For too long beautiful rural areas like ours have come second best when it comes to Government investment and Local Authority funding.
I will work to ensure Government funding reflects that delivering services in rural areas is more expensive, and that we get all the support and opportunity we need here in Rutland and Melton.
I’ll fight to bring fairness back to Government funding and opportunity to the East Midlands to make sure here in Rutland and Melton we get all the support we need, so we can :
- end unfair funding formulas,
- improve our job market for our local community,
- improve decent quality broadband locally,
- feel safe benefiting from policing that doesn’t forget our villages,
- improve job opportunities with a freeport,
- support for our famers including flood provision,
- protect our environment,
- provide exceptional social care to our older generations,
- ensure schools give our children the best chance in life, and
- that we have roads that get us safely to work and back home again to our families.
UPDATE July 2021: Government Commits to Consider Melton Mowbray as Home for DEFRA
On Monday 19th July DEFRA Minister Rebecca Pow MP confirmed that the Government has instructed civil servants to consider Melton Mowbray as a potential location for a DEFRA office following Melton MP Alicia Kearns’ campaign.
The decision was announced during a half hour Adjournment Debate on the floor of the House of Commons which Melton’s MP had secured specifically for her campaign for DEFRA to open an office in Melton Mowbray. Watch the debate in full here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFO__POtu6U
Responding to the news Alicia Kearns MP said:
“I’m delighted by the news that the Government has instructed civil servants to actively investigate whether a DEFRA office can be opened in Melton Mowbray.
“I will continue to make the case for our wonderful town, and to create opportunity for us and give our town every chance to succeed. A DEFRA office in Melton is right for our communities, right for our farmers, right for our food and drink producers and, right for our country.”
During the speech DEFRA Minister Rebecca Pow said:
“I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Alicia Kearns) on securing this debate, making such an impressive case for her constituency, and indeed speaking up for her constituents. She is such a champion and a great voice in this place.
“I know that my hon. Friend has already raised this with the Secretary of State, so she is leaving no stone, or pork pie, unturned. I have asked my officials to include Melton Mowbray as a potential location for a new DEFRA office. It will be considered with all other options, and will be subject to the usual disciplines, such as securing value for money, and all the criteria that will have to fit the DEFRA operating model.”
Over the past few weeks Alicia Kearns MP has met with the Secretary of State for DEFRA George Eustice, Chancellor of the Duchy Michael Gove, and Lord Agnew at the Cabinet Office to make the case for why no other rural location can rival Melton’s offer.
During her speech Alicia Kearns invited the Minister and the Speaker of the House Lindsay Hoyle MP to visit Melton Mowbray and see why she believes DEFRA needs Melton, as much as Melton needs DEFRA. The Speaker of the House stated that “the case has been very well put.”
UPDATE: May 2021 - Meeting with Michael Gove and Lord Agnew and I raise my Campaign at Cabinet Office Questions
Last week I met with Michael Gove and Lord Agnew to discuss my campaign to bring DEFRA to Melton Mowbray.
To follow up on that meeting I lobbied the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster at Cabinet Office Questions.
Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va8gl_AgnWM
NEWS: May 2021 - Campaign Launched to Bring DEFRA to Melton Mowbray
Today I launch my campaign for DEFRA to open an office in Melton Mowbray. Melton is the agricultural heart of our country, and I am determined to generate jobs and prosperity to level up and bring more opportunity to our wonderful town.
A DEFRA office in Melton is right for our communities, right for our farmers, right for our food and drink producers and, right for our country. That is why I will work as hard as I can to make this a reality and deliver on my promise to bring investment to our town.
Melton Borough Council Leader Joe Orson, said: "I welcome this exciting initiative from Alicia Kearns MP. Moving a DEFRA office to Melton would fit well given the area's agricultural industry, Cattle Market & being the Rural Capital of Food. Certainly it would help bring employment, prosperity and growth to Melton Borough and in particular help regenerate Melton town centre following the Coronavirus Pandemic. I look forward to working with Melton Borough Council colleagues to fully support this campaign."
