MP for Dartford
Reporting back from Dartford and Westminster - now reaching over 5,000 people in the local area
National Highways improvements at J1a
National Highways has informed me it will be carrying out improvement works at the A282 Junction 1a Littlebrook Interchange. This will consist of widening the A206 westbound carriageway where it crosses directly above the A282, which will enable the introduction of an additional third lane.
The A206 westbound carriageway will be widened to increase the current two-lane arrangement, to three lanes. The nearside lane will be dedicated to the left turn lane at the western roundabout, providing access to the A282 northbound entry slip road and the Dartford Crossing. The remaining lanes will continue towards the A206 westbound.
Preparatory works will be carried out from next week, 11th July 2022, until early August. This will include relocating some pre-existing utility services such as electric cables and ducting and will involve a combination of lane closures and full road closures overnight between 10pm and 6am.
Work to build the additional lane will take place from early August 2022 until December 2022. To keep traffic moving during construction, two lanes on the A206 westbound carriageway will be kept open, with a 24/7 narrow lane arrangement in place. Full overnight closures will be required occasionally.
The junction operates over capacity and the entry slip road to the A282 northbound often experiences queues, which in turn blocks the west roundabout and its approaches. Traffic from the east roundabout can currently use the signalised left turn on the west roundabout to access the northbound entry slip road when the left free flow lane is blocked, impacting the onward traffic movement towards Bob Dunn Way and east to west connectivity for local traffic.
For more information about the closures required and to stay up-to-date on this work, please click on the link below.
Any full road closures will also be published approximately one week in advance via National Highways' daily road closure report and a link can also be found below.
National Highways - A282 Dartford Crossing maintenance and repairs<[link removed]>
Road closures<[link removed]>
Stone Lodge School
Earlier in June, I visited Stone Lodge School which has recently moved into its new £35 million building.
Stone Lodge had its grand opening at the beginning of June, with tours of the new building and performances by students showcasing their new facilities. I was unable to attend the opening but was delighted to visit just a few days later.
I met with Headteacher, Gavin Barnett (centre above) and I took the opportunity to congratulate him on his award of Headteacher of the Year for our region at the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards. Also present, was the CEO of the Endeavour Multi Academy Trust, Charlie Guthrie.
I also had the chance to speak to some of the students I met on my last visit, who are clearly happy with their new school.
During my visit I was also treated to a musical performance from some very talented students. It is great to see this school fully open and the students enjoying the many different amenities on offer to them.
Stone Lodge is a huge asset for Dartford and I look forward to seeing it go from strength-to-strength.
Chatting to students at Stone Lodge School.
I was delighted to visit one of Dartford's newest businesses, which has moved into the town to accommodate the company's rapid growth.
ARC-UK Technologies, which is the UK arm of the global print giant ARC Document Solutions, is the leading provider of digital print and document imaging. Earlier this year, it moved its UK headquarters from London, to a state-of-the-art facility here in Dartford.
I met with Darren Moorhouse (pictured above) who is Head of Sales for the UK and Europe and got to see first-hand what this print company produces, as well as learn about the scanning and archive services it offers.
ARC-UK currently employs 60 people and it is hoping to recruit a further 12 staff members from the local area by the end of the year.
It was great to meet Darren and his team and I look forward to seeing this business thrive in Dartford.
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Update on assistance to Ukraine
During a visit to Kyiv in June, the Prime Minister offered to launch a major training operation for Ukrainian forces, with the potential to train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days.
The offer to President Zelenskyy came as the pair discussed the situation in Ukraine and how the Ukrainian people continue to inspire the world with their incredible resistance.
The UK-led programme would train and drill the Armed Forces of Ukraine using battle-proven British Army expertise, allowing them to accelerate their deployment, rebuild their forces and scale-up their resistance as they continue to defend their nation's sovereignty against Russian invaders. International partners would be invited to host the programme if the offer is accepted by Ukraine.
