Andrew Smith MP

On your side in Oxford East

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Today, March 30th, Parliament was dissolved until after the General Election. This means that there are currently no MPs until after the election.

This website was established when Andrew was a member of parliament, and is now frozen until after the election if he is re-elected.

You can find out about Andrew's campaign at his campaign website: http://www.andrewsmithonyourside.org.uk/

Parliament Dissolved

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Andrew has criticised the Government for its environmentally hazardous dash for gas with fracking. 

The Coalition threw its support behind fracking, with an Infrastructure Bill including measures to encourage fracking under their own homes.

Forced into a position of minority opposition, Labour stood against the Government's attempt to stop firms having to notify residents of fracking in their area. Labour insisted upon mandatory Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for all fracking operations, along with independent inspections of wells and monitoring of fugitive methane emissions. Under the circumstances, Labour's thirteen conditions were the best that could be acquired.

Unfortunately, the Government have since thrown out these conditions in the House of Lords after accepting them in the House of Commons. The replacement proposals would allow the Secretary of State to decide which groundwater and protected areas are covered by the Bill and require planning authorities to consider the environmental impact of a development rather than insist on an EIA.

Particularly concerning is the concerted attempt to loosen Labour's requirement that people have to be notified individually of fracking in their area. Labour will challenge the new proposals when the next chance to do so arises.

Andrew said, "We must leave more fossil fuels in the ground, unburned, if we are going to avoid a very damaging temperature rise. We must cap the supply of fossil fuels, not merely dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, and we must do it as a matter of urgency. I am disappointed that this Government is so intent on worsening our climate, after steadfastly rejecting a clean power target in their Energy Bill and refusing to develop a national framework to tackle poor air quality more quickly and in a more coordinated way, among many other unhelpful things."

Andrew criticises Coalition over its dash for gas with fracking

Andrew has criticised the Government for its environmentally hazardous dash for gas with fracking. 

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Andrew has criticised the Government for its commitment to nuclear weapons. Along with many constituents, Andrew has been dismayed by the Government's commitment to pooling nuclear weapons data with the United States, the world's most nuclear armed nation.

Similarly, Andrew has been concerned at the Government's dragging its feet on disarmament with only the smallest steps - which do not go far enough - and especially when they are contrasted with its position at Vienna's December 2014 Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons: "Some have argued that the way to this goal is to ban nuclear weapons now, or to fix a timetable for their elimination. The UK considers that this approach fails to take account of, and therefore jeopardises, the stability and security which nuclear weapons can help to ensure."

Andrew categorically opposes nuclear weapons and has consistently voted against replacing Trident. In representing his own views and those of many constituents, Andrew has refused to toe his party's line and several times voted against the whip.

Andrew said, "In deciding to vote against the renewal of Trident and committing to vote the same way at every future opportunity, I take up the serious concerns of constituents. Many of these are local CND activists, who I have had the pleasure to meet with at recent surgery appointments. I will go on representing my constituent's views in this respect at every opportunity."

Andrew votes to not renew Trident and criticises the Coalition for committing to nuclear weapons

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Andrew today launched a new fleet of coaches on the busy X90 London bus route. 

Andrew today launched a new fleet of coaches on the busy X90 London bus route. As well as adding 15,000 extra seats a month, the new coaches will happily meet the latest environmental EuroVI standards, greatly reducing emissions levels.

Andrew said, "I'm delighted that Oxford Bus Company are investing in the busy London route while rolling out new coaches that meet the highest environmental standards. Not only are we bound to see improved air quality and public health benefits, but we are see investments in the cleanest energy around, which is key to sustaining our climate and that of future generations. It's good, too, that the new coaches have more storage space for cycles."

Euro VI standards lower PM emissions by 67 per cent compared to the previous standards, Euro IV and Euro V. Euro VI standards allow for the greatly valuable use of diesel particulate filters.

The improved environmental standards of the coaches are a welcome contribution to Oxford City Council's bid to improve air quality, which Andrew has been support. Introduced in January 2014 - the second in the UK outside London - the Council's low emissions zone is already having a big impact. Early results suggest that there have been no breaches of the hourly mean for nitrogen dioxide this year, in contrast to 10 breaches last year and 60 in 2012. Roads with historically high levels of nitrogen dioxide are often those travelled by buses and coaches, meaning that the new environmentally friendly coaches will help to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels still further.

Andrew continued, "Just to meet its carbon dioxide emissions reduction target, Oxfordshire has to invest at least £100 million each year. Tackling climate change on this scale cannot solely be done with public money and nor must it. Oxford Bus Company's investment shows that we can do a huge amount in relation to one of our typically largest causes of emissions."

Andrew welcomes environmentally friendly new coaches for the busy London route

Andrew today launched a new fleet of coaches on the busy X90 London bus route. 

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