Rob Butler, MP – March 2022 update

As we enter Spring, hopes are high that brighter days lie ahead in the fight against Covid-19. The huge success of the vaccination programme has allowed us to lift Plan B restrictions and move considerably closer to normality.

Since my last column for Wendover News, I’ve had a constructive meeting with Wendover Parish Council’s HS2 Working Group about efforts to secure an enhanced package of measures to mitigate unacceptable train noise and environmental damage caused by HS2. The proposals would serve as an alternative to a mined tunnel, which the Department for Transport has rejected; I will be seeking a meeting with the HS2 Minister to discuss them as soon as possible.

I received a lot of correspondence about the news that the “Helicopter Park” was dismantled without warning. The park was enjoyed by many local people and the sudden removal of play equipment understandably prompted concern and disappointment. I immediately contacted the Minister for Defence Procurement who has responsibility for defence infrastructure and both he and the Station Commander at RAF Halton have assured me they are urgently exploring ways to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

Wendover is home to the Chilterns MS Centre, a charity providing services to people living with Multiple Sclerosis locally. I had a fascinating visit there, seeing first-hand some of the excellent treatments available, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy and hydrotherapy. It was also good to know local people dedicate their time as volunteers.

I continue to raise the concerns of Wendover residents in Parliament: recently I’ve asked the HS2 Minister about the traffic problems caused by HS2 Ltd’s contractors’ lorries on the A413, and my office is regularly in contact with Bucks Council. I also presented a petition to the House of Commons calling for the construction of the Aylesbury link of East-West Rail—the railway we do want.

As we look ahead, it’s important we don’t become complacent, despite our amazing progress against coronavirus. The best thing we can do is take advantage of the vaccination programme. I’m grateful to all Wendover residents who have been jabbed and for your help in fighting the virus, whether it be working in key roles, volunteering or home-schooling your children. I know it hasn’t been easy. Let’s keep this success story going as we build back better.