Fairer funding for schools
Robin has led the f40 cross party campaign in Parliament to secure fairer school funding for the lowest funded areas. He has been Vice Chairman of the campaign for a number of years and led a number of backbench debates to press for a fairer system of allocating funding. Worcestershire has been one of the lowest funded Counties for decades and the campaign has so far secured an extra £6.7 million for local schools or £97 per pupil as a downpayment on the new fairer system to come. The Conservatives have committed to a new fair funding formula and f40 calculates this would deliver £214 per pupil extra to Worcestershire pupils in the next year. For more detail on f40 visit www.f40.org.uk
Faster rail service to Worcester #FastTrackWorcester
Worcester has suffered from a slow train service to and from the capital for far too long. Robin has been campaigning alongside local MPs, Councils and the Worcestershire LEP for a reduction in journey times, more doubling of the track and better trains so that Worcester can get a two hour service on Cotswold Line. He won support from the Prime Minister for this objective in his last PMQ in Parliament before the 2015 election.
Dualling the Southern Link
Worcester’s Southern Link Road is a key bottleneck for traffic and a vital strategic link between the M5 and the west of the City and the County. Getting it dualled has been a longstanding objective for local councils and Robin has pressed the case with Government, getting funding for the upgrades to both Worcestershire’s motorwary junctions and for dualling up to the Carrington Bridge. He is pressing for central government to help with the next stage and dual the Carrington Bridge itself and the causeway up to Powick roundabout. This would be a key investment and has won support from local business groups, councils and politicians of all parties.
Robin was named Citizens Advice Parliamentarian of the Year for 2014 for his campaigns to cap the interest that payday loans could charge and to raise a levy on high cost credit to help pay for the cost of debt advice. He has worked across party lines to secure tough regulation of the high cost credit market and was made Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Credit Unions in 2014. After the sad demise of Worcester’s Black Pear Credit Union, Robin has succeeded in bringing two new credit unions into Worcester – 6 Towns and Castle & Crystal so that constituents have a choice of responsible lenders.
Apprenticeships for Worcester
Having always championed apprenticeships Robin launched his Worcestershire Apprenticeship Challenge in 2015. After Worcestershire’s LEP achieved the remarkable milestone of 10,000 local people participating in apprenticeships Robin set out to match the Conservative Party’s ambition to raise the number of apprentices from 2 million in the last Parliament to 3 million in the next by securing support for 5,000 more apprenticeships in Worcestershire. For more information visit: http://www.worcsapprenticechallenge.co.uk.
Help the High Street
both in Worcester and in Parliament Robin has always spoken up for the High street and for small shops. He called for the BIS Select Committee’s 2013 inquiry into High Streets and the future of retail which can be found here http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmbis/168/168.pdf and championed the case for business rates reform which the Chancellor of the Exchequer commited to in the 2015 budget. Robin has also pushed for greater discounts for small shops and campaigned against Worcester’s Labour party putting up parking charges for the city centre. He helped the Conservative group to remove these increases and cut parking charges when they took back control in 2014. He has also campaigned to save the city centre policing team and backed Worcester for prestigious national awards for its High Street and markets.