• CTA host Westminster drop-in for Welsh MPs

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    • CTA host Westminster drop-in for Welsh MPs
    • by Llyr ap Gareth
      Support and Engagement Executive (S Wales) | Gweithredwr Cefnogaeth a Chyfranogaeth (De Cymru)

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    Last week, CTA hosted a drop-in session in Westminster for Welsh MPs to discuss the issues affecting the community transport sector and to promote the incredible work that our members do in communities all across Wales.

    A huge thank you goes out to Jessica Morden MP (Newport East) and her office for helping organise this and for providing us with space in Portcullis House to meet with her Welsh colleagues. Jessica and her team also pitched in by taking photos as our team were rushed off their feet by the interest shown by a really encouraging number of Welsh MPs who dropped-in.

    Our aim was to help MPs better understand the organisations that operate in their constituencies and the challenges they face. Specifically:

    • To support their understanding of the current threat faced by community transport due to the Department for Transport’s proposed changes to section 19 and 22 permits, its effects on their communities, and in their individual constituencies.
    • To encourage them to take action by joining our #WithoutCT campaign on social media, showing the impact these changes will have, as well as holding the Department for Transport to account in Parliament.
    • To show that, whilst community transport licencing isn’t a devolved issue, these changes could have a significant impact on areas of devolved policy such as health and social care, well-being, schools and transport, and so will have a cumulative effect on the success of Welsh Government policy across the breadth of the Welsh Programme for Government.
    • To help MPs learn more about the specific organisations in the communities they serve, providing them with advice and specific details of the impact that the Department for Transport’s changes would have on these organisations.

    Through providing MPs with briefings and delivering presentations all in the space of an hour’s drop-in, we had frank and detailed discussions with 15 Welsh MPs (from a total of 40 MPs in Wales) across all parties, and numerous apologies from those who were caught in other debates, with whom we will follow up and discuss the matter soon.

    The event was a great success, underlining again the cross party support for community transport in Wales which has also been evident in the unanimous Welsh Assembly debate and the letter by Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates AM to Jesse Norman MP about the Department’s proposed changes.

    We look forward to seeing the MPs who visited take up the issue further, and looking forward to supporting them and those who couldn’t make it with detailed evidence to make the case for community transport.

    Not bad for an hour’s work!

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