Newark Free School
I have secured £25m of investment, after campaigning for several years, to build a new free school in Newark. The new school will be non-selective, but will have the discipline and academic rigour of a grammar school. This will create more educational choice for parents in Newark, and relieve pressure on schools in Toot Hill and Bingham, so parents can be sure that there will be a place for their child at the local school. The school is on track to open in September, and I expect it to transform the educational landscape in Newark.
Train links on the East-West Railway
Since May 2015 have been almost double the number of services on the Castle line which links Nottingham – Newark – Lincoln. This was the culmination of mine, Newark and Sherwood District Council, and Newark Business Club’s campaigning over many years.
It is a great success for the area, hugely improving our transport infrastructure and connecting us with Nottingham and Lincoln for the purposes of business and leisure.
I have also successfully campaigned for increased Sunday services, and recently held a rail summit with Virgin, East Midland Trains and Network Rail to express constituents’ concerns.
Newark Orchard School
After several meeting with the Government, our lobbying not only secured £3.5m from the government for the Newark Orchard, but helped to persuade the government to create a Special Schools Buildings Fund to improve similar schools across the country – £210m will be divided amongst England’s local authorities, with £2.5m coming to Nottinghamshire.
I personally intervened to insist that the underperforming management at Newark Academy were removed by the Government, and were replaced by the excellent and high performing Torch Academy Trust. The new Head, Andy Seymour, has already transformed standards, and the school very much seems to be on its way up. The Magnus School has also seen significant improvements.
Keeping Collingham Fire Station open
Collingham Fire Station was under risk of closure from Nottinghamshire County Council following a spending review. However, after a strong campaign supported by myself, councillors, residents and the Newark Advertiser emphasising the remote and relatively inaccessible location of Collingham, it was decided that the station would stay open. A resounding success!
CT Scanner Saved
Our permanent CT scanner at Newark Hospital was under threat of being removed so I launched a joint campaign with the Newark Advertiser to save it. The campaign was successful in changing the decision of Sherwood Forest Hospital NHS Trust to remove the CT scanner and instead, the Trust did a U-turn and decided to invest £500,000 in a new, permanent CT scanner for the hospital.
Thank you to the more than 4,000 residents who signed the petition and helped lobby the Trust. I am now calling on the Trust to outline and deliver a clear and credible long-term operating plan for Newark Hospital.
92% of households now have broadband in my constituency, 35% of which only have it through Government support via the Broadband UK program. I am continuing to work to ensure that we have 100% coverage, and to support innovate projects such as the Morton and Fiskerton community broadband scheme. I am glad that the Government has come to see broadband as a utility, and has legislated for universal service.
I have brought over three thousand constituents to Parliament for a tour and a question and answer session, making us one of the most politically engaged constituencies in the UK! Classes from all of the secondary schools have visited me in Parliament, and at least half of the Primary Schools.
Working with farmers
I have set up a farmers’ group who I regularly meet with so that I can ensure that I am representing their interests in Parliament. As we leave the European Union, I want to make sure that farmers’ voices are heard.
Flood Protection Scheme
The Government has pledged £720,000 towards flood protection schemes in Southwell following the devastating impact of the 2013 floods. Other bodies to contribute funds to this cause include Nottinghamshire County Council which has pledged £600,000, Southwell Town Council with a total of £60,000 and the community is trying to raise £125,000 as its contribution through the Southwell Flood Fund. Newark and Sherwood District Council has agreed to give £250,000 towards flood mitigation measures across its area, however it yet to be decided how much of this sum will be awarded to Southwell.
The huge amount of money needed to implement flood protection schemes in Southwell at first raised questions about the feasibility of raising the money; however with the government’s large contribution getting the ball rolling we have almost reached our target figure.
Senior Citizens’ Fairs
I have held three Senior Citizens’ Fairs, one in Bingham and two in Balderton. I believe that it is very important that older people in our community are aware of the full range of services available to them, and my Senior Citizens’ Fairs provide an excellent opportunity to ensure that this is the case.
Repair and Renew Grants
It was announced in December that residents in Nottinghamshire can apply for up to £5,000 per home or business to cover the cost of damages caused to their properties during the flooding of summer 2013.
I am so grateful for the support of Southwell Flood Forum and Lowdham and Thurgarton Parish Councils who worked with me to lobby for the extension of government support. An injustice has been righted.
Getting Newark Moving: road upgrades
I successfully campaigned for the new Newark Northern Bypass, securing up to £2m of investment from the Government’s road investment strategy fund. Planning has commenced and I expect the road to open in the early 2020s. This should have a significant positive impact on the traffic in and around Newark. I have also held several traffic summits to express constituents concerns on traffic issues in the area, attended by the Local County and District Councilors, the Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, the Chief Executive Officer of Newark & Sherwood District Council Andrew Muter and representatives from the Highways Agency, Police, the Newark Business Club and Nottinghamshire County Council.
I recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport, asking him to update me on what plans the Government has to improve safety on the A1, which is an issue that I consider to be of vital importance, and will continue to campaign on.
We have a long way to go before Newark’s traffic issues are solved, but it is a cause worth fighting for. I will continue to lobby for the support required to make the vital improvements to our road networks.
I have now hosted three jobs fairs in the constituency. I have been delighted by the response to these fairs. A constant stream of people filed into the Interview and CV advice room for top tips on how to get their job applications noticed, some having been offered interviews that day by businesses at the fair. The conversations I have had with local employers painted an optimistic picture of the local business environment; many had struggled in the recession and some had to make redundancies but all were now recruiting and looking to the future with some confidence.
My small team and I, aided by Newark Job Centre, feel proud to have put these fairs together. There is nothing more important for a Member of Parliament to do than help ensure his constituents have the security and dignity of a job. If I’m fortunate enough to continue as your MP I will definitely be hosting Newark 4 Jobs again.
The town of Newark now has among the lowest unemployment levels in the country, at just 0.5%. I recently welcomed the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green to Newark, where he congratulated the hard working staff at the Job Centre for their incredible success.
Newark Hospital Update
I have an ongoing campaign to maintain, increase and improve services at Newark Hospital. It is my aim to see as many services as can be safely delivered come to our local hospital, particularly diagnostic services and cancer treatment services. I regularly meet with the local NHS leadership to work on this, and was honored recently to be elected President of the League of Friends of Newark Hospital. I am also keen to see improvements in the local ambulance service, and raised this issue with the Prime Minister at a recent meeting with her.
I am glad that Sherwood Forest is out of special measures, and is one of the most improved hospitals in the country. There have also been significant improvements at Kingsmill, whose A&E is now one of the best in Nottinghamshire and consistently meets its 4 hour target.
- About Robert
- Where I Live
- Get in Touch
- Get Involved
- Bus Trips to Parliament
- Senior Citizens’ fair in Bingham
- Charity fundraising match at Twickenham – You’re Invited!
- Newark Jobs Fair 2016
- Newark & District Dementia Action Alliance
- Pledge For Health
- Parliamentary Debating Competition 2015
- Climate Change Competition
- Campaign Responses
- Robert Jenrick Reporting Back