Melton Mowbray Cattle Market President Hugh Brown, said: "We strongly support having a permanent Defra office in Melton Mowbray. As the home of Midlands largest livestock market and the Rural Capital of Food, we really can provide a farm to fork environment for joined up policy development and its real-world impact."
Watch my video to launch my campaign https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6beMz2pKsw
NEWS: April 2021 - Brooksby Melton College to receive substantial funds to upgrade buildings and facilities
Great news for Brooksby Melton College which is receiving major investment for estate improvements!
Brooksby Melton College is one of only 16 colleges across the country identified by the Government for priority funding to transform their buildings and facilities!
This is fantastic news for this wonderful college. It is absolutely vital that the Government invests in colleges which specialise in vocational training, and Brooksby is stand out, particularly in its land-based and performance arts courses and the exceptional results it supports students to achieve.
I have been pushing for more investment in vocational education and I’m delighted that this funding will support Melton Brooksby to upgrade and revitalise their buildings and estate.
I look forward to hopefully seeing Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan visit Brooksby to see just how great a college it is!
NEWS: March 2021 - East Midlands Freeport Secured
I am delighted to have delivered this promise to Rutland and Melton!
Today is a day the East Midlands’ exporters and importers will welcome. The Chancellor’s announcement of the East Midland Freeport will turbocharge our region. 60,000 new skilled jobs is the headline figure. Our businesses will be able to take advantage of exciting new export opportunities. Global Britain is a reality for Rutland and Leicestershire now. This is a vote of confidence in the East Midlands by our Chancellor, and will help level-up the heart of our country and ensure the East Midlands leads the way in a global, and greener, Britain.
NEWS: February 2021 - East Midlands Freeport Bid Submitted
I am proud to have joined other East Midlands MPs, local enterprise partnerships, East Midlands businesses and universities in submitting a bid to create a freeport in the East Midlands.
A Freeport in our region will:
- Increase investment in key sectors such as manufacturing and logistics.
- Level up with 60,000 job opportunities and higher wages.
- Boost trade opportunities for businesses in Rushcliffe and across the East Midlands.
- Provide opportunities for carbon neutral investment and our green recovery.
- Increase productivity and local innovation.
An East Midlands Freeport will allow us to embrace the opportunities of Global Britain whilst turbo-charging our recovery from the pandemic in Leicestershire and Rutland. It will support our region by creating over 60,000 jobs and bolster our businesses by improving their export opportunities. This bid is a vote of confidence in our communities, and if successful will help level-up the heart of our country and ensure the East Midlands leads the way in a global, and greener, Britain.
This bid has my full support. I have consistently campaigned for this freeport and will keep working with colleagues to encourage investment in the East Midlands.
UPDATE: January 2021 - Response from Minister Luke Hall to my Lobbying for Fairer Funding
This can be read at the bottom of this page. I continue to push the Government to ensure rurality factors are included in the Fairer Funding review.
UPDATE: January 2021 - Call for East Midlands Freeport
In a speech on Global Britain, I call for the creation of an East Midlands Freeport.
NEWS: May 2020 - COVID-19 Discretionary Grant Funding
I’m delighted that the Government has now introduced a £617 million discretionary fund for Local Authorities to support businesses falling out of the scope of existing COVID-19 support mechanisms as they operate from shared spaces.
I’ve been lobbying for this support on behalf of local businesses such as the Melton Mowbray Market and Pera Businesses Park, and it is right that the Government delivered this important support that will bolster rural communities across the country. Whilst I fought for this fund to support our local businesses, it will help hundreds of thousands across the country.
UPDATE: February 2020 - Treasury Questions on Local Bus Funding
At Treasury Questions, I called on the Government to provide robust funding to our Local Authorities so they can deliver improved bus services and help wages rise locally.