Peter Heaton-Jones says the Autumn Statement ‘kept giving good news’

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones has warmly welcomed the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and its implications for the North Devon Link Road.

He also hailed the announcements of fairer funding for North Devon schools and the protection of the Devon and Cornwall’s Police budget as ‘a victory for local lobbying’.

“In July the Chancellor announced £2million to help Devon County Council produce a ‘business case’ for major improvements to the North Devon Link Road,” he said.

“Today George Osborne went further and announced a new fund of nearly half a billion pounds that we can bid for. Indeed, for the second time in four months, the Link Road is specifically mentioned in the Budget papers as being one of the projects under consideration.”

Mr Heaton-Jones said he had already been briefed by the Department of Transport about the new bidding process and was to meet Devon County Council ‘to ensure they get all the support they need to push this forward quickly’.

Mr Osborne said the government is to introduce the first ever national funding formula for schools, high needs and early years, which he said would end the unfair system where a child from a disadvantaged background in one school attracts half as much funding as a child in identical circumstances in another school, simply because of where they live.

Mr Heaton-Jones said this would bring in a fairer system that would mean more money for North Devon schools, which had ‘lost out’ under the old arrangement.

He also welcomed news the proposed tax credit changes were being scrapped as ‘evidence that the government is listening to hardworking families’.

“Overall this was an Autumn Statement which kept giving good news. Of course there is still much more work to do to ensure the country’s long-term economic security,” he said.