Housing issues happened on our MP’s watch

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans

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Nigel Evans wants to remain as our MP again at the next election.

You may want to ask yourself, what exactly does Nigel Evans do as our MP, because I for one have no idea.

I have directly asked Mr Evans on numerous occasions to provide transparency in his role as our MP in Westminster, but unfortunately the only transparency we have is regarding the details in his private life.

The transparency we need is what he is actually doing for his MP’s salary.

It is very difficult not to jump to the wrong conclusions about how he represents his constituents, because when asked on numerous occasions to provide this information, he has not done so.

In fact below is Mr Evans’ response to an email I sent him last year regarding development in the Ribble Valley: “Hopefully I have answered this e mail by the answer I have given earlier ... As you can see a 7.53 am response and earlier responses is me getting on with my job representing you and standing up for clear injustices in the planning system where they exist.”

I replied: “Dear Mr Evans, you have not answered this email in the slightest and I have absolutely no idea as to how exactly you are representing the Ribble Valley in Parliament. Now please have the courtesy to address my concerns below and explain in detail exactly what you are doing about the matter, for there is absolutely no evidence your current actions have, or are going to have, any effect. I can actually see by the 7:53 response that you have certainly taken the time to reply to my email. However, you have failed to address any of the points within it, so I have no idea how that can be classified in any shape or form as representing your constituents.”

I did not receive any further clarification.

Mr Evans’ position is now completely compromised, after undergoing all his recent trials and tribulations, he is now back in the Tory fold and undoubtedly will not want to upset any apple carts. As he has been courting media headlines for quite a while, he will clearly not want to cause further embarrassment to his party.

An article in the Advertiser said it all: “MP welcomes plan by Tories to limit spread of turbines”.

This article speaks volumes about Mr Evans, he doesn’t appear to actually tackle any issues, he agrees with lots of things, is very sympathetic, readily appears for photo opportunities, generally passes on constituents’ letters, but is actually toothless.

We deserve an MP who is going to tackle issues head-on, fight for the Ribble Valley and doggedly fight for his constituents no matter who that upsets or even if it undermines his role in the Conservative Party.

How does Mr Evans serve his constituents? Never mind if Mr Evans welcomes plan by Tories to limit spread of turbines.

It would be great to establish from our MP were exactly he stands on the fracking debate and what concerns has he already risen in Parliament. With the failure of successive governments to address the energy needs of the UK, fracking is clearly here to stay.

The Conservative Government have clearly made their intentions known and are forming policy to start this new energy production.

They are currently attempting to financially incentivise local authorities, who through austerity measures are facing huge funding shortfalls, into agreement. As fracking is undoubtedly going to affect the Ribble Valley, it would be great to know in some capacity just how Nigel Evans been proactively addressing this issue. This is a question I put to Mr Evans in July last year. I am still awaiting any response.

Never mind if Mr Evans welcomes plans by Tories to limit spread of turbines. Does he welcome the plan by Tories to build on any available bit of land and destroy our countryside? Mr Evans is undoubtedly partly culpable for our housing development crises. He has been negligent in his role as our MP in questioning, challenging and attacking this governmental policy from the outset.

This policy has happened on his watch. Thousands of Ribble Valley residents have made their views very clear to him. His actions, unless he can provide some transparency, have come long after this policy has been put into action. The actions he has put into place are reactionary and are going to have very little effect. We need a proactive MP, not a reactive one to challenge Westminster decisions before they turn into government policy when are virtually impossible to reverse.

“Putting decisions in the hands of local people” was a tagline used by the Conservative Party with regard to the Localism Bill. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, local people have absolutely no say in local decisions. The Core Strategy document was “sold” to the community on allowing them to be part of the decision making process.

Mr Evans has also been very quiet over the new 11% pay rise for MPs – another example of just how we are all in this together. Maybe he and his fellow MPs will be donating this extra cash to some deserving cause instead of lining their own pockets. I raised this issue with Mr Evans again in July last year; Mr Evans has avoided answering this question and certainly not to my knowledge made a public statement.

How many readers have enjoyed the luxury of an 11% pay rise over the past year, let alone the past six years?

I would be very interested to see how our public servants are spending their time and just how accountable they are. Please Mr Evans could you enlighten us?

T. Ashton,

Clitheroe