Category Archives: rochester and strood

MP urges residents to respond to Southend airport consultation

Mark Reckless MP is calling on Rochester and Strood residents to respond to the proposals by London Southend Airport to re-establish controlled airspace around the airport which could result in an increase of low-level flights over Medway.

Mark is particularly concerned for residents living on the Hoo Peninsula and St Mary’s Island who would be most impacted should this large area of controlled-airspace be established. However, potentially all residents living in Medway could see their lives and homes blighted by increased noise and pollution, though to a far lesser degree than if the Thames Estuary Airport went ahead, and Mark is urging everyone to respond to the consultation before the closing date of 13th December 2013.

While the proposal is quite technical and complex, to summarise; Southend Airport is proposing to establish a large area of controlled airspace below the existing London controlled airspace. It would stretch from Rochester to Walton-on-the-Naze and from Maldon to the Isle of Sheppey covering some 2000 sq km:

Southend_ControlledAirspace

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  • Where the existing controlled airspace has a base of 4,500ft, 5500ft or 8500ft it would be lowered to 3500ft.
  • Where the existing controlled airspace has a base of 3500ft amsl it would be lowered to 2500ft, 1500ft or to the surface depending on the section

Mark is in agreement with The Royal Aero Club of The UK which believes the proposals are unreasonable and contrary to existing airspace principals. It would exclude other airspace users and have significant implications for those living beneath the proposed airspace.

Mark believes aircraft using the airport should be integrated into the existing London controlled airspace which already overlays the whole area and not fly lower than those using Stansted and Heathrow. Southend’s proposal would increase noise and air pollution for local residents, as well as presenting access and potential safety issues for other airspace users such as Rochester Airport and Medway Airsports Club.

Although the consultation document suggests there will be no environmental impact near the airfield and reduced noise exposure further away, this proposal will lower the base of controlled airspace over the whole area enabling substantial numbers of jet aircraft to fly below the existing London Terminal Control Area. The number of jet aircraft flights using London Southend Airport last year was 8,000, but the consultation document proposes to increase this to some 26,000 jet flights by 2020 and the airport already has planning permission to increase the total to 53,300 flights per year. This means that a wide area of Essex and North Kent would be exposed to more disturbance from aircraft noise and pollution than at present, both day and night. Once the controlled airspace is approved there is unlikely to be any means to challenge it effectively.

200241_10150165354751068_5938208_nUrging constituents to respond to the consultation, Mark Reckless said:

“I do not support the establishment of the proposed airspace because of the significant negative impact which it would have on us all. Residents living on the Hoo Peninsula already experience increased noise and pollution due to frequent low-level flights into Southend Airport which we were never consulted on.

At a time when we are fighting off proposals for a Thames Estuary Airport, I am concerned that residents now have the threat of increased low-level flights into Southend Airport and all the concerns which that will bring, albeit on a lesser scale. However, many of the same concerns regarding the Estuary Airport – noise, pollution, increased danger of bird strike – apply equally to flights into Southend which may come in low over the North Kent Marshes.

I am asking all concerned residents to make sure they respond to the consultation by writing directly to London Southend Airport.”

Responses can be made to the e-mail address lsacas@stobartair.com or in writing to:

Ms Sam Petrie
Airport Development Coordinator
London Southend Airport
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS2 6YF

Please indicate clearly that this is a RESPONSE to the consultation in the subject heading. The consultation closes on 13th December 2013.

View Consultation Document with information on how to respond – Click Here

Future Airspace Strategy – Click Here

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Welcoming our new baby

Reckless_Family_13Nov2013

I am proud to say that at 12.34pm on Monday 11th November my wife Catriona gave birth to Toby Edward Reckless. He is our second son and a little brother for Jamie.

Toby weighed in at eight pounds five ounces and both mother and baby are doing well. Thank you for all the kind wishes.

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Rochester Santa Fun Run 2013

IMG_6002_edited-1On Saturday 23rd November Rochester plays host to our now annual ‘Santa Run’. Each year in the run-up to Christmas several hundred people, and hopefully next year if not this thousands, hire Santa Claus outfits and ‘parade’ through Rochester High Street and the Castle gardens and area.

Some run and some walk the relatively short route, but all have great fun, and it is just £10. It is an extraordinary sight to see so many people of both genders, from Medway and from further afield, and of all ages kitted out in red and white with fluffy white beards.

As well as bringing increasing publicity and trade to Rochester – the following weekend is the Rochester Christmas Fair – the Santa run raises money for the Medway Rotary charities.

To sign up or for further information, visit the Santa Fun Run website – Click Here

From The Website:

Entering this year’s event couldn’t be easier, just complete our simple online application form for you, your family and your friends. The entry fee is just £10 per Adult and just £7.50 per child (under 12 years). If there’s 4 or more of you the entry fee is reduced further to just £7.50 per person. The entry fee includes your own Santa Suit of Hat, Beard, Jacket, Belt and Trousers, and when you register online we’ll deliver your santa suit to your front door. So get your family and friends together, register today, join in the Fun and support Medway Rotary’s Childrens Hospice Holidays.

