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Richard Benyon MP has welcomed the recent jobs figures showing that unemployment is at a record low in Newbury.

In the Newbury constituency, unemployment claimant level has dropped by 76% since 2010. It is 20% down on this time last year and a claimant number at 378 is a historic low.

This comes on top of great news for the South East as whole, with employment at 4.46 million, up 266,000 since 2010.

Mr Benyon said, “I am delighted employment figures remain at this record high and that unemployment for Newbury continues to fall.”

He went onto say: “this is very good news indeed but we must not get complacent – West Berkshire must continue to be the best place to start and grow a business.”

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Richard has posted a short survey on his website asking for the views of the local business community on the forthcoming referendum.

‘As MP for this busy and thriving area, I know there are many businesses in my constituency which make a huge contribution to both the local and national economy.

‘As we approach the date of the referendum on 23 June, I am keen to know their views on Europe. To this end I have posted a short survey on my website. You can access it here or via the get involved/surveys tab on

‘Answering the survey will only take a few minutes and I hope to reach as many businesses as possible. This is a momentous decision for all of us and I look forward to hearing the views of this important section of our community.’  

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Richard Benyon, Member of Parliament for Newbury, has welcomed new dedicated funding from the Government to fill nearly 1 million potholes across the UK. This includes £217,000 to fill an estimated 4,094 potholes in West Berkshire.

Local motorists will benefit from the dedicated funding after the Government announced that nearly £50 million of funding will be made available to local councils over the next 12 months.  This is part of a wider move to fill 157,282 potholes across the South East, with over 100 councils in England receiving funding. 

The funding has been made available to councils as part of the Government’s £250 million Pothole Action Fund included in last month’s budget, which will see over four million potholes fixed by 2020/21, and is part of the Government’s plan to invest in infrastructure to secure a better future for our economy. 

The local area stands to benefit from overall road maintenance funding of almost £4 million. The Department for Transport confirmed that, ‘In total, West Berkshire will receive £3,955,000 in 2016/17 as part of the government’s £6.1 billion investment for local road maintenance by 2020/21.’

Richard Benyon has welcomed the news saying, ‘The state of the roads in and around Newbury has been an issue for some time now and remains a great source of frustration for drivers.  This new funding is great news for West Berkshire.  I’ve been campaigning for a long time for greater investment in road repairs, and will be encouraging the Council to make full use of their allocation locally. 

‘I’m glad that the Government is investing both nationally and locally to improve the standard of our local roads.  It shows that we are delivering on our commitment to invest in infrastructure to attract businesses and secure Britain’s future.’

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In a Parliamentary debate on Thursday 24th March, on the closure of magistrates’ courts, Newbury MP Richard Benyon raised a number of points.

He asked the Minister to ensure that technology such as video conferencing is available for witnesses to give evidence in towns like Newbury where the court is closing, thus saving them making the journey to Reading or beyond.

He also raised the importance of the listing of cases in Reading by geographic area. He said that West Berkshire cases should, where possible, be listed on the same day. This would ensure that some parts of ‘local justice’ are maintained. Not least, this would allow local media to report convictions as well as crimes.

Later in the debate, he raised the concern that according to Ministry of Justice figures, less than 15% of the population of West Berkshire will be able to reach the court in Reading by public transport in under one hour.

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In Parliamentary questions to the Second Estates Church Commissioner, Caroline Spelman MP, on 17th March, Newbury MP Richard Benyon raised the indecision of the Church of England to appoint a new Bishop to the Diocese of Oxford.

Richard apologised for his “Trollopean” question, but registered people’s astonishment at the length of time it has taken to make an appointment.  He even quipped, “People are starting to wonder if Sir John Chilcot has been involved in the appointment process.”

Mrs Spelman replied that she believed a short list of names was likely to be brought forward in May. 

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After the momentous events in Parliament following the invocation of Article 50 last week, it was interesting being in Berlin at the weekend. I lead the UK delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. This is a gathering of parliamentarians from across the alliance who provide some democratic accountability for those running NATO. As someone brought up in the Cold War, Berlin has always had a fascination for me. I found time to walk the line of the old Berlin Wall and to try and get a feel for how life was in the scary days when West and East faced off against each other over the iron curtain...

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Richard Benyon was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Newbury on 7 May 2015, with an increased majority of 26,368. Richard won 61 per cent of the vote share.



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