Plymouth leader sets tone with new Government Ministers

Plymouth City Council’s leader has wasted no time in working to establish a relationship with the new Government Ministers following the recent cabinet reshuffle.

Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of the Council, has written to all the Under-secretaries, Ministers, and Secretaries of State, congratulating them on their appointment and making them aware of the priorities for Plymouth.

The personal letters cover a range of portfolios, from education to business, transport, defence, disability and the environment.

Councillor Evans said: “With all the new blood in the Cabinet following the reshuffle I wanted to take the opportunity to establish relationships proactively, and to ensure Plymouth’s needs were at the forefront of their thoughts. I wanted to congratulate the new Ministers and offer the opportunity to meet with them to discuss Plymouth’s requirements for the future.

“There is much to be proud of in Plymouth but there is also so much more that we can do, and it’s important to make sure we get the national Government to support us in our aims.”

Successful schemes highlighted in Councillor Evans’ letters include:

  • An earlier direct train service from London to Plymouth and a commitment to install Wi-Fi in all long distance trains
  • Securing £1.4m Government grant funding to repair coastal assets following the storms
  • Our multi award-winning education catering service
  • Plymouth’s Armed Forces Covenant which works to support veterans and includes both civilian and military representatives
  • The development of Plymouth Energy Community (PEC)

support of the growth of over 20,000 businesses through the innovative Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN)

  • Our commitment to reducing youth unemployment including championing apprenticeships (with three per cent of the Council’s employees being apprentices)

Future priorities highlighted include:

  • Historic underinvestment in the railway needs to be addressed, including the need for a fast and resilient railway to the South West
  • More needs to be done to help children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and to reduce youth unemployment further
  • More needs to be done to prevent and reduce the risk of future flooding and storm damage
  • Being able to support those in financial crisis after funding for our local Emergency and Welfare Fund is removed in March 2015.


Notes to editors:

Councillor Tudor Evans has written personal letters to the following Ministers:
Rt Hon Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education

Anna Soubry MP, Minister of State for Defence Personnel

Claire Perry MP, Under Secretary of State for Transport

Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State – Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Business and Education

Amber Rudd MP, Under Secretary of State  – Department of Energy and Climate Change

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Mark Harper MP, Minister of State for Disabled People
Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Transport