Monday, November 13, 2006

A reply from my MP

I had written to him about the cut in grant to BW from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). BW are considering reducing the amount of maintenance and their workforce due to this loss of revenue. We are very concerned because BW are even considering closing some canals. So here follows some of the content of the letter:-

I fully understand the concerns about this situation and, as a result of receiving previous similar letters to your own, I wrote to the relevant Minister at DEFRA, Barry Gardiner MP, and will ensure that his response is sent to you as soon as it has been received.

Also, the following are questions and answers between MP's in parliament for 6th November:-

The Parliamentary Under - Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs is Mr Ben Bradshaw MP

Mr. Ben Bradshaw: ……Public funding for Britain's inland waterways has increased substantially since Labour came to power.

Michael Fabricant: ……How can he reconcile that with cutting 180 staff from British Waterways?

Mr. Ben Bradshaw: ……the Department is having to make difficult and painful decisions,…..

Mr. Bob Laxton:- Will my Hon. Friend assure me that any future savings in grant aid to BW next year will not use as a base line the 15% budget reduction undertaken halfway through this financial year?

Mr. Ben Bradshaw: All decisions about next year will be made in due course.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: …..Will the Minister explain why BW's budget was cut this year?

Mr. Ben Bradshaw: ……for a number of reasons,….

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: …..It is the reasons that I am after, because it is bad enough that cuts of £200 million are being made, but it is even worse that Ministers do not seem to know why……

Mr. Ben Bradshaw: ……About £10 million of the money……preventing outbreaks of avian flu,…..The rest is needed for other reasons that have already been made plain in numerous answers to questions from Hon. Members.

The truth and nothing but the truth is what we expect from our MP's who are there to represent us.

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