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Tuesday 11 December 2007


Communities and Local Government

Housing Development (Kettering)

The Humble Petition of Mr John Brunige and others of like disposition listed below,


That new housing development proposed for Kettering and its surrounding area will only be sustainable and of general benefit for the local area if the necessary additional infrastructure to support the new population is put in place ahead of or in parallel with new housing construction.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House shall urge the Department of Communities and Local Government to consider the plight of Mr. Brunige and the other Petitioners and either bring forward firm plans to provide the necessary infrastructure or stop the housing expansion plans.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c. —[Presented by Mr. Philip Hollobone , Official Report, 23 July 2007; Vol. 463, c. 658 .] [P000083]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

Northamptonshire is earmarked for significant growth as part of the Milton Keynes and South Midlands (MKSM) growth area. Over 100,000 new homes will be built. Kettering is one of 4 districts in North Northamptonshire which forms part of a Local Delivery Vehicle dedicated to providing that growth.

The local authorities and other partners in North Northants are all currently delivering infrastructure projects through a total of £25m GAF2 (and in the case of the County Council as Local Highway Authority and the Highways Agency, around £7.4 million CIF) funding, in preparation for the growth that is expected to occur. For GAF2 projects the delivery of these are being co-ordinated by North Northants Development Company (NNDC) - the Local Delivery Vehicle (LDV) for North Northamptonshire - and for County Infrastructure funding (CIF) by the County Council and the Highways Agency.

These projects include highways improvements, bus and traffic management schemes, green infrastructure provision, town centre regeneration projects, remediation and bringing back into use of key employment sites to facilitate jobs growth etc.

For future delivery of key infrastructure, the LDVs (in this case NNDC) and their partners have been required to produce comprehensive Programmes of
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Development (PoDs) which are currently being considered by DCLG, and funding announcements for the next three years will be made in December 2007. These PoDs are intended to give details of the housing growth and where it is expected to go, plus provide details of all the key infrastructure projects which will be required over the medium and longer term to sustain such growth. In addition, NNDC and WNDC (the LDV for West Northants) have commissioned a Strategic Northamptonshire Action Plan which is currently being prepared to plan for the necessary increase in both the numbers and quality of jobs across the whole of Northamptonshire.

The PoD does contain details of some transport schemes, some of which are likely to be more suitable for the next round of GIF funding when this is announced. In addition, it does highlight that there are key road infrastructure restraints to the proposed growth- in particular the A14. There are no easy or quick solutions to this, but potential solutions have been identified which will take until at least 2015 to implement fully. In the meantime, the Highways Agency, NNDC, the County Council and other partners are working very closely together to work out interim solutions which can allow phased growth to go ahead in the meantime.


Ambulance Control Centre (Shrewsbury)

The Petition of those concerned about the proposed closure of the Ambulance Emergency Operations Centre in Shrewsbury,

Declares that the Petitioners condemn the proposed closure of the Ambulance Emergency Operations Centre in Shrewsbury, and are also deeply concerned about the possible loss of 16 fully trained Ambulance Control Centre staff jobs.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department of Health to instruct the West Midlands Ambulance Service to guarantee the continuation of control services in Shropshire.

And the Petitioners remain, etc. —[Presented by Daniel Kawczynski , Official Report, 19 November 2007; Vol. 467, c. 1071 .] [P000061]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Health:

Arrangements for where ambulance service control rooms are situated, and how calls into the control rooms are received, are a matter for the ambulance services themselves.

However, the Department would expect Trusts to ensure that their control rooms are fit for purpose and have the necessary capacity, capability and resilience to deal with the requirements of a modern ambulance service. The majority of new Ambulance Trusts are looking at a range of issues relating to how they can streamline and improve their operations and WMAS are not alone in examining their control room functions.

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