COMMONS

Chair nominations for Transport Committee

Nominations close for Chair elections.

Five nominations have been received for the position of Chair of the Transport Committee. The Chair will be elected from the Labour party.

A full list of candidates is published below with accompanying statements.

As set out by the Speaker, the election will be held in Committee Room 8 from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 12 July. The results are expected to be announced by the Speaker, the Rt Hon John Bercow, as soon as possible after the ballots close.

The candidates are:

Nominated by (own party)

Ruth George, Frank Field, Tonia Antoniazzi, Dr David Drew, Rosie Cooper, Kate Hollern, Mr Jim Cunningham, Rachael Maskell, Mary Glindon, Chris Evans, Margaret Greenwood, Stephen Kinnock, Nia Griffith, Sue Hayman, Rosie Duffield

Nominated by (other parties)

Stephen Metcalfe, Sir William Cash, Jonathan Edwards, Alan Brown, Mrs Maria Miller

Statement

We all want reliable, affordable, clean transport systems to serve our communities and economies.

That's why I pioneered the £200m South London electric tram system as Leader of Croydon Council and this year published the Clean Air Bill.

We all want safety on road, rail, air & sea and I headed the risk management team investing in flood defences to adapt Wales to climate change. As in transport, networks of small schemes can sometimes be better than big ones.
Our transport network needs to connect all our regions and nations and to maximize trade with our European partners.

Parliament works best when select committees deliver resilient recommendations with cross-party consensus based on hard evidence.

It’s important that the Chair can speak independently, with the full support of the Committee, to promote bold proposals that may challenge the status quo of all our front benches.

I'm from and for the back benches with the experience (below) to help the Committee make a difference. It is in this spirit that I seek your support.

Geraint’s CV for Transport Chair

Industry. Background in industry (in Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive and SMEs) so I understand the importance of transport networks to economic growth and exports.

Electric trams. As Leader of Croydon, London’s largest council, I delivered the UK’s busiest electric tram system - the 26 km South London Tramlink.

Chaired Environment, Transport & Regions departmental Committee and was envoy to Singapore to inform the development of the London Congestion charge.

Sustainable Development. Outside Parliament I headed and chaired the team of council leaders, industry and academics adapting Wales to flood risk from climate change for the Environment Agency. We invested Welsh Government budgets and advising how new infrastructure like motorway and rail links could double as flood defences.

Combatting pollution. Published the Clean Air Bill (attached) after a series of Parliamentary seminars as a strategy to reduce 40,000 premature deaths due to diesel air pollution including urban centres, ports, airports & rail. Air Quality Rapporteur for Council of Europe (47 member countries). I welcome the Environmental Audit, Transport and Health Select Committees joint report on an Air Quality.

Technology & Innovation. I have supported electric trams, rail electrification, electric and hydrogen cars and trains and promoted EDAR – which accurately measures emissions of passing vehicles.

Environmental Audit Committee member actively involved in our Heathrow Third Runway, Volkswagon and EU environmental standards reports.

Speaker’s Panel & Select Committees I chair Westminster Hall debates, delegated legislation, statutory instruments etc. and serve on EAC and European Scrutiny Committee and was 5 years on the Public Accounts and Welsh Affairs Committees.

I am from and for the back benches and offer to help facilitate rigorous scrutiny and resilient recommendations to help build a safe, affordable and sustainable transport system.

Relevant interests

Rail electrification to Swansea (led stakeholder group); shares in Pure Crete (green micro business); visit to Airbus (North Wales).

Nominated by (own party)

Ms Karen Buck, Lyn Brown, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Bill Esterson, Matthew Pennycook, Diana Johnson, Tony Lloyd, Jack Dromey, Christian Matheson, Seema Malhotra, Barbara Keeley, Chris Bryant, Dr Alan Whitehead, Rushanara Ali, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan

Nominated by (other parties)

Bill Wiggin, Tracey Crouch,  Sir Oliver Heald, Chris Stephens, Kelly Tolhurst

Statement

I have spent almost half of my 20 years in Parliament on the Transport Select Committee, having served under the excellent chairmanship of both Gwyneth Dunwoody and Louise Ellman.  I am now seeking the honour of becoming its next chair.

I served on the committee from 2002 to 2009 when I became the PPS to the Housing Minsters Margaret Beckett and then John Healey.  From 2010 I served on the shadow front bench and re-joined the committee in 2016 until the recent election.  In the 15 years since I first joined the committee it has hardly changed the way it carries out its enquiries.  If successful, I intend to explore ways that we can take our sittings closer to the communities that are affected by the issues under consideration.