In addition to the Fun Run you can try your hand at Archery and get in the spirit with a warming Mulled Wine, all available in the Rochester Castle Moat from 12pm. Then, at 1.45pm The Right Step Dance Company will lead a fun musical warm-up. This really is a sight to behold, 500+ Santas stretching and dancing to hits old and new.

At 2pm all Santas will parade from the Castle Moat, through the High Street, to the starting line, near Star Hill. At the start line the more athletic Santas will be invited to the front for a leisurely run, while the more casual santas bring up the rear as they dance, stroll, amble and meander the Fun Run course. The course itself takes in the full length of the High Street, turns left at the Crown Freehouse, then turns left again into Castle Hill and finishes back at the Castle Moat.

All Santas completing the course will receive a commemorative medal and everyone taking part is invited back to the Crown Freehouse for a FREE buffet.

To take part in this year’s Fun Run simply complete the online application form adding the relevant fee, and we’ll deliver your Santa Suit to your front door.

Come on get into the Christmas spirit early, join the Santa Charity Fun Run to help support our worthy Rotary Childrens Hospice Holidays charity and enjoy a fun family day out.

All Proceeds go to Rotary Childrens Hospice Holidays charity.

Click here to SIGN UP NOW!

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Vote to cut green energy costs today

Today the House of Commons votes (in a deferred division between 11.30am and 2pm) on whether to restrict funding to the Green Investment Bank following the Prime Minister’s statement a week ago that we “need to roll back the green charges”.

In Committee on Monday a majority of Conservative backbenchers selected by the whips to consider next steps for the Green Investment Bank voted to restrict its funding. We did this by voting ‘No’ to a ‘Designation’ Order proposed by Vince Cable for the Green Investment Bank to receive government financial assistance.

The minister updated the Committee that “The bank has so far made commitments totalling £714 million into green projects, including projects in each of its four principal priority areas, which are offshore wind, energy efficiency, waste recycling and waste to energy” and that it had previously been proposed “that it will have a total of £3.8 billion of funding for the period to March 2016”.

Bizarrely we learnt that, rather than just being added to electricity bills, £775 million of funding for the Green Investment Bank was to come from track access charges paid by Kent commuters and Eurostar passengers using HS1. We were also concerned to learn that the Bank would have its HQ in Edinburgh but its ‘major transaction team’ would be based in London, similar to the RBS model.

Today’s vote on whether to support this bank financially is unusual since, while Parliament scrutinises tax decisions closely, it usually has little say on spending decisions, with government ‘Estimates’ usually going through without debate and on the nod.

Because of the way the Green Investment Bank is structured, a separate vote in Parliament is needed on whether to ‘Designate’ the Bank for the government to give it financial assistance through what the minister described as “a bespoke power to fund”.

Whether the Liberal Democrats like it or not a ‘No’ vote in the deferred division today could roll back the green levies to get bills down for our constituents

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VIDEO: Mark Reckless speaks up for Hoo Peninsula during aviation debate

I was determined to rise to the challenge when the speaking time limit was cut from 7 minutes to 4 minutes in today’s Aviation Strategy Debate. It was almost as if repeated interventions from Bernard Jenkin, described as the only other person mad enough to support Boris’ scheme, were designed to time me out!

Thankfully our excellent Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle managed to get me in to speak (not sure if this meant cutting short Adam Afriye instead).

I was short of breath by the end. However, I hope that years spent living and breathing opposition to an Estuary Airport meant I was able to get in most of the key points.

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Meet Ann Widdecombe

ann_widdecombeAnn Widdecombe is coming to support the Rochester and Strood Constituency Conservative Association on Saturday 9th November 2013.

We would like to extend an invitation to you to reserve one or more places for our evening event. It will be a buffet (with drinks provided) and will be held Chatham from 7.30pm.

Tickets are £20 per person, but as we expect a very high demand for tickets it is necessary for you reserve any places by responding directly by e-mail asap.

Dress is ‘smart casual’ and we may have some live music. We also anticipate that we will have a stock of Ann’s books to hand, which she will be pleased to autograph for any purchaser.

Please respond as soon as possible to this invitation to reserve for the 9th November – click here. 

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Constituency office move

Please note that Mark Reckless’s constituency office is moving with immediate effect to Suite 1, 4 Castle View Mews, Castle Hill, Rochester, ME1 1LA. Telephone number for the constituency office remains the same.

The office move may cause some disruption over the next couple of days and written or emailed correspondence may not be responded to as quickly as usual. If you have any problems, please call the Parliamentary office on 020 7219 7135.

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VIDEO: A day in the life of Mark Reckless MP

An exclusive behind the scenes look at a typical day in the life of Mark Reckless, Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood. A revealing video which highlights the vital work which MPs undertake on behalf of local children, residents and businesses in their constituency:

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Mark Reckless highlights lack of support for Boris Island during PMQs

Mark Reckless took the opportunity during today’s Prime Ministers Questions to highlight Boris Johnson’s own admission that his pie in the sky Boris Island scheme lacked any credible support further to Sir Howard Davies’s indication that some plans will not pass first base environmentally.

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Mark Reckless calls on France to take on migrant responsibility

Speaking on this evening’s BBC South East news programme item, Mark Reckless MP called for France to take greater responsibility in shouldering the burden of non-EU migrants seeking a better life in Europe:

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