Last week Gillian Keegan MP wrote, again, to the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Robert Jenrick, asking for special consideration for the Chichester District.
In her letter to Mr Jenrick, Gillian highlighted the challenges our area is facing due to the current road and sewerage infrastructure issues. Further, the MP went on to express the council leader’s request to revert the current assessed housing need back to the 2015 level of 435 dwellings per annum. Gillian has also asked for a joint meeting with Robert Jenrick, which is currently being arranged so they may discuss the issue in greater detail.
These recent actions follow on from a significant amount of work our MP has undertaken on the issue of planning and the environment. Although as an MP she has no direct power or any statutory duties over planning, the MP has been working closely with the district council to support their plans to implement a local plan. So far the MP’s involvement led to a meeting with Southern Water and representatives from both the areas councils, which in turn has been followed up with further discussions. Gillian has been working closely with the Environment Agency and Ofwat to keep up the pressure on the water company and is developing further plans on a regional basis to further this work. As part of this effort, Gillian has also met with the Minister for the Environment, Rebecca Pow, alongside other local MPs to ask her for support in their efforts to get the water company improvement programme moving faster.
Beyond this the MP has met with, and taken action on behalf of, local groups across the Manhood Peninsula and around the Harbour, asking other statutory bodies, such as Natural England about their environmental impact assessment of the area, which has led to further work by their department and the MP has planned a further meeting with the body later this week.
Last year, the MP held several meetings with Government colleagues including with the Minister for Housing, Chris Pincher.
Gillian said, “There are no quick fixes to the challenges we are facing. I have been working closely with Chichester District Council to support their efforts wherever my interventions can help. I hope all groups in the council, no matter which party they represent, work together - we need everyone to pull in the same direction to get the best for our area. Without such collaborative working, we will only be more vulnerable to speculative development. I will continue to use the full power of my office to ensure our concerns are heard in Government, and that local agencies are supporting our work to plan the houses our area desperately needs in a sustainable way.”