Today the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has slammed the Department for Transport and Crossrail for their parts in the costly delay to complete the flagship Crossrail project.
A report by the respected committee has found that the fixation on December 2018 delivery deadline led to warning signs being missed or ignored, and that the Department for Transport and Crossrail have still not identified the root causes of delays and cost increases.
The Committee has also called for the Department for Transport to urgently set out what consequences senior officials have faced for programme failures.
Erith and Thamesmead MP, Teresa Pearce said:
“Frankly, I am dismayed by the Public Accounts Committee findings.
“Crossrail was due to open in December 2018 bringing in a vital new rail service through London for local people from Abbey Wood station.
“A revised opening in autumn 2019 had been advised, but in all honesty my confidence in that timetable – and whether the £2.8 billion loan will be sufficient – has been shattered.
“It is inconceivable to me that the Department for Transport and Crossrail were not able to identify the root causes of the delay to the Public Accounts Committee. This is mismanagement on an epic scale.”
The full report can be read here : https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news-parliament-2017/crossrail-progress-review-report-published-17-19/
Yesterday, during Home Office Questions, Teresa Pearce asked the Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Noakes MP, two questions. In the first instance, Teresa Pearce MP asked what steps the Home Secretary is taking to ensure that Local Authorities settle the status of the children of EU nationals in their care.
The second question highlighted the challenges within the settlement scheme for this particular group of vulnerable children. Teresa asked the Minister if she agreed with her that as corporate parents to these vulnerable children, we should be giving automatic settled status to them. She also asked if the Minister agreed that fees should be waived for the children eligible for citizenship, to avoid them becoming undocumented.
To view the exchange in full, please click here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/14b23cd1-9472-44ba-9742-dd2deec361d1?in=15:20:39
Teresa Pearce MP has shown her super-powered support for women with ovarian cancer across Erith and Thamesmead at a special event hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ovarian Cancer on 20 March.
MPs were given the chance to dress as ‘teal heroes’ to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer at an event organised for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Teal is the colour of ovarian cancer awareness, which is alarmingly low in the UK. Data from Target Ovarian Cancer, which provides the secretariat for the APPG, shows just one in five women can name bloating as one of the key symptoms of the disease. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
- Persistent bloating- not bloating that comes and goes
- Feeling full or loss of appetite
- Tummy pain
- Needing to wee more often or more urgently
Teresa Pearce MP said:
“Too many women die of ovarian cancer. We all must act to ensure that more women know the symptoms to look out for, are diagnosed sooner and get the treatment they need. That’s why I was delighted to take part in this year’s Teal Hero event to support women with ovarian cancer and their families. “
Ovarian cancer can be devastating. Every year 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK, and 4,100 women die from the disease. Target Ovarian Cancer works to raise the profile of ovarian cancer, spread the word about the symptoms, and train GPs in early diagnosis.
Visit targetovariancancer.org.uk to find out more.
The new lifts at Abbey Wood station will be out of action for major repairs from Tuesday, 26 March, until mid-June 2019.
While rail services will run normally, step-free access will be affected in the following way:
• From 26 to 31 March, both lifts on Gayton Road will be closed. A step-free route along Wilton Road, Knee Hill and Harrow Manorway will be signposted to customers, who will be able to access the station through its main entrance.
• From 2 April to mid-June, the access to both lifts on Felixstowe Road will be closed. A step-free route along Felixstowe Road and Harrow Manorway – leading to the main station entrance – will be signposted to customers.
I am told that a member of staff will be by the lifts at all times, providing assistance to customers. These closures are needed while Network Rail undertakes major repairs to a leak in an underground duct; the London Borough of Bexley improve the footpaths and roads leading to the station; and repair works on the lifts is completed.
I am very disappointed that new lifts have to undergo major repairs and that long suffering Abbey Wood residents will have to contend with long pedestrian diversions – AGAIN!
I met with the Managing Director of Network Rail recently and made it very clear that this was unacceptable.
In a Westminister Hall debate today about rail services in south east London, Teresa Pearce MP said the delay in awarding a new franchise for the Southeastern Network was denying passengers better compensation for delayed and cancelled trains.
Under the new delay/repay scheme, passengers are able to claim compensation for journeys delayed by more than 15 minutes. However this will not come into operation until the new franchise is awarded. Given that the new franchise has been delayed twice already, rail passengers are missing out on better compensation for the ongoing poor service.
