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First published in the July 2017 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/mps-notebook-july-2017/

 

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who voted for me in the recent general election. It is a great privilege to have been elected as your local Member of Parliament for the sixth time, and I will do my best to repay your trust and confidence. And whether you voted for me for not, or didn’t vote at all, I am here to represent all of you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you think I can be of assistance. You can email me at bennh@parliament.uk, ring my constituency office on (0113) 244 1097 or come to one of my regular advice surgeries - details available on my website at http://www.hilarybenn.org/get_help.  

The Grenfell Tower fire was an awful tragedy that shocked us all. Our first priority must be to ensure that all those affected are given the support they need - now and in the years ahead. The second is for the Public Inquiry to find out what happened and why. And the third is to implement its recommendations so that nothing like this ever happens again.

Immediately after the fire, I contacted Leeds City Council to ask what checks were being undertaken on the safety of residential tower blocks in the city, including in South Leeds. Following investigations, the Council confirmed that our blocks do not have any Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) type cladding similar to that installed at Grenfell Tower. I’m told that the cladding systems installed across Leeds have used fire retardant materials and meet all building regulations for fire safety. The Council is, however, doing further checks.

Clearly, retrofitting sprinklers in all older blocks – which will require Government funding - will be a major question for the Inquiry. Leeds is already installing sprinklers in sheltered residential blocks; five of the eight blocks have now been completed, the sixth is in progress and two more are planned. The Council also, in partnership with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, delivered a letter and a fire safety leaflet to all residents in high rise properties in Leeds, with meetings for residents to follow.

It’s really important that we take the action needed to keep people safe in their homes.

Lastly, there’s been a lot of comment locally about the Planning Inspector’s decision to overrule the Council's objections to the granting of planning permission for the Ice Pak development. Many of us - local residents, local councillors, me as your MP and the Council's Planning Committee – had rejected it on traffic grounds, and I am saddened that the Inspector decided to allow it to go ahead. His decision is final because that is the way the national planning system works. Once an Inspector has made a decision, there is no further right of appeal.

The Inspector did however attach a number of conditions and the task now is to make sure that these are fully observed while trying to build a relationship between residents and Aspiring Communities who have admitted that they did not handle the process well.

Let us hope we can do better in future.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - July 2017

First published in the July 2017 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/mps-notebook-july-2017/   First of all, I would like to thank everyone who voted for me in...

GE17_Result-resize.jpg

Thank you to the electors of Leeds Central for putting their trust and confidence in me once again as their Member of Parliament. 

Here is the result in full.   

General Election 2017:

Leeds Central                                                                                                                                         

  Candidate Votes % +/-
Labour Hilary Benn 33,453 70.2 +15.2
Conservative Gareth Davies 9,755 20.5 +3.2
UKIP Bill Palfreman 2,056 4.3 -11.4
Green Ed Carlisle 1,189 2.5 -5.4
Liberal Democrat Andy Nash 1,063 2.2 -1.2
Christian Peoples Alliance Alex Coetzee 157 0.3 +0.3
Majority   23,698 49.7 +12.0
Turnout 47,673 47,673 53.2 -1.9
Labour hold     Swing +6

We had a bigger electorate due to a surge in voter registration, and although the percentage turnout was slightly down on 2015, we got 70.2% of the vote - the highest Labour share in the history of the Leeds Central constituency.

Thank you to all those who helped to make it happen.

 

Hilary Benn

MP for Leeds Central

Leeds Central General Election Result

Thank you to the electors of Leeds Central for putting their trust and confidence in me once again as their Member of Parliament. 

Conserving our natural environment has always been a major concern of mine and during my time as the Environment Secretary in the last Labour government, I established the South Downs National Park, set up the Lawton Review, helped to put the Climate Change and Marine and Coastal Access Acts on the statute book, undertook a comprehensive look at the health of England’s ecosystems, and produced the Food 2030 strategy which stressed why domestic agriculture is so important for jobs, the economy, and the shape the character of our landscape and countryside. I decided against a badger cull and it is clear that the cull the current government instituted has failed. I also voted in favour of the ban on hunting with hounds.

There is still a great deal to do to maintain and develop our natural habitats, as well as protect our diverse species. The Labour Manifesto is committed to protecting Britain’s biodiversity and reads

‘The Conservatives’ threatened bonfire of red tape’ is a threat to our environmental protections and to the quality of our lives. Their record on combating climate change and environmental damage has been one of inaction and broken promises. The balance needs resetting: our air is killing us, our farms face an uncertain future, our fish stocks are collapsing, our oceans are used as dumping grounds, and our forests, green belt, national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are all under threat.

Labour will introduce a new Clean Air Act to deal with the Conservative legacy of illegal air quality. We will safeguard habitats and species in the ‘blue belts’ of the seas and oceans surrounding our island. We will set guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste. We will protect our bees by prohibiting neonicotinoids as soon as our EU relationship allows us to do so. We will work with farmers and foresters to plant a million trees of native species to promote biodiversity and better flood management.  Unlike the Conservatives who attempted to privatise our forests, Labour will keep them in public hands. Our stewardship of the environment needs to be founded on sound principles and based on scientific assessments. We will establish a science innovation fund, working with farmers and fisheries, that will include support for our small scale fishing fleet’.

I also think that we need to bear the environment in mind when it comes to other policies on farming, transport, housing and the way in which we aim to reduce and manage waste.
 
Rt Hon Hilary Benn
Labour Candidate for Leeds Central

Protecting the Environment

Conserving our natural environment has always been a major concern of mine and during my time as the Environment Secretary in the last Labour government, I established the South Downs National...

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