The committee has taught me that transport issues differ widely from community to community and from region to region. Transport is vital for connecting neighbouring communities, providing easy access to vital amenities such as shopping centres or public services.  It can mean the difference between being able to take up a job, or remaining unemployed.  This is of particular importance in many rural areas and those on the edges of towns and cities away from the centre where transport providers are often competing with one another

Transport investment at both micro and macro level make a real difference to individuals and whole communities. Local knowledge can often lead to innovative ideas that make more efficient use of resources, give greater value for money and are often more environmentally sustainable. I think we have a lot to gain from taking our hearings out into the communities we serve. 

To achieve this, I would like to hold hearings and evidence sessions around different regions of the country to obtain local perspectives.  By opening up our activities to greater awareness and oversight by the public we can help deliver the types of transport investment which would most benefit local communities.

Using this approach I would hope to be able to produce a series of regional reports that will give a voice to local opinions which in turn may influence the wider more strategic plans.  

I have been involved in several campaigns where the cost-benefit analysis of major transport schemes has not matched the priorities of local people.  In each case where local opinion succeeded in bringing about changes it has improved the overall scheme and brought considerable benefits to the communities concerned. 

Our scarce resources will always require prioritising, but the methods by which we distribute them can often feel remote from the public, which can lead to disenchantment with the political process.  I would like to open up the process to greater scrutiny and enable local communities input to our reports and create more awareness of how resources are prioritised and decisions are made.

I hope you will give me your support.

Relevant interests

None

Nominated by (own party)

Mrs Louise Ellman, Vernon Coaker, Liz McInnes, Maria Eagle, Paul Blomfield, Mary Creagh, Mr Barry Sheerman, Gareth Snell, Ian Murray, Alex Norris, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Karin Smyth, Peter Kyle, Jo Platt

Nominated by (other parties)

Jim Shannon, Mr William Wragg, Robert Jenrick, Mr Alistair Carmichael, John McNally

Statement

I have been heavily involved in transport policy for the last seven years. I know how to get answers out of Ministers, operators and nationalised delivery bodies. The Department for Transport needs effective and fairhanded scrutiny, and I believe I have the aptitude and experience to provide it.

This will be particularly important in the months and years ahead. Decisions on Heathrow, HS3 and Crossrail 2 are now seriously overdue. Cross-border issues in the devolved nations remain unresolved. There are also serious doubts over the ability of Highways England and Network Rail to deliver road and rail investment schemes, and there is already pressure from the Treasury to reign back on existing commitments. 

Promises have been made that affect almost all our constituencies, and thousands of jobs (including in the supply chain) are in the balance. As Chair I would be a strong voice for rural and urban transport improvements, as well as a critic of bad schemes.

New technology, including autonomous vehicles, drones and mobile apps used by companies like Uber, are changing the nature of transport. The Committee will have an important role in ensuring that the Government's policies keep pace.

I am proud to have worked on transport issues with Members of all parties both as a shadow minister and as a backbencher. The Committee will only be credible if it is seen as a genuinely cross-party body. I promise that I would be a collegiate, consultative and independently-minded Chair.

Transport experience

2010              Transport Select Committee Member
2011 – 2013    Shadow Local Transport Minister
2013 – 2015    Shadow Rail Minister
2015 – 2016    Shadow Transport Secretary
2016 – 2017    Bus Services Bill Committee Member

Member of the Air Safety Group

Officer of the newly-formed Women in Transport APPG

Vice Chair of the Light Rail APPG

Treasurer of the Infrastructure APPG

 

Nominated by (own party)

Ms Harriet Harman, Stephanie Peacock, Jonathan Reynolds, Anneliese Dodds, Catherine West, Helen Jones, Susan Elan Jones, Heidi Alexander, Caroline Flint, Mr Kevan Jones, Keith Vaz, Karl Turner, Dame Margaret Hodge, Phil Wilson, Steve McCabe

Nominated by (other parties)

Mr Charles Walker, Dr Sarah Wollaston, Charlie Elphicke, Tim Loughton, Victoria Atkins

Statement

Transport is a policy area close to my heart. It’s an issue that affects our constituents every single day, and which has a huge impact upon jobs and the economy. I believe passionately that this country has the expertise to make our transport networks the very best in the world. I want to help unleash that potential as Chair of the Transport Committee by producing strong, informed reports that provide effective and fair scrutiny of government transport policy.

