Simon Jupp’s latest newsletter to the press reveals his part in the Tory “Merry-Go-Round”:
Promoted, sacked, promoted again within a month. Simon says he’s been “newly promoted” as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the new Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper (Forest of Dean)
Readers will recall that last month Simon “united” behind Liz Truss. As a result he was also “newly promoted” as a PPS to right-winger Simon Clarke when he became Secretary of State for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities. Rishi Sunak sacked Clarke three weeks ago. As PPSs are personal appointments by the minister, Simon Jupp went as well.
But he has lost no time uniting under a different flag.
So Transport is now Simon’s “thing” and he says: “The current franchise model of running the railways is a needlessly complex and fragmented way of running a network of services.”
But Simon, the privatisation of the railways was the last in the ideological sell-offs initiated by Margaret Thatcher. Though, because she wasn’t keen on this particular one, implemented hurriedly by John Major and completed only a month before he lost in the 1997 Labour Landslide. You were only nine at the time. Truss and Kwarteng were attempting something equally “free market” when you signed up with them.
Under the banner “Back to Basics”, Major’s nostalgic appeal to return to “traditional values”, the Conservative party lost the 1997 election because it was rocked by scandals and sleaze and ended in ungovernable chaos. Seems to resonate with current times! – Owl
Reform is needed to improve Devon’s railways
Simon Jupp MP www.midweekherald.co.uk
Union bosses called off this week’s rail strikes at the eleventh hour. That did mean train services over the weekend and the start of this week were severely disrupted.
At the time of writing, all routes have alterations to services. There are no services between Newton Abbot and Exeter, and Salisbury and Exeter – including Cranbrook, Whimple and Feniton.
Large-scale industrial action on our railways – and its knock-on impacts – have become deeply frustrating over the summer and early autumn.
Network Rail and train operating companies have both made offers of a pay rise to rail workers. However, in order to deliver a decent pay rise, we do need to deliver reform in the way train operating companies and Network Rail work together.
The current franchise model of running the railways is a needlessly complex and fragmented way of running a network of services. Some franchises have even collapsed in recent years, leaving the state the unenviable task of having to pick up the pieces.
The future of the railways was a major part of the work of the Transport Select Committee over the past two and a half years. I joined the committee shortly after I was elected and I will be able to use my experience on the committee after being newly promoted as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the new Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper.
Mark Harper is a South West MP and he understands the challenges and opportunities across our region. As readers will know, regular passenger services on the Dartmoor Line between Exeter and Okehampton have returned for the first time in nearly 50 years. Other planned investments in the region include completing the multi-million pound work on the Dawlish sea wall, dualling the A303 and a new railway station at Marsh Barton.
I was pleased to join the Avocet Line Rail Users’ Group for their AGM at the Manor Hotel in Exmouth recently. As I said at the meeting, I’m working with GWR to get a new shelter built at Exton station. The current shelter is beyond useless and needs replacing.
Don’t forget the buses either. ( or rather lack of them) Buses are supposed to be part of the public transport system too.