The previous Operation Orbital saw the UK train more than 22,000 Ukrainian personnel from 2015 until the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The new programme would train forces outside of the country.
The battle-winning skills taught during the seven-year programme enabled Ukrainian forces to launch a ferocious defence against Russia's illegal and unprovoked invasion.
In addition, at the NATO Leaders' Summit at the end of June, the Prime Minister announced the UK will provide another £1 billion of military support to Ukraine. It brings the total UK military and economic support to £3.8 billion this year.
The UK is leading the way in providing vital military assistance to Ukraine which so far totals £2.3 billion - more than any country other than the United States. The Prime Minister called on allies to step up their support at the meeting.
To play the video of the Prime Minister's visit to Kyiv, please click on the photo above.
It was a pleasure to meet with Kevin Swann, the Managing Director of Dartford firm, Kentec Electronics Ltd, and Finance and Administration Director, Hiroshi Kamei, at the Palace of Westminster recently.
Established over 30 years ago, Kentec has evolved into one of the world’s leading independent fire control panel manufacturers. It employs 240 members of staff and is a truly global supplier, exporting control equipment to over 90 countries worldwide, and in many different languages
It was good to hear how the company is doing so well.
Over the past year, the number of claimants in Dartford has fallen by 1,540 as shown on the table below. There were 2,220 actual claimants in Dartford, which was 3.0% of the population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.8%.
The table also shows changes over the month and since March 2020, before the pandemic affected the claimant count.
These figures for the (unadjusted) claimant count, show the number of people who were claiming unemployment related benefits. This includes those who were claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or were claiming Universal Credit and are required to seek work.
There was a large increase in the claimant count between March and May 2020. While some of this increase will have been people who became unemployed, some will have been employed people who became eligible for Universal Credit due to changes the Government introduced in response to the coronavirus.
Ebbsfleet Garden City
The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation was established in 2015 to deliver a new Garden City; the UK's first in a century. In June, it celebrated the 3000th home built within Ebbsfleet Garden City.
Ebbsfleet Garden City is one of the fastest growing communities in the country with a vision for up to 15,000 new homes and many thousands of new jobs, all being developed on land previously used for industrial purposes.
I visited DHL recently at Crossways. DHL opened its doors in Dartford in 2016 and it now employs 56 people. It is based in premises adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Bridge, as seen in the photo above.
On average it handles 9,500 parcels daily, with the highest number ever handled in Dartford standing at 17,000.
There are currently around 15 HGV movements daily and it was good to see the company's new electric vans which are now being used to deliver to customers in Dartford.
Our Lady of Hartley Catholic Primary School
In June, Year 6 pupils from Our Lady of Hartley Catholic Primary School, paid a visit to London and had a guided tour of Palace of Westminster.
Afterwards I met with the youngsters and answered all the questions they had about their visit and my life as Member of Parliament for Dartford. With questions ranging from laws I agreed and disagreed with, to issues in our area, it was great to hear from the younger members of our community.
If your school is interested in visiting the Houses of Parliament, please do get in touch with my office for more information.
A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet Junctions improvements
After two years and £112 million investment, the A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet junction improvements are nearing completion. National Highways invited me for a tour of the site to see the various improvements that have been made and how they will support both the local economy and constituents who use the junctions.
Pension Credit campaign
Earlier in June, the Government launched a major campaign to boost the take-up of Pension Credit as part of wider support with the cost of living.
There are already 1,523 claimants of Pension Credit in Dartford but we know around 25% of people who could claim the extra help, do not currently do so.
Nationwide, the Government has driven take-up of Pension credit to the highest level since 2010 but now wants to reach the 850,000 people who could still benefit but have not yet applied.
Pension Credit can be claimed online, by telephone or by post. Information is available by clicking on the link below or by calling the Freephone Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.
Pension Credit<[link removed]>
[Gareth Johnson MP website]<[link removed]>
Gareth Johnson MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Tel: 0207 219 7047
email: [email protected]
Copyright © 2022, Gareth Johnson MP, All rights reserved.
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