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Labour Councillors despair as Bedford loses out on Network Rail investment. 

Bedford Borough Labour Councillors have voiced their disappointment that electrification works to the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Sheffield have been shelved.

Sue.jpgCllr Sue Oliver, Labour Group Leader said, “This is really bad news for Bedford. The Conservative Manifesto promised to electrify the Midland Main Line from St Pancras to Sheffield yet within weeks they have broken their promise.”

Queen’s Park Councillor, Mohammad Yasin, said: “We were aware of the plan to electrify the railway from Bedford to Sheffield, and that it would necessitate work to raise Ford End Road and Bromham Road bridges. Naturally, we wanted to know what the plans were and when the work would be undertaken so that we could ensure residents were prepared for the disruption. We couldn’t get a straight answer from Network Rail, this news explains why.”

Councillor Masud added: “The electrification would have meant faster journey times from Bedford to major northern cities. Rebuilding the bridges would have presented the opportunity for better cycle and pedestrian access to the railway station. It seems that yet again the focus of this Tory government is on the affluent London area.”

The Conservative Manifesto promised to electrify the Midland Main Line from St Pancras to Sheffield.

“We will back business by investing a record £5.2 billion in better transport, upgrading the M1 and M6, and electrifying the Midland Main Line from St Pancras to Sheffield – putting the Midlands at the centre of a modern, inter-connected transport network for the UK.” (Conservative Manifesto 2015, p. 13)

For further information or follow-up, please contact

Councillor Sue Oliver 01234 303029 s.j.oliver@ntlworld.com

Network Rail shelve electrification plan north of Bedford

Labour Councillors despair as Bedford loses out on Network Rail investment.  Bedford Borough Labour Councillors have voiced their disappointment that electrification works to the Midland Main Line from Bedford to...

For months I have spoken with local residents and listened to their views. The election is upon us, and it is clear that many who intend to vote remain undecided.

Nonetheless, people are clear about a number of issues. They want a secure future for Bedford Hospital and are concerned about the Tory drive to privatise health services.Too many struggle with the cost of living and want action on low wages and high fuel and energy bills.

Others cannot cannot understand why the government has refused to help foodbanks whilst cutting tax for the rich. Our schools are forced to compete with each other instead of cooperating. Rail fares shoot up and the cost of housing is beyond what most young people can afford.

Many residents are not comfortable with the Tories' negative attitude to Europe and divisive approach to Scotland, which risks breaking up the UK. I want to help unite our country and will support policies that benefit the many, not only the few.

If elected I will again be a full-time MP and will put Bedford Kempston first. I will never accept extra paid directorships and consultancies. I will work with the mayor, the council, local businesses, and residents to provide the leadership and vision we need.

Patrick Hall reflects on the campaign

For months I have spoken with local residents and listened to their views. The election is upon us, and it is clear that many who intend to vote remain undecided....

Labour's local councillors have come up with a series of initiatives that have helped hard-pressed families in Bedford Borough.

Many households have seen their finances squeezed by the unfair policies of the Conservative-Liberal government, including the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance, wage freezes, cuts to care and other services. It is the least well-off who have been the hardest hit by the present government.

As part of the fight back against the cost of living crisis, Bedford's Labour councillors have put in place a Living Wage for council employees and are seeking accreditation as a Living Wage employer.

Labour councillors have secured the allocation of £4 million for care homes in the Borough, and they have successfully fought for training and apprenticeship schemes to help with local employment, especially for young people.

Meanwhile, Labour has locally taken action on the housing crisis. £2.8 million has been allocated to purchase empty homes, ending urban blight and bringing them bank into use for local people.

Cllr Sue Oliver, Labour leader on Bedford Borough Council, explained, 'These policies are about trying to make Bedford a fairer and better place for people to live. We have delivered real benefits for local people, and we will continue to do so'.

On the same day as the general election, 7th May, voters in Bedford Borough will have the chance to elect a new council and mayor. Residents are urged to use their votes to elect Labour councillors and Tim Douglas as mayor to put Labour in the strongest possible position to fight for a better standard of life for the people of Bedford.

Labour's local action to support hard-pressed families

Labour's local councillors have come up with a series of initiatives that have helped hard-pressed families in Bedford Borough. Many households have seen their finances squeezed by the unfair policies...

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