More Rasen trains needed, Edward Leigh says

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, has pressed transport ministers on the deficiency of rail services in West Lindsey.

Speaking at Transport Questions in the Commons, the MP in his thirty-second year in Parliament noted that he was “very disappointed” that a Grimsby train via Market Rasen was not included in the franchise bid won by Virgin Trains.

“It is already running four trains a day to Lincoln,” Sir Edward noted. “Is there anything to prevent it, under its franchise, from extending at least one service a day to Grimsby via Market Rasen in order to serve that huge rural area?”

Sir Edward Leigh has previously written to both the Department for Transport and East Midlands Trains regarding Market Rasen station.

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | June 11th, 2015

Sir Ed praises late Lib Dem leader

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, has praised the late Charles Kennedy, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, in a speech on the floor of the House of Commons.

“I walked into this House for the first time as a Member with Charles almost 32 years ago to the day,” the MP told the Commons, “and among our new intake he was already quite a celebrity.”

Charles Kennedy had been the youngest MP in the Commons when elected aged 23 in 1983, and only lost his seat to the Scottish Nationalists at the general election this year.

Sir Edward praised Kennedy’s “gentle patriotism” and said the former Lib Dem leader had been “proved right” on the Iraq War, which found them both in opposition to the Labour government of the day.

“For all the 32 years that I served with him in this House and on the Council of Europe, although I was always a political opponent, in a way I always felt we were soulmates,” Sir Edward continued.

“I think he instinctively believed that politics is not just about the pursuit of power, it is also about the pursuit of truth.”

“All those years I admired him and it is truly said that when we die, we can only take with us what we have given away. This man gave everything to our House. There never was a braver and a truer spirit.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | June 4th, 2015

Sir Ed protests NatWest changes

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, has written to the chairman of NatWest over the recently announced closure of the bank’s branches in Caistor and Market Rasen.

“These branches are important for local residents and businesses, and their possible closure will be a source of great inconvenience,” the MP of thirty-two years’ service in the Commons said. “I’ve written to Sir Philip Hampton, NatWest’s chairman, objecting strenuously to this change and requesting a meeting with him to discuss the implications.”

“Given the increasing opportunities in rural towns, the mutual interest of people in Market Rasen and Caistor on the one hand and NatWest on the other is at stake, so I hope an agreeable solution can be found.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | May 21st, 2015

Cathedral’s Lottery cash welcomed by MP

Sir Edward Leigh MP (right) with the Very Rev Philip Buckler (left), Dean of Lincoln..

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, has welcomed the announcement of a Development Grant for Lincoln Cathedral backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“Lincoln Cathedral is the great pearl of our county, and was once one of the major pilgrimage sites of all Europe as well as the tallest building in the world,” said Sir Edward, who sits on the cathedral’s council.

“The Development Grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will move the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project into the next stage, addressing vital conservation needs, providing employment opportunities, and strengthening the links between the Cathedral and the community at large,” the MP of thirty-two years’ service continued. “I commend the Dean, Chapter, and staff for all the care and concern they’ve put into this latest success.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | May 20th, 2015

Sir Ed: Voters are backing Cameron

Above: Sir Edward Leigh has been knocking on doors across the Gainsborough constituency, like here in Welton with district council candidate Steve England.

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Gainsborough, has hailed the reaction from voters during his campaigning around the constituency as “the best ever” and argued the public will back David Cameron for another term as Prime Minister.

“Travelling all around the Gainsborough constituency these past few weeks I’ve been taken aback by the warmth and good feeling that voters have expressed regarding the government’s steering the country down the slow and steady path towards prosperity.”

“Voters know that they face a choice between David Cameron or Ed Miliband in Number 10,” Sir Edward, with over thirty years’ experience in the House of Commons, asserted, “and they know we simply cannot afford to let Labour back in.”

“It’s also important that we turn out for our district council elections,” Sir Edward continued. “We face a number of problems here, whether it be the threat of over-development, or the peril of wind farms slicing through our beautiful views and looming over our homes and villages. Our Conservative team on West Lindsey District Council are working hard to make sure local views are heard, and I’m glad on planning matters local decisions have been backed up by Eric Pickles as the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.”

The elections for Parliament and for West Lindsey District Council take place on Thursday 7 May 2015.

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | April 28th, 2015

Sir Ed: UK has created more jobs than the rest of Europe

Gainsborough jobless down a third since 2010

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Gainsborough, has welcomed the latest figures showing 664 fewer people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the constituency compared to 2010 — a 34 per cent drop.

“The job creation record of this Government has been nothing short of astounding,” Sir Edward, who has represented Gainsborough in parliament for over thirty years, said. “Here in our part of Lincolnshire we’ve seen unemployment drop by over a third since the Conservatives entered government, with 135,000 more jobs across the East Midlands.”

“Britain has created more jobs than the rest of Europe put together. These are solid jobs as well, 80 per cent of them full-time, and each job is an individual or a family that can pay off debts, spend more, or save for the future.”

“These figures should help convince voters that we simply can’t risk going back to the Labour years of fewer jobs, fewer opportunities, and debt spiralling out of control. Conservatives in government are putting the country on a stable route to a brighter future. That’s why it’s vital to vote Conservative on May 7th.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | April 20th, 2015

Sir Ed welcomes tax relief for family homes

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Gainsborough, has welcomed the news today that a future Conservative Government would take the family home out of inheritance tax.

