Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder


Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 6:26 pm on 2nd September 2013.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine Conservative, Winchester 6:26 pm, 2nd September 2013

It is funny that my hon. Friend should say that, because my next line states that our report says that every local authority should appoint a lead politician who is responsible for cycling. I want the report to give birth to mini Borises across the country. Bearing in mind that we did not launch the report until April, that is quite a short gestation period.

I find it bizarre that we even needed to say that each local authority should have a lead politician. Winchester had a cycling champion long before the report was produced. This must not be about just giving somebody a new line on their letterhead. The cycling champion must be a councillor who is at the heart of the administration, as they should be at the national level. They must have the necessary political clout and authority to drive things through with their colleagues at cabinet level and with the key officers and the chief executive.

The cycling action plan should not be marked as being in the cycling folder; it should be part of the council’s health, tourism and economic strategy, and an integral part of the council’s strategy should be to make it work. How many MPs in the House have sent a copy of the report, or an e-mail with the link, to their chief executive or leader of their local council? How many know who the cycling champion is for their area and—more importantly—what they do?

I am not trying to be the lead councillor for cycling in my constituency—if I wanted to be a councillor, I could have a far easier life. [Hon. Members: “Ooh!”] I notice the double-hatters looking at me—how to win friends and influence councillors. I am trying to push the issue up the agenda locally, working with the marvellous councillors I have in my constituency. I hope soon to sit down with councillors from Winchester and Hampshire county council, and start putting some lines on maps.