South Cambridgeshire Constituency News, March 2019

As you probably now know, on the 20th February I announced my resignation from the Conservative Party and joined The Independent Group of MPs. This was an incredibly difficult decision but I believe our country deserves better. More competence, more collaboration, more expert analysis, more transparency, more care, more fairness and less entrenched political ideology. So I have joined, alongside 10 other MPs of both Conservative and Labour backgrounds, The Independent Group. In time, our intention is to form a new political party, positioned in the centre ground of British politics. More information, including my resignation letter and statement can be found elsewhere on the website.

I know that not everyone will be happy, but I can honestly say I have been bowled over by the overwhelming support that literally thousands of my constituents have shown for my decision. It means so much to me to know that my decision, hard though it was, has been received so well locally.

I became an MP in 2015 as I wanted to serve my country and give a voice to those who did not have one – that has not changed. It remains a great honour to be your Member of Parliament and although I may have lost my party label, I have not lost my determination to serve you with everything that I have. I’ll continue to fight for the very best for South Cambridgeshire: providing excellent local services, ensuring fairer funding for those services, delivering on the vital infrastructure projects we need and continuing to be a voice for the vulnerable in our community.

I’m still “Heidi” and whenever you need my help or are concerned about a local or national issue, to coin a phrase, “nothing has changed!” You can still contact me as you always have. I’ll be organising some public meetings and get togethers in the coming weeks and months so you can talk to me about my decision and learn more about my ambitions for this new political party.

However, for now – back to the day job!

There have been some important developments on transport infrastructure in recent weeks. These vital announcements will shape our local infrastructure and transport for many years to come so please do have your say! Grab a cup of tea and a few minutes to look at the following plans and make your voice heard!

For the last year, East West Rail (EWR) has been developing route options for the Bedford to Cambridge section of the new railway and they now want to hear your views on the five options available.

Between now and the 11th March, you can contribute to the consultation in a variety of ways. Full details are available here.

From my point of view, I am pleased to see that Cambourne features as a location for a possible new station. As we have good railway connections in the South of the constituency already, I really do feel we should be concentrating our priorities in the North. These are very early scoping corridors and we all have a role to play in feeding in our views!

And now from rail to buses and cyleways! The Greater Cambridge Partnership has published its consultation on phase 2 of the Cambourne to Cambridge Better Public Transport Project. The consultation seeks views on the link west of Madingley Mulch roundabout to Bourn Airfield and on to Cambourne, and a new Park & Ride facility. The consultation is open until the 31st March and includes public events in Caldecote, Hardwick and Dry Drayton during March. Full details are available here.

Finally, it’s the turn of the A428! Highways England has published their long-awaited proposals for the A428 between Black Cat and Caxton Gibbet. Full details are available here.

The “orange route” (above) has been chosen by Highways England, which runs north of the current A428 in contrast to the two southern options considered. Having supported this route with local residents and parish councils for the last two years, I am relieved! The plans also outline how improvements will be made to the Black Cat roundabout.

The consultation on the A428 will take place later this year. I have made it clear to Highways England that it is important they complete these final stages of consultation and get on and deliver this major improvement urgently. I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure construction starts as soon as possible.

As I said at the beginning, it’s business as usual and if there is anything you would like to talk to me about, my upcoming surgeries are:

  • Friday 5th April between 3.30 and 5pm, I’ll be at Bar Hill Tesco, CB23 8EL.
  • Saturday 6th April between 10.30 and 12.30pm is a “Drop in” surgery at Abbeyfield, Girton Green, Wellbrook Way, Girton CB3 0GQ. No appointment necessary!
  • If you would like an appointment to see me, my next “by appointment surgery” will be on Thursday 2nd May between 3.00 and 5pm at my office in Hardwick. If you would like an appointment, please call my office on 01223 830037.
  • On Saturday 8th June, I’ll be in Gamlingay for a drop in surgery. Full details to follow in my next newsletter.

More details can be found on the ‘surgeries’ page on the website.

In the meantime, if you would like to contact me, please email or call my office on 01223 830037.

See you next month!