The Prime Minster has committed to introducing a new allowance into the tax system, which will effectively increase the Inheritance Tax threshold to £1 million for married couples – meaning only the very rich would pay inheritance tax. This will be paid for by increasing taxes on very wealthy people’s pensions.

“Family is the most important thing,” Sir Edward said, “and people who have saved their entire lives, putting hard-earned money into their home shouldn’t be crippled with inheritance tax when passing it on to their children.”

“This new allowance increasing the Inheritance Tax threshold to £1 million for married couples will be of gread benefit to people in our part of Lincolnshire. For most of us here in the Gainsborough constituency this should take the family home out of inheritance tax.”

“Our plan has been to cut taxes on the people who work hard and do the right thing. Income tax for basic rate taxpayers has already been cut by £825 and we’ve committed to increasing the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 in the next Parliament.”

“The Conservatives are the only party who’ve made an explicit commitment not to increase taxes on working people. Voters are faced with the choice of stable prosperity with the Prime Minister’s team, or the chaos and debt of the SNP propping up Ed Miliband in Downing Street.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | April 13th, 2015

MP hails victory over Kingerby turbine

Warns Labour win might mean 'epidemic' of wind farms

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh has declared victory over another wind turbine application in West Lindsey. “I am delighted to hear that permission for the wind turbine at Kingerby has been refused,” the Conservative MP of over thirty years’ standing said.

“The appeal on the original application has been turned down by my colleague the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, and I understand that West Lindsey District Council have very wisely determined that a modified application is ‘deemed withdrawn’ for failing to overcome previous objections.”

“These ominous blades would have swung 165 feet in the air and loomed over our countryside,” the MP continued. “The Government has been right to back local decision-making so that our district councils aren’t overwhelmed by appeals.”

“If Labour gets back into power, we won’t have a friendly ear at the Department anymore, and we could very well be faced with a whole new epidemic of wind farm applications. I hope voters will see off this threat as we have seen off so many before.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | March 25th, 2015

MP welcomes yet another jobless drop

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, heralded newly released figures which showed yet another drop in the number of unemployed people in his constituency.

“The statistics for February 2015 show 1,381 people claiming the Jobseeker’s Allowance here in Gainsborough,” the MP said. “This is 502 lower than a year earlier, and 76 lower than last month.”

“Since the Conservatives took over the Treasury we’ve seen a 26.93% drop in unemployment here in the Gainsborough constituency. With 30.9 million people in work nationwide, Britain now has the highest employment rate in the history of the country. The overwhelming majority of these jobs are full-time, and wages are rising faster than prices, too.”

“We are creating a jobs-led recovery so that the economy benefits all people across Britain. Given the extraordinary levels of debt Labour accumulated, I very much hope voters across the country will send a strong message and vote in a Conservative majority come May.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | March 23rd, 2015

MP welcomes Gainsborough Central rethink

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, has welcomed Network Rail’s announcement that they are re-evaluating their plans for Gainsborough Central station. The MP wrote to the rail infrastructure body objecting to their plans for new bridges at the station that would be inaccessible for travellers in wheelchairs, parents with prams, and mobility-impaired people.

“Network Rail have let me know that they are ‘actively seeking an alternative solution’,” the MP said. “I welcome this change, and I hope Network Rail will keep in mind the full range of passengers who travel by rail.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | March 3rd, 2015

Sir Ed: Private sector driving jobless drop

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, has hailed yet another decline in the unemployment rate for his constituency. The Office for National Statistics revealed the number of jobseekers in Gainsborough stands at 1,457, a 23.8 per cent drop from the same time last year.

“I’m very pleased that we have 456 fewer people on the Jobseeker’s Allowance here in Gainsborough,” the MP of thirty years’ standing said. “The number of young unemployed has declined as well, with a 24.8 per cent drop in the number of unemployed ages 18-24 here in the constituency.”

“The private sector is driving growth,” Sir Edward continued. “The increase in private-sector employment is over five times the fall in public sector jobs, and we have nearly 2.2 million more people employed in the private sector than in 2010. The overwhelming majority of these – 76 per cent – are in full-time jobs. Overall, the country’s jobs-wanted figure is at 718,000, the highest number since records began.”

“We’ve also increased prosecutions of tax dodgers fivefold to ensure the very rich are paying their share. Meanwhile, Ed Balls is attacking ordinary working people and saying they should demand receipts for small cash jobs. I’d say he’s got his priorities wrong.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | February 23rd, 2015

MP: Station needs disabled crossing

Network Rail’s plans for a new crossing at Gainsborough Central have stoked the ire of local Conservative MP, Sir Edward Leigh. The company, which maintains Britain’s rail infrastructure, announced plans for a new crossing that fails to include ramp access.

“I condemn unequivocally Network Rail’s plans for a ramp-less replacement crossing at Gainsborough Central,” the MP of thirty years’ standing said. “It is brazen of Network Rail to make plans for this station that completely ignore the needs of disabled travellers as well as those with prams.”

“I’ve volunteered with the disabled myself and I know how difficult it can be for people in wheelchairs to get around,” the MP continued, “so I’ve written to Network Rail to express my objection to their plans.”

“I hope they do the right thing and bring in a proper crossing with a ramp to this station which has faced chronic under-investment from Network Rail.”

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | February 11th, 2015

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