Agenda and draft minutes

Special meeting, Harrogate and Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee - Thursday, 10th November, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Harrogate Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 2AE

Contact: Ruth Gladstone  Email: ruth.gladstone@northyorks.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

23.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

24.

Update from Andrew Jones MP

Minutes:

Considered:  A verbal update from Andrew Jones MP regarding issues of key concern in the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency.

 

The key points within the update provided by Andrew Jones MP were as follows:-

 

·         Since his previous update to the Committee, it had been a most extraordinary period in terms of global challenges and a war in Europe.  That had led to a huge amount of work within Parliament and the consequences of that locally had been very high.  Since 1 September 2022, his local office had received 1,699 new casework cases, which was a very significant volume of activity.  It had involved helping people navigate the challenges ahead, such as challenges arising from Covid follow-through, and issues arising from the war in Ukraine such as inflation, energy prices, and energy supply.

 

·         Andrew Jones MP had been keeping pace with local public service providers and seeing some of the challenges which they were facing and helping by raising those with Minsters.  He had also been keeping pace with businesses and some of the challenges they were facing, which tended to take the form of recruitment and concern about fuel costs ie latest data showed an unemployment rate of 2% within the constituency area and there were often more vacancies than jobseekers. 

 

·         The challenges on recruitment were quite profound.  To overcome that, Andrew Jones MP had been talking to businesses and public service providers about what they were doing to ensure they recruited people early in their careers, working with the college, and building-up skills.  He had also been encouraging more people, who had been out of the workplace, to return.  That could be through the Job Centre, within whom he kept in very close contact, or encouraging the employment of people who had a disability.  Over a million people with disabilities had entered the workplace in the previous five years, which was a major achievement. 

 

·         The war in Ukraine had dominated in Parliament and had changed a variety of policy areas, ie international relations, energy, and defence.  In effect, Parliament had faced an extraordinary challenge, for example, restrictions in both the energy and food, and the most appalling humanitarian cases.  The British responses generally, through both Government and communities, had been extremely good and had taken different forms.  He had met with the Ukrainian Ambassador who had been very impressed and touched by the support from the United Kingdom.   He felt that the number of people, who had opened their homes to people from Ukraine, had been truly impressive.

 

Water Quality

 

During his verbal briefing, Andrew Jones MP advised of the work he had undertaken regarding water quality.  He advised of the following:-

 

·         The Environment Bill, now the Environment Act, had been through Parliament and he had been very happy to support it.  The Act, in terms of water, mandated water companies to invest in reducing the use of overflows to the levels they were at when they were operating fewer than ten per year.  To increase transparency, the Act mandated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.