My week - February 2018

Ensuring that we have infrastructure fit for the future is key. In the past new houses have been built but the roads improvements to support the growing population have not kept pace. Last week we got the good news that Chelmsford will be receiving £5.7 million funding from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund. This will go towards roads to support the Chelmer Waterside development.

Essex County Council have also bid for funds to go towards building a new train station at Beaulieu Park and the long awaited Chelmsford NE Bypass. We will hear about these bids in the next few month. I was very pleased to chair a meeting about the new Station with train experts and the local councils. £2.9m is now being invested to draw up the very detailed plans and design of the station and track.

Many people wrote to me about how upset they were to see a TV program showing recycled plastics from Chelmsford going into a landfill in China. May I assure you this is not normal, the Council do a good job and much of the time our recycled plastics are put to good use. However it is important that we all try to reduce our plastics use. I’ve been encouraging my MP colleagues to join a “Give Up Plastic for Lent” campaign. We have each agreed to take part in different challenges to reduce our use of plastics during the 40 days in the run up to Easter. I will be using a refillable coffee cup and trying to cut down on other single use plastics.

I will also be on the lookout for products which are “overly packaged” and encouraging supermarkets and producers to reduce packaging where possible. Do look out for tweets and updates on the hashtag #GiveUpPlasticForLent and feel free to join in - If we each make a small change, the cumulative effect can be massive!

On the subject of waste, last week I joined a small group of parliamentarians leading work on new laws to tackle litter thrown out of car windows. The changes will allow local authorities to issue fines to people throwing rubbish out of vehicles. Be warned - the fines come in from April 1st and could be up to £100 - so don’t toss your trash, put it in the bin!

Plastic

As always, I am interested in your views, do get in touch via vicky.ford.mp@parliament.uk