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MPs oppose marriage plans

Five MPs from the ITV Yorkshire region have signed up to an alliance opposed to Government plans to legislate for same-sex marriages.

They are among 58 parliamentarians who have put their names to an open letter to the Daily Telegraph warning ministers they have no mandate for the proposed change.

At the last election, none of the three main parties stood on a platform to redefine marriage. It was not contained in any of their manifestos, nor did it feature in the Coalition’s Programme for Government. These facts alone should have led to extreme caution on the part of those calling for this change to be made.

Instead the Government is ignoring the overwhelming public response against the plans. The consultation has ignored the views of 500,000 British residents in favour of anonymous submissions from anyone anywhere in the world. We believe that the Government does not have a mandate to redefine marriage.

– An extract from the open letter to the Daily Telegraph

The letter has been signed by:

  • David Davis MP (Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden)
  • Andrew Bingham MP (Conservative, High Peak)
  • Karl McCartney MP (Conservative, Lincoln)
  • Anne McIntosh MP (Conservative, Thirsk and Malton)
  • Craig Whittaker MP (Conservative, Calder Valley)

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How the Autumn Statement affects you

It may have been an Autumn budget but there was a chill running through Westminster today as George Osborne put the squeeze on benefits, admitting the tough times are still not over for Austerity Britain.

There was good news for transport schemes in North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, but the road ahead is bound to be far from smooth. Ben Erlam reports.

A1 near Leeming to be upgraded

A Leeds MP has welcomed a u-turn by the Government, which will see part of the A1 in North Yorkshire upgraded, but criticised the time taken to make the decision.

The last Labour government announced the planned upgrade for the North Yorkshire section of the A1 near Leeming in 2008, and George Osborne cancelled it in 2010. If he hadn't meddled with it the new improved road would have been due to open in 2014. So all he's done is waste more than two years - another piece of damaging incompetence from this hapless chancellor.

– Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Autumn Statement: Labour claims Government has wasted two years after reversing decision to cancel A1 upgrade

The last Labour government announced the planned upgrade for the North

Yorkshire section of the A1 near Leeming in 2008, and George Osborne

cancelled it in 2010. If he hadn't meddled with it the new improved road

would have been due to open in 2014. So all he's done is waste more than

two years - another piece of damaging incompetence from this hapless

chancellor."

– Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Autumn Statement: A1 upgrade

The plans will create a continuous motorway standard route from Leeds to Newcastle and London to Newcastle (via M1/A1M). Credit: PA Wire

The Chancellor has announced plans to improve the A1 in North Yorkshire in an effort to reduce journey times by 20%.

A stretch between Leeming and Barton is set to be upgraded from a dual carriageway to a three lane road.

The Treasury claims the £314 scheme could create up to 750 new jobs during the three year construction period and is expected to be complete by 2016/17.

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Autumn Statement: Regional breakdown

The Chancellor has delivered his Autumn Statement in the Commons.

George Osborne claims measures announced for the Yorkshire and the Humber region include:

  • 22,000 people to be lifted out of income tax and 1.9 to pay less income tax as a result of Personal Allowance reforms.
  • Cancelling the planned rise in fuel duty in January will reduce running costs for the 2.7 million motor vehicles in Yorkshire and the Humber, saving a typical motorist £40 a year.
  • £104 million to build over 5,000 new homes for affordable rent.
  • £18 million to return over 1500 empty homes to use in Yorkshire and the North East.
  • £314 million upgrade on the A1 between Leeming and Barton.
  • A160/180 at Immingham piloted as an accelerated road scheme.
  • York to be in second wave of super-connected cities.
  • Government will provide a grant for councils that freeze council tax in 2013-14.
  • Business support measures will benefit 345,000 small and medium enterprises in Yorkshire and the Humber

North Yorks MP in renewed fight for rural fuel rebate

Anne McIntosh is renewing calls for a rural fuel duty rebate. Credit: PA Wire

A North Yorkshire MP has vowed to fight "with renewed vigour" for a fuel duty rebate for isolated parts of the county.

Anne McIntosh, who represents Thirsk and Malton, claims she has "a strong case" to make to both the Chancellor and the EU Commission for a rebate for areas of Ryedale and Hambleton - areas that have been hit by the highest fuel prices in the country.

The Conservative MP said: "The fact that it now costs over £70 to refuel a vehicle, with the need for 4x4 vehicles in the extreme conditions of North Yorkshire, emphasises how disadvantaged the private motorist is in rural constituencies like Thirsk, Malton and Filey."

A scheme running in Scotland and sees motorists in some of the most remote areas eligible to reclaim up to five pence per litre on petrol and diesel.

Scunthorpe MP: Sell cigarettes in plain packaging

A North Lincolnshire MP has called on the Government to "follow the lead of their Australian counterparts" and force companies to sell cigarettes in plain packaging.

Cigarettes in Australia must now be sold in dark olive brown packets which are mostly covered in health warnings.

Australia is leading the way in stopping people from becoming addicted to a lethal and harmful product. If we care about the health of people in our community then we should introduce plain, standardised packs in the UK and help stop the next generation of smokers being recruited.

– Nic Dakin MP (Labour, Scunthorpe)
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