Member of Parliament for Clacton

Douglas Carswell

23 DEC 2014

Local MP heralds defeat of wind turbine scheme

Douglas Carswell welcomed news that a monster wind turbine project near St Osyth has been defeated.

Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Douglas raised the issues of the government's energy efficiency policies and how they adversely impact household bills for gas and electricity:

"Yesterday the Prime Minister confirmed that he is happy to see the levy control framework increase to £371 per year per household by 2020. At a time of falling oil prices and at a time when the shale gas revolution holds out the tantalising prospect of cheap energy, is not the Department carrying on subsidising windmills unnecessarily, and are we not making policy on the basis of outdated assumptions that need to revised?"

He went on to say:

"The Secretary of State reels off statistics about home insulation, rather like a Soviet-era apparatchik talking about tractor production. Thousands of homes in Jaywick were promised home insulation at the beginning of this year. Why, at the end of the year, have only a handful of homes had that insulation, and why has the promise that more homes would get it evaporated?"


23 DEC 2014

Wind mill policies to cost Britons almost £10bn by 2020

Douglas Carswell highlighted the outrageous subsidy given by central government to wind mill companies and for green policies, showing the disastrous impact on everyday energy bills.

By 2020, electricity and gas bills for Britons will include £348 that directly supports the government's levy control framework. This compares to a contribution £87 in 2012. As Douglas made clear to the Prime Minister last week:

"The levy control framework—the total cost added to energy bills and taxation by green targets—will rise from £2.3 billion in 2012 to £9.8 billion in 2020, at a time when many households are struggling to heat their homes. Does my hon. Friend think that is fair?"

Last Thursday, Douglas also questioned the climate change minister, Ed Davey, about the merits of his government's policies:

"At a time of falling oil prices and at a time when the shale gas revolution holds out the tantalising prospect of cheap energy, is not the Department carrying on subsidising windmills unnecessarily, and are we not making policy on the basis of outdated assumptions that need to revised?"


23 DEC 2014

GovernmentÂ’s Green Deal in Clacton a failure, says local MP

Douglas Carswell raised the issue of Jaywick home insulation in parliament by highlighting the failures of government policy.

The Green Deal, the government's flagship scheme to improve home insulation, has had a dire uptake, with only 4,000 plans having been initiated nationwide. Speaking in the House of Commons, Douglas made clear that:

"The Secretary of State reels off statistics about home insulation, rather like a Soviet-era apparatchik talking about tractor production. Thousands of homes in Jaywick were promised home insulation at the beginning of this year. Why, at the end of the year, have only a handful of homes had that insulation, and why has the promise that more homes would get it evaporated?"

Ed Davey, the climate change minister, ducked the question and suggested that "some energy efficiency schemes have not gone ahead".

Douglas will continue to make the case that Government incompetence and a focus on state planning will serve only to drive up energy bills for the people of Clacton.


23 DEC 2014

Douglas piles on the pressure over ambulance delays

The week before Christmas saw the some of the worst ambulance response times nationally. People in Clacton, Frinton and Walton have been affected, too.

Local MP, Douglas Carswell, raised this problem directly with the Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, on the floor of the Commons immediately before the Christmas break.

"It is important to recognise why there have been delays. Ambulances are not turning patients around at A&E fast enough. And that in turn is because lots of folk, unable to see a GP, are simply turning up at A&E".

"The failure to provide enough local GPs is having a knock on effect – and it is putting extra pressure on ambulances".

The percentage of patients being seen within four hours at A&E in England was under 90%, the worst performance since monitoring began in 2010. "Folk have a right to expect an ambulance to arrive quickly in an emergency" said Douglas. "Things were simply not good enough in 2014. As the local MP, I will pile on the pressure in 2015 to make certain that the problems with ambulances are fixed".

As Douglas said in the House of Commons:

"There have been serious problems with ambulance response times in Clacton. I recognise that the ambulance trust is addressing some of them, and I recognise that the Secretary of State is taking genuine steps, not least in establishing proper inspection systems, which is fantastic. However, many of the problems have been connected with turnaround times at Colchester hospital's A and E department. Would it not be helpful if patients could access primary care via GPs in the first place rather than being forced to go to A and E departments? Emergency care would be then accessible in emergencies".

Jeremy Hunt responded by saying that "The long-term solution is to provide more GPs and GP capacity, which is why we plan to train 5,000 more GPs over the course of the next Parliament, but that will take time, so we need to find shorter-term solutions. We are working with the Royal College of General Practitioners to establish what can be done in the short and medium term".


18 NOV 2014

Douglas visits excellent local care home

Corner House Care Home in Wash Lane, Clacton invited Douglas for an afternoon of bingo, tea and biscuits.

Douglas chatted to local residents, met staff and cut a ribbon to mark the launch of a new at home care service.

"It was a fun visit. I always enjoy my visits to Corner House. They have such a dedicated team of staff".


04 NOV 2014

Benefit migration? What benefit migration, says minister

The minister for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, yesterday denied that benefit migration was happening in Clacton.