Since I entered Parliament in 2010, I’ve campaigned tirelessly for a better local bus service for the north east of England. I supported the first ever attempt by a Passenger Transport Executive to use existing legislation to introduce London-style competitive franchising schemes for bus services. Earlier this year, I served on the Bus Services Bill Committee, working to improve the Bill on a cross-party basis.

Over the last seven years, I’ve built and maintained excellent working relationships with colleagues from across the House. I’ve also scrutinised policy delivery as a member of the Home Affairs Committee and the Public Accounts Committee. On both, I worked consensually with members of all parties to produce incisive reports that asked the right questions of government and those in authority.

If elected as Chair, I will press for investment and transport integration for every region and nation in the UK. I will build a cross-party consensus to ensure that our national and regional transport networks are integrated in a way that puts the British economy first.

At present, UK rail and bus passengers face overcrowding, delays and ever-rising ticket prices. I will make the case for an efficient and affordable rail and bus network that promotes economic growth, protects the interests of the travelling public and delivers value for the taxpayer.

For many people, better transport means better roads. I’ll work with the government to ensure the Road Investment Strategy gets Britain’s clogged roads moving again, and hold ministers to account on commitments to improve connectivity, increase capacity and tackle poor air quality. I will also support efforts to create a greener transport system through strategic investment in cycle networks, low emission vehicles and other green technologies.

Select committees have an increasingly important role to play in Parliament. I promise to be an inclusive, impartial and modernising Chair who will give every committee member a powerful voice. I will engage with colleagues to develop the committee’s work programme, encourage them to assume key policy responsibilities, and empower them to focus on areas of personal interest.

Our democracy and system of government depend upon the rigorous scrutiny that select committees provide. If I’m elected as Chair, I promise to focus on the issues that matter without fear or favour, and I will never shy away from asking difficult questions of ministers and civil servants. As my record on the Public Accounts Committee shows, my primary concern is to get to the truth.

Relevant interests

None

Nominated by (own party)

Mr Adrian Bailey, Sandy Martin, Fabian Hamilton, Kerry McCarthy, Mike Kane, Mr Steve Reed, Stephen Twigg, Graham Jones, Luciana Berger, Fiona Onasanya, Dan Jarvis, Clive Lewis, Naz Shah, Stella Creasy, Luke Pollard

Nominated by (other parties)

Will Quince, Mims Davies, Mr Gary Streeter, Mr Ranil Jayawardena

Statement

I’m standing to become the Chair of Transport Select committee because I believe it is of vital importance to both the UK and our constituents, especially at a time such as this.

I’ve demonstrated a passion and commitment for transport issues since joining the House in 2010.

Transport was my first select committee prior to appointment to the Labour frontbench. I have been (and remain) an active officer of APPGs on rail services, aviation and the motor industry. For the past two years, I have chaired Labour’s backbench transport committee while making an active contribution on two other select committees - Women and Equalities and Environmental Audit. Representing an airport seat, I’ve developed a real specialism in aviation, travel and tourism; representing a motor manufacturing seat I’ve experienced first hand the significance of one of our most vital industries.

I believe greatly in the Select Committee process and the importance of Parliament.

There’s a huge amount of scrutiny required in the field of Transport over the coming parliament, but also a huge opportunity - to hold the government to their commitments in a fair and straightforward way. In the coming months, we will need to negotiate airport expansion in the South East, scrutiny of comprehensive transport service agreements with the EU, and not lose sight of the importance of public transport and the environmental issues that adversely affect lives. Great transport links unlock growth and transform communities, and these benefits should be felt right across the UK.

I would hope that you would consider me an independently minded, serious and collegiate Member of this House.

I don’t believe great chairing is about grandstanding. I am committed to building great teams that work together to solve practical problems, hold people to account, and make the lives of our constituents better. In recent months, I was the first to raise the implications of Brexit on Aviation, highlight constituency and systemic issues on our railways, and have shown an eye for detailed and focussed scrutiny including during the Urgent Question granted me on the middle-east travel ban. But a good committee is one where all Members feel included and work together.

I would not be presumptuous enough to put myself forward for any other Select Committee role, but I believe I would be able to serve this House faithfully as Chair of the Transport Select. It would be the greatest honour.

Relevant interests

June 2017 – visit to Airbus production facilities with EasyJet

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