I have launched a Public Petition to the House of Commons calling for the improved maintenance of local roads. As I noted before the summer, this issue has been raised with me time and time again as your local Member of Parliament, and I am keen to take action. It is plain to see why people remain frustrated and angered by the state of local roads when I travel down the country lanes that connect the many small settlements that characterise our communities.
While we have seen welcome investment and proposals come forward for major routes, I believe that our rural roads have been overlooked and have been allowed to fall into a state of serious disrepair. The petition therefore declares that Parliament and the Government have an obligation to ensure that those living in rural areas are not at a disadvantage when it comes to the maintenance of the roads network and that more needs to be done to tackle the problems of poor road surface quality and to make pothole repairs. I hope that by gathering as much support as possible we will be able to send a strong signal to Government Ministers that action needs to be taken to support local authorities.
The last time I organised a similar petition in relation to rural Post Office services, we managed to secure thousands of signatures and I have no doubt there is a similar strength of feeling locally on this issue.
In order to spread the word, I have written to all local Parish Councils and interested groups in my constituency to encourage them to join the campaign and get involved in helping collect signatures. Please do download a copy and I would urge anyone who shares these concerns to sign it and return it to my office by the 20th of November in time for its presentation on the floor of the House of Commons. Unfortunately, owing to parliamentary protocol it is necessary for the form to be filled in by hand and returned to my office. I am therefore happy to arrange for a hard copy to be sent to you directly if that is easier.
I hope I can count on your support in this matter and as ever I more than happy to answer any questions you may have and would encourage those who are interested to contact my Parliamentary Office on 0207 219 4719.