Challenged by Clacton MP Douglas Carswell in Parliament about the impact of the benefit cap, Mr Duncan Smith claimed "there has been very little movement". He went on to say that if there was benefit migration caused by the benefit cap, it was no more than "about five miles".

"Iain has got this wrong" explained Douglas. "Benefit migration is happening, and happening in our area right now. As a result of the benefit cap, families are being squeezed out of London and ending up in Clacton."

"I am all in favour of the benefit cap" Douglas went on "but Tendring council needs to be given proper legal powers to discourage benefit migration. Sadly, our council has had to abandon its policy of residency tests before paying out certain benefits."

"There could be as many as 1,600 people on benefit living locally able to back claim benefits thanks to ministerial incompetence. That is all money that has to come out of a local budget"

"Having more and more families moving from London to Clacton is putting pressure on local schools and GPs".

"Ministers need to wake up to what is happening. Benefit migration is happening in Clacton, and we need to tackle it"

Here is the full exchange between Douglas and the minister, recorded in Hansard:

Douglas Carswell (Clacton) (UKIP): As my right hon. Friend will know, the benefit cap is encouraging some people to move out of London, where rents are high, to areas such as Clacton and Thanet. Does he agree that local councils should be able to act to discourage benefit migration of that kind?

Mr Duncan Smith: There has been very little movement of more than about five miles from people's existing homes as a result of the benefit cap. Most people have settled, and many—two thirds—have either gone back to work or found alternative employment. Let me say to the hon. Gentleman that there is something called the discretionary housing payment, and his local council, like any other, can make decisions about how it modifies the process. It is up to councils to do that, and we leave it with them.


22 JUL 2014

MP holds meeting to discuss Clacton hospital

Douglas Carswell has held a meeting with local NHS bosses to discuss the future of Clacton hospital.

"After various changes to local services provided at the hospital, I wanted some assurance about the future of our local hospital" explains Douglas. "Local people have a right to expect certainty, and my job as their local representative is to make sure they get it".

Douglas discussed the different wards at the hospital and talked about the different treatment provided at the hospital with Gary Sweeney of North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, Lucy Moore of Colchester Hospital Trust and Lynne Woodcock of ACE.

"With specialist services provided in larger hospitals and with technology enabling more things to be done by GPs, I feel it is important that Clacton hospital, and the services it offers, are not squeezed".

"I discussed my concerns – and was pleased with the answers I got. As we already know, the maternity unit is back up and running. I popped in to say "hello" to the team there, and they are doing a great job."

"Blood tests can now be done by GPs. If anything there will be more diagnostic tests available at Clacton hospital in future, not fewer"

But Douglas went on to warn "We do need to remain vigilant to guard against any cuts. We have a magnificent hospital. Let's make sure we use it and appreciate it to help safeguard it".


23 JUN 2014

Network Rail taken to task for endless cockups

"Enough is enough" says Douglas Carswell about the appalling delays to local rail services.

He has now written as the local MP to the head of Network Rail, criticising the organisation's corporate governance, and asking who amongst the "grandees" within the taxpayer backed organisation speaks up for the customer.

"Last Tuesday saw serious disruption to services between Frinton, Walton, Clacton and Liverpool Street. Only a few week's before that, services were cancelled on a Monday morning because Network Rail could not get their act together".

"As a regular commuter between London and Clacton, I know how frustrating it is when the trains are disrupted."

"People are willing to be patient when there are accidents. But not when there are serial cockups and no explaination of what went wrong".

"I have yet to get a proper explanation from Network Rail. What went wrong, why did it go wrong and who has been held to account".

"Local commuters have a right to know".


16 JUN 2014

Douglas visits local British Heart Foundation shop

Local MP, Douglas Carswell, was delighted to meet the group at the British Heart Foundation in the seaside area of Clacton-on-Sea on 13 June.

"I met a great team of volunteers raising funds" Douglas explains.

Douglas met Area Manager, Tracey Linnette who explained all that the British Heart Foundation do for the community.

"The British Heart Foundation really ought to be praised for all they do and we must remember to donate whatever we can for this fantastic charity" says Douglas.

 

Your local British Heart Foundation is located at:

38 Station Road,

Clacton-on-Sea,

CO15 1SX


16 JUN 2014

Knife Crime: MP backs plan to introduce harsher penalties for those carrying knives

Local MP Douglas Carswell will back an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill tomorrow calling for tougher penalties for those found carrying knives.

Clauses 6 and 7 would introduce a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment of 6 months for a second conviction of unlawful possession of a knife. This would mean that if an individual is found carrying a knife for the second time, they will go to prison.

"I back this amendment because I think it is important that those carrying knives know that they are not going to get off lightly" said Douglas. "There have been a spate of knife crimes committed in Clacton in recent months and it must stop; we need tougher penalties and a better deterrent".

"Mandatory prison sentences will not only deter would-be criminals from carrying knives, but will also ensure that those who flout the law and carry a knife will be taken off the streets- this is a good thing for local folk who want to see an end to knife crime in the area" Douglas added.

Clauses 6 and 7 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill will come before the House of Commons on Tuesday 17 June 2014.


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