Luke Pollard

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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Luke has written to the Defence Select Committee, a group investigating possible changes that could scrap Plymouth's HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark and the Royal Marines. You can do the same - write in here to help!

There are reports that the Government is thinking about scrapping the Royal Navy's amphibious assault capabilities – including Devonport based HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark and 1,000 Royal Marines. A group of MPs called the Defence Committee are investigating these possible changes to the Royal Marines and UK amphibious forces. To help them with their investigation, they'd like to hear from you. This week Luke wrote to them and urges you to do the same.

You can tell them whatever you think is important. You could also think about a few of these questions:

- How important are the Royal Marines and Albion class ships to the UK?

- How do you think that having fewer Royal Marines since 2010 and more recent changes in numbers have affected the Corps?

- Do you think that further changes will affect supporting units within 3 Commando Brigade?

- What do you think the impact has been of having one of the two Albion class ships at extended readiness, so that only one is available for deployment?

- What could UK Armed Forces do to match the capabilities that might be lost? Are the alternatives good enough?

- Are there enough exercises and training to keep amphibious capability at high readiness?

- What do you think will happen to unit morale and satisfaction with Service life if the reported changes and reductions happen?

- What do you think will happen to the communities where these capabilities are based if the reported changes and reductions happen?


You can tell the Committee what you think in two ways.

1. You can fill in the web forum:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/defence-committee/royal-marines-web-forum-17-19/

2. If you have something more complicated to say, you could also send a longer document about the changes. You can do that here:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/defence-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/inquiry5/commons-written-submission-form/

If you’re interested in what Luke has written, you can see his letter below as a useful guide!

 

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Luke Pollard MP urges Plymouth to write to the Defence Select Committee to save HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark and our Royal Marines

Luke has written to the Defence Select Committee, a group investigating possible changes that could scrap Plymouth's HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark and the Royal Marines. You can do the same...

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Six months on from his election win, Labour and Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Luke Pollard has launched his first newsletter and a set of Parliament benchmarking statistics that compare him with Plymouth’s other MPs. You can sign up for his newsletter here

Luke said:

“I said before I was elected I wanted Plymouth to get a better deal in Parliament and that the current way of doing politics was broken.”

“I want people to know how I’m doing and whether I’m giving Plymouth its voice back in Parliament as I promised.”

“That’s why six months after being elected, with my newsletter I’ve released a set of performance stats that compare how I’ve been doing with Plymouth’s other MPs.”

You can see Luke’s Parliament performance stats below – with a guide for what they mean and how to check them:

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Methodology

Times spoken

What does this mean?

This is the number of debates that the MP has spoken in, both in the House of Commons Chamber and Westminster Hall (between 8 June 2017 – 8 December 2017). It does not count the same debate twice. It also counts the number of Question Times where MPs ask Ministers questions. This does not include contributions as a Chair.

How can I check this?

1.Go to Theyworkforyou.com. Search for the MP and click on'Numerology‘.
2.Click on 'See all X's speeches'
3.Click 'Advanced search‘.
4.Specify date range.

Times mentioned Plymouth

What does this mean? 

This is the number of debates or question times in which the MP has said the word 'Plymouth' (between 8 June 2017 – 8 December 2017). This is not a count of the number of times the MP said the word 'Plymouth‘.  Plymouth only counts once on each occasion. This does not include written questions.

How can I check this? 

1.Go to Theyworkforyou.com and search for MP and click on Numerology.
2.Click on 'See all X's speeches'  
3.Click 'Advanced search‘.
4.'Find this exact word or phrase' - Plymouth 
5.Specify date range.

Written Questions tabled

What does this mean? 

This is the total number of Written Questions that the MP has tabled (between 8 June 2017 – 8 December 2017).  Written Questions are another way that MPs hold Government to account.

How can I check this? 

1.Go to Parliament.uk 
2.'Parliamentary business' tab 
3.'Publications & records' 
4.'Written Questions and Answers and Written Statements' 
5.Search for Member and specify date range 

Votes voted in (%) 

What does this mean? 

This is the percentage of votes in which the MP has voted since (between 8 June 2017 – 12 December 2017). Where an MP has not voted that means they abstained or were not present. 

This includes votes for Private Members Bills held on sitting Fridays and votes for Opposition Day Motions.

How can I check this? 

1.Go to Theyworkforyou.com and search for MP 'Numerology' 
2.See 'Has voted in X% of votes in this Parliament‘

Luke launches newsletter and Parliamentary stats for first six months as your MP

Six months on from his election win, Labour and Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Luke Pollard has launched his first newsletter and a set of Parliament benchmarking statistics...

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  • Plymouth Labour MP joins forces with Exeter Labour MP Ben Bradshaw in joint letter.
  • Urgent letter says window is closing to invest to reduce journey times from Plymouth to Exeter.
  • Labour has promised £2.5bn to fund all the immediate asks contained in the Peninsular Rail Task Force report.

Luke Pollard, Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, has written a joint letter with Exeter ally, Ben Bradshaw MP, urgently demanding funds to improve the far South West’s ageing rail network.

The joint letter states “time is running short” to fulfil funding asks from the Peninsula Rail Task Force Report, that could be delivered in 2018/2019. To do this, Network rail needs confirmation of funding by the end of the year.

The Peninsula Rail Task Force was set up by Conservative Councils in the wake of the 2014 storms. Their November 2016 report received cross-party backing and set out a 20 year plan to upgrade the South West train line.

The Peninsular Rail Task Force’s ‘Speed to the West’ study has identified a way to reduce journey times in line with the PRTF 20-year plan that requires immediate action. Improved line speeds between Totnes and Hemerdon from 60mph to 75 mph would see a reduction in journey time of 3 minutes. The rail industry has indicated this has a Benefit to Cost Ratio of 6.07, and development work is needed this year to allow delivery in 2018/19. To ensure this happens the following is required:

  • Commitment from the Government for up to £600,000 funding to enable Network Rail to develop the project for enhances track renewal.
  • Commitment from Government for the required £20-30m funding allocation in 2018/19 for Network Rail to deliver the upgrade as part of their asset renewals programme.

As the Government have not addressed the group’s recommendations in the budget, and both MPs fear this is a missed opportunity if the window closes by 2018.

Luke Pollard MP says:

“The budget contained billions for transport schemes in London and the Midlands but nothing for our urgent asks for our train line.”

“If the Government does not deliver the £600.000 needed for the speed upgrades on the track between Totnes and Plymouth, then the work that is due to take place on that stretch of track next year will only renew not upgrade the track.”

“This locks in slow journeys and means we miss the window for faster journeys. What is the government playing at? It is about time the far South West for our fair share for transport spending."

Read the letter in full below:

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In joint letter with Exeter MP, Luke Pollard MP tells Transport Secretary time is running out this year to improve our train line in Devon

Plymouth Labour MP joins forces with Exeter Labour MP Ben Bradshaw in joint letter. Urgent letter says window is closing to invest to reduce journey times from Plymouth to Exeter....


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