The proposal to build a 3.5 million sq ft rail freight interchange in the green belt outside St Albans has united local people in opposition. Despite rejection on a local and national level in 2008, it has returned and hangs over our community.
Anne has been a key part of the STRIFE team, fighting proposals to build a vast rail freight terminal on land scheduled to be converted into a country park. Her work gathering evidence and lending expertise to the group was instrumental in getting the first proposal rejected in 2008, and will hopefully be again.
Anne has spoken out at every stage of the planning process and met with rail groups, residents, Government officials and freight operators to try to prove the proposal is for the wrong location. She has kept more than 1,000 local people in touch with the campaign, and helped to coordinate protests and objections. She has spoken out against the proposal at every opportunity, raising it in Parliament, at demos and at public hearings. | more
We all know how much disruption commuters from St Albans have faced in recent months, on a rail service which was barely adequate in the first place. Between November 2009 and January 2010, thousands of St Albans commuters on First Capital Connect services into London faced nightmare journeys as a result of a driver work-to-rule. The situation was further worsened by poor weather and overdue train maintenance in the New Year.
During the disruption, Anne led the campaign to get the situation rectified. She was the first to raise the problems in the House of Commons, and has kept an open dialogue with Ministers and FCC Management to push for improvements. Ministers and MPs of all parties have paid tribute to her efforts on behalf of commuters. Anne secured a better compensation package from FCC and continues to hold the company to account and make it clear that the disruption we experienced should never happen again. | more
Local Health Services
Labour has really let St Albans down on the NHS. The promised superhospital was cancelled, A&E services have transferred to Watford and local people receive amongst the lowest NHS funding per head in the country. Anne has consistently spoken up for our area and pushed Ministers and local health chiefs for a fairer deal.
Locally, Anne has always made a point of having regular meetings with managers in the local NHS, and visiting local hospitals, surgeries and other health providers to ensure she is completely up-to-date with local developments and to ensure she understands the challenges facing local NHS staff. | more
The Green Belt around St Albans is a precious resource, but high house prices and our proximity to London means pressures to use the land are fierce. When Labour’s top-down regional East of England plan imposed a target of 83,200 houses in Hertfordshire before 2021, Anne was vociferous in her opposition.
Anne continues to be a fierce opponent of such top-down targets, imposed directly from Whitehall. She believes the right of local people to make decisions about their communities is vital.
In Westminster, Anne has worked on the Communities and Local Government Committee, and Planning Bill Committees to scrutinise Government Departments, and their proposals on planning. This has given Anne a good understanding of planning issues, and locally she meets regularly with residents groups to offer them advice, and speaks out against inappropriate proposals which put the Green Belt at risk. | more
When Tesco unveiled plans to build on the Eversheds site on London Road, Anne was a vocal opponent, as it would have threatened local shops and added to traffic problems. She fought a strong campaign against the proposal and forced Tesco to produce a pollution study which was instrumental in the case against the store. In February 2010 Tesco announced a cessation of their plans. | more
Anne has been one of the most vocal supporters of the victims of the Equitable Life collapse in Parliament, pushing for fair compensation for them, and raising the matter with the Prime Minister and Ministers on a number of occasions.
She continues to meet with members of the Equitable Members Action Group on a regular basis and push for a genuine settlement for those affected. | more
Anne has taken a keen interest in local business issues, and meets with local businesses as often as possible to discuss challenges facing them and maintain a real sense of the economic environment in the area.
She visits local businesses regularly and holds an annual business summit with St Albans Chamber of Commerce to allow her to discuss problems facing local businesses, and take stock of the situation. This has informed speeches and Parliamentary contributions on a number of subjects. | more