On 12th December, voters are going to the polls across the constituency to vote for their next representative in North East Derbyshire.
Incumbent Tory MP for North East Derbyshire, Lee Rowley, has been telling residents he wants to ‘continue all the good work’ he has been doing.
So, let’s have a look at what he has done and what he now means by that:
Local government funding
Since being elected, Lee has consistently cut local government funding.
In February 2018 he voted to cut the funding by 28% than it was in 2017/8 and then in February 2019 voted to cut funding even further by 56% lower than that in 2017/8.
By cutting local government funding, this has a direct impact of delivering crucial services to children where the Tory-led County Council are already overspending by over £6million a year, social care that have been cut to the bone and has reduced the ability of the County Council to invest in our local infrastructure such as the A61.
The cuts to social care then have a knock on effect to the NHS.
Rather than care being administered closer to home, people are having to use NHS services and this increases the pressures already felt by the health service.
So, while the local Tories insist they are lobbying their own party in government for a fairer share of the funds, they are sending their own MP to Westminster to cut the very funds they are lobbying for.
You can find Lee’s local government voting record here: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/25685/lee_rowley/north_east_derbyshire/divisions?policy=6671
Lee regularly tells people how proud he is to have always voted for brexit.
However, as we all know, Lee has been a very vocal member of the European Research Group (ERG), who voted THREE times against Theresa May’s deal – which could have delivered the ‘smooth transition’, on which he was elected in 2017, promised in the Conservative party manifesto.
Had it not been for Conservative ERG members like Lee Rowley, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, brexit would have been delivered by now.
You can see his name listed here of on of 73 Conservative MP’s who rebelled against his own party which eventually failed to get the brexit deal over the line: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/brexit/how-your-mp-voted-on-theresa-mays-brexit-deal-full-list-80022
Lee now supports Boris Johnson’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement, which still includes many of the things he has previously claimed that he couldn’t support in Theresa May’s deal. Both deals have been rejected by leave and remain supports as the worst of all worlds, a halfway house of chaos, so why would anybody support it?
All we have learned from the debates so far is that there is still, at least, another year of negotiating the actual deal; followed by decades of negotiating new trading relationships. “Getting Brexit Done” is something that won’t happen in many people’s lifetimes; so buckle in for more Tory brexit chaos.
Lee has been telling local residents about his opposition to fracking since before he was elected in June 2017. However, one month later, the Lib Dem candidate for North East Derbyshire Ross Shipman, questioned Lee on whether he would vote to ban fracking if such a motion was presented to Parliament.
Mr Rowley replied that he WOULD NOT vote to ban Fracking at that time and had some interesting things to say about the anti-fracking protesters campaigning in Danesmoor.
You can listen to Lee’s exact words here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwNIP_fiY-U
It would, of course, be perfectly acceptable for Lee to have changed his mind following more evidence coming to light; however, at two hustings during the 2019 General Election, Lee again refused to confirm that he would ban Fracking when asked by members of the audience. His response was that he would IF evidence came to light that ‘it wasn’t safe’ – totally ignoring the effects fracking and other fossil fuels have on the environment, even if it was extracted in a safe way.
The Conservatives and Brexit Party are the only national parties not to include a policy of permanently banning fracking in their manifestos.
At a local level, North East Derbyshire Conservatives have been accused of just giving lip service to the climate change emergency for buying diesel powered road sweepers instead of investing in the equipment for the future in line with the climate emergency targets they set themselves.
You see read the Derbyshire Times article here: https://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/politics/derbyshire-council-slammed-for-buying-diesel-road-sweepers-after-declaring-climate-emergency-1-10075129
National Health Service
At the Dronfield hustings on 30th November 2019, Lee made reference to the Conservatives pledge for 50,000 NEW nurses in the NHS. When Good Morning Britain presenters, Piers Morgan and Suzanna Reid queried this with Nicky Morgan, it became apparent that this included 19,000 that already work in the NHS and was only 31,000 NEW nurses.
You can see the Nicky Morgan Interview on 25th November 2019 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpcY6HsGmAM&t=211s
Conservative Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock then attempted to defend it in another interview with Good Morning Britain on 28th November 2019 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmnVYzU6nMg
Lee Rowley and the local Conservative Association tell people they are working hard to sort out the disastrous local plan left to them by the previous Labour-led North East Derbyshire District Counci
Lee Rowley has said much locally about reducing the number of houses in the Local Plan since early 2017 before he became MP. However, he has made no interventions in the House of Commons, through means available to him as a backbencher, to reduce the pressure exerted by Tory central government upon Local Councils to build high and unsustainable numbers of houses in and around our towns and villages.
Residents have seen no resolution to planning issues since the Conservatives paused the Local Plan 7 months ago. The Conservative Council wrote to the Planning Inspector asking that two Green Belt sites in Dronfield and Killamarsh be protected from development. No such requests were made to reduce very high housing allocations in the south of the district. The inspector has refused the Council’s request by saying “I am not aware of any changes to this evidence base to justify any re-consideration or review of the main matters and issues that were covered at the hearing sessions.
The Inspector has made it plain that the Local Plan is at an advanced stage and that new evidence must be submitted to support any proposed withdrawal of individual sites. The Conservatives have not yet publicly declared a timescale for preparing and submitting this evidence and residents’ concerns are now mounting that the Conservatives will not fulfil their promises to protect the district from inappropriate development.
You can read the full response from the Inspector to the Conservatives’ request to reduce the housing allocation here: https://www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/images/Repository/E/ED86__Inspector_to_Council_02.08.19.pdf
Unfortunately, unless alternative building locations can be found in the district, the developments around our existing towns and villages will proceed causing more headaches for local infrastructure.
Lee and other Tory Councillors are continuing to tell people all across the district they will reduce housing in their area without any real plan where they intend to build more homes to meet the needs of future generations.
Since May, the new Conservative administration have approved new developments along the A61 corridor on District Council owned land such as the one off Ankerbold Road, Tupton.
If Lee Rowley and the Conservatives are willing to mislead people across North East Derbyshire on important issues such as the NHS, environment, local government funding, housing and brexit – what else are they willing to mislead you on?
Where does Lee rank as your MP?
Lee Rowley is ranked 502nd out of 650 MP’s in The People-Power Index from Change.org, which ranks all of the country’s 650 MPs based on a number of criteria, including their availability to constituents, participation in Parliament and whether they listen to the public.
See full rankings: https://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/read-this/every-uk-mp-ranked-best-to-worst-people-power-index-how-yours-scored/
A brighter future
For real change and positive action in North East Derbyshire, Ross Shipman and the local Liberal Democrats have a plan for a brighter future: https://www.libdems.org.uk/plan
Back Ross Shipman for a MP you can trust.