May 2023: News from MP Chris Skidmore

AS the local MP, I have always been keen to champion our environment and action on climate change so we can capitalise on economic and social opportunities that are opened up. Last year the government asked me to chair the Independent Review on Net Zero and I submitted my report at the end of 2022 with 129 recommendations focussed on 10 missions.  

The government has recently published its responses to the Review and overall I am pleased with the level of support expressed, in particular for the Review’s conclusion that net zero is the growth opportunity of the 21st century and could offer major economic opportunities to the UK – but that decisive action is needed to seize these. 

Locally we can already see the innovation being pioneered – from the organisations based at the Emersons Green Science Park, such as the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS), through to South Gloucestershire Council’s Commons Connections project and various community groups’ efforts to boost nature and biodiversity recovery. We need government to not only back but to accelerate support for these areas. 

As we move out of Spring and into the warmer months, it is worth reflecting on the Chancellor’s Spring Budget and what this means for households and businesses locally. 

Support with the cost of living will continue through the extension of energy support by capping the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 until July giving families the certainty they need, as well as ending the premium paid by over four million households using prepayment meters, ensuring fairness for all bill payers. 

To help more parents with the cost of childcare, the government is introducing 30 free hours of childcare per week for children from 9 months to 4 years, worth £6,500 per year per child from 2025, allowing parents to take up more work. There will also be new support for childminders. 

 Nationally, the government is investing an extra £200 million in 2023-24 in maintaining and improving local roads, enabling local authorities like South Gloucestershire to fix more potholes and resurfacing. 

As ever, please contact my office on 0117 908 1524 or