Teresa Pearce MP said:
“It is incredibly frustrating that delays in awarding the new southeastern franchise are depriving passengers of the compensation they deserve. In these circumstances I would like the current train operator to introduce the new delay/repay scheme immediately as a gesture of good faith to its customers.”
Teresa Pearce MP for Erith & Thamesmead is delighted to be working with Peabody to bring The Google Digital Garage Bus tour to Thamesmead, providing free digital skills training and great opportunities for residents and local business owners.
The Digital Garage is a place where anyone can come and learn how to harness the power of the internet to grow their business, learn more about the internet, or develop new vocational skills.
The bus will be at Thamesmead Town Centre outside Poundland on Saturday, March 2nd from 10am onwards. Sessions will include: First Steps Online; Spreadsheets for Beginners; Intro to Digital Advertising; Build a Digital Marketing Plan and How to Keep Your Family Safe Online as well as one to one mentoring sessions throughout the day.
For more information visit: https://events.withgoogle.com/free-in-person-training-from-google-1/
Teresa Pearce MP has joined hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country proudly wearing green hearts to show they want to protect the people, places and lives they love from climate change.
The Erith and Thamesmead MP wore the heart as part of The Climate Coalition’s ‘Show The Love’ campaign which celebrates things that could be lost without efforts to tackle climate change – from beaches to bees and cricket to coffee.
A report released last week from the Coalition warned that extreme weather is hitting British fruit and vegetable yields – and even leading to smaller chips.
Teresa Pearce MP said:
“It’s really important to take a moment to reflect on what could be under threat in our own lives.
“I’m proud to be wearing my green heart and supporting a net zero future before 2050. I want to be part of leaving a legacy for future generations that we can all be proud of.”
Clara Goldsmith, Director of Campaigns at The Climate Coalition, said:
“Climate change is already changing the things we love in the UK. It’s also hitting the most vulnerable people, whether that’s very young or elderly people struggling with heatwaves here at home or those in poor communities overseas affected by a loss of crops or more severe disasters.
“That’s why we need to take action, including calling on the government to set an ambitious target to reduce the emissions which are driving climate change.”
To find out what’s happening up and down the country, visit theclimatecoalition.org or search #ShowTheLove on social media and join the nation’s biggest climate change conversation.
Teresa Pearce MP Supports Bill to Prevent Future Bus Tragedies
On Wednesday 13th February Teresa supported a Parliamentary Bill that seeks to limit the driving hours worked by bus drivers on local routes, to prevent bus crashes caused through driver fatigue.
The Bill has been introduced in response to the Coventry bus crash in 2015 which killed seven-year-old Rowan Fitzgerald and 76-year-old Dora Hancox. The driver had been working 70+ hour weeks leading up to the crash and was judged to be the critical factor in the trial of the bus driver and company that followed.
The British laws which regulate bus drivers’ hours on local routes (of less than 50km) limit driving to 10 hours a day, with no weekly or fortnightly limit except that in any two consecutive weeks there must be at least one period of 24 hours off duty. This means it is legal for a local bus driver to drive 130 hours over a period of two weeks. On average, local bus drivers currently work nearly six hours per week more than average workers. Under EU law however, a long-distance bus driver or lorry driver cannot drive more than 56 hours a week, or more than 90 hours over any two consecutive weeks.
The Bill seeks to change the law so that driving hours for local bus drivers are capped at 56 hours a week, and no more than 90 hours over any two consecutive weeks, as it already is for long distance bus drivers and lorry drivers.
As the Bill is a 10-Minute Rule Bill, it is unlikely to pass into law at this stage, but campaigners hope that this will be the first step in a big push to get the Government to adopt the legislation. The Bill already has the support of the Shadow Chancellor, Shadow Transport Secretary, the Chair of the Transport Select Committee, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, the Mayor of Manchester, Brake and others.
Teresa said “I was pleased to recently support this Bill in Parliament. I was shocked to hear of the case with the Coventry bus crash a few years ago, which needlessly took the lives of two people. Our laws around working hours for local bus drivers clearly aren’t keeping the public safe and it’s time to legislate to make sure another two people aren’t killed the next time a bus driver is asked to work too many hours than is safe.”
A statement from the family of 7-year old Rowan’s Fitzgerald who was killed in the crash says, “We strongly feel that there should be a change to the current law. If this proposal had been in place on the 3rd October 2015, then perhaps our beautiful boy Rowan Fitzgerald, and the pedestrian, Mrs. Dora Hancox, who were both killed in this tragic bus crash, would be alive today.”