight as an opposition leader should.
Recognising that it is very difficult for MPs to leave their parties and immediately join other ones, I believe my role will be to help convene a safe neutral space in the centre ground of Parliament and offer a home for those MPs. It will allow us to work alongside the Liberal Democrats, Greens, SNP, Change UK and Plaid Cymru in the national interest, ensuring we do not crash out of the EU with no deal.
As an Independent MP with a reputation for cross party working and prioritising the national interest over party allegiance, I feel strongly that I will be able to help act as a convener.
It is my strong belief that this is what the country needs right now.
A more detailed statement, including a video setting out my views, can be seen on my website: https://heidiallen.co.uk/explaining-the-decision-to-sit-as-an-independent-member-of-parliament/
Back onto local issues!
Highways England have launched the latest stage of their consultation, seeking your views on the proposed route for the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements.
The consultation webpage has “fly-through” videos which show what the roads and the junctions will look like. They are an excellent way of not only getting a clearer understanding of the route but also looking at specific “pinch points” along the route including Black Cat roundabout, the Eltisley junction and the roundabout at Caxton Gibbet.
There are also a number of local consultation events taking place including:
- Saturday 29th June from 10am to 4pm at Newton Primary School, Eltisley
- Monday 15th July from 12 noon to 8pm at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Cambourne
- A mobile visitor centre on Friday 12th July between 8.30am to 2.30pm at Pendrill Court, Ermine Street North, Papworth Everard.
The consultation is available here and is open until 28th July – https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a428-black-cat-to-caxton-gibbet-improvements/
Last month, I was delighted to formally open the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership and extend my thanks to its Chair, Councillor Van de Ven for her kind invitation to its anniversary celebrations. This initiative is designed to connect users with their rail network, Great Northern, giving a voice to the passenger and local community.
We celebrated the anniversary in style with a fabulous train themed cake and refreshments at the Plough in Shepreth! If you are a rail user and would like to connect with this group please visit http://meldrethsheprethfoxtonrail.org.uk/.
Finally, I was pleased to read the National Lottery Community Fund had awarded £136,666.40 to six community projects in South Cambridgeshire, including Fen Drayton Primary School, Cambridge Branch of the National Childbirth Trust, Cambridgeshire Hearing Help, Kingston Village Hall, Guilden Morden Community Pub Limited and Headway Cambridgeshire. The National Lottery Community Fund makes awards to groups who are improving their communities. If you are involved with a local community group and looking for funding, why not take a look at their website at https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/? Well done to everybody involved in these community projects!
As ever, my newsletter can only provide a snapshot of my work on your behalf but if there is anything you would like to talk to me about, my next surgery is on Friday 5th July. This is an “appointment only” surgery between 2.30 and 4.30pm at The Melbourn Hub, 30 High St, Melbourn, SG8 6DZ. If you would like an appointment, please call my office on 01223 830037.
Further surgery dates will be added to my website soon – https://heidiallen.co.uk/constituency-surgeries/
In the meantime, if you would like to contact me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office.
See you next month!