Jessica Lee: Railway overhaul is the biggest since Victorian times
THE biggest news to affect our region this month was undoubtedly the unveiling of the second phase of High Speed 2.
This Government is undertaking the biggest overhaul of our railways since the Victorian era and I believe that the new East Midlands Hub will bring real long-term benefits to Erewash in the form of both jobs and regeneration opportunities.
However, to this plus there is a downside as there are constituents whose homes and businesses will be affected by the proposed route and I am keen to do everything I can to support them. The Department for Transport has written to inform those directly affected.
However, if you think that the new HS2 route may affect you then please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns that you may have.
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On a similar note, I have recently attended part of the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Conference. This provided me with a fantastic opportunity meet and to talk to key rail industry figures, all of whom tell me that they have taken great interest in my ongoing campaign to reopen a train station in Ilkeston.
The February deadline for the new station bids is nearly upon us and, although I am optimistic about our chances, I am never one to count my chickens. So I will be keeping my fingers tightly crossed until the announcements of winning bids are made, hopefully, later next month.
We have worked extremely hard on keeping this campaign alive and in the sight of the Department for Transport and Government, I really hope for many reasons that Ilkeston is made the next stop on the map.
Saint-Gobain has recently published its plans to redevelop the Stanton Ironworks site and I have already met developers to discuss the proposals. My initial reactions are mainly positive because of the opportunity it presents for job creation and regeneration.
However, the most contentious aspect of this site has always been the road access, which, on this plan, uses existing roads with new junctions. There are displays at both Ilkeston and Long Eaton town halls and Erewash Borough Council has organised three drop-in sessions: March 4 from 2pm to 6.30pm at Stanton-by-Dale Village Hall; March 5, 2pm to 7pm at Sandiacre Town Football Club; and March 7, 2pm to 7pm at Gladstone Lodge, Ilkeston. The council is carrying out a formal consultation until May 10.
I am looking closely at the details of the plans and will continue to work with all stakeholders to make sure that we get this significant development planned as well as possible.
Finally, in the run-up to this year's National Apprenticeship Week in March, I have been out and about visiting businesses in Erewash, meeting employees benefiting from an apprenticeship – at Derwent Analytics, TecQuipment, catering firm Anderson's and Cafe 100.
To arrange an appointment at one of my weekly surgeries, please contact me at 73 Derby Road, Long Eaton, NG10 1LU, call 0115 9722419 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.