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Welcome to the website of Nick Harvey

Welcome to Nick Harvey's website, outlining his varied work as MP since 1992, including in North Devon and more. Please don't hesitate to use the contact details to get in touch with questions, comments, opinions and offers of help.

  • Article: Feb 24, 2015

    Local MP Nick Harvey has challenged the Government on the closure of community hospital beds in North Devon.

    Speaking today in Parliament, Harvey pointed to recent 'black alerts' across Devon hospitals which indicate when hospitals have run out of beds. Last week, North Devon District Hospital declared a 'significant incident' when it reached full capacity.

  • Article: Feb 19, 2015

    This column originally appeared in the North Devon Journal.

    Last week brought the good news that Devon County Council have announced the first step towards much-needed improvements to the A361 North Devon Link Road.

    In approving their budget for the coming financial year, DCC have earmarked £2.25million for design costs and technical studies necessary to kick-start improvements to a number of Devon's key road links including the A361. This is extremely positive: when lobbying the Government and bidding for funding to get the works underway, officials are far more likely to look favourably on a scheme that is 'shovel-ready'.

    The current scheme includes the development of additional lanes between South Molton and Barnstaple, and improvements to a number of key junctions. In reality, getting the funding and support to make the project happen is a slow process - particularly at a time of financial austerity - and calls to have the whole road dualled are simply unrealistic at present. I have spoken with Transport Minister Susan Kramer to impress upon her the need for these crucial works and she told me that there will be more money available around the midpoint of the next Parliament. The timeframe therefore fits in terms of getting these works off the ground and working out the technical detail.

    The North Devon Link Road is one of the cornerstones of this area's connectivity and potential for economic growth, but there are other major problems with the bigger transport picture when you include rail. The Tarka line suffers from chronic overcrowding and a lack of rolling stock and I have been speaking to South West Trains and First Great Western about creative ways to get around this.

    Broadband is another critical part of the equation. Connecting Devon and Somerset, responsible for the roll out of superfast broadband, is on track to achieve 90 per cent coverage in Devon by the end of next year. This is brilliant news for homes and businesses alike, but there are over 7,000 properties that make up the 'final 10 per cent' of particularly hard-to-reach households. No one is going to be satisfied if farms and holiday parks in remote parts of the constituency cannot access a fast and reliable broadband connection - we have to ensure that the rollout and subsequent economic benefits are brought home to all.

  • Article: Feb 19, 2015

    North Devon MP Nick Harvey has challenged major roadwork's safety on the Ashford (Strand Lane) to Barnstaple (Chaddiford Lane) dual carriageway.

    This follows complaints by local constituents that the works were 'a recipe for disaster'. These works, which involves the reconstruction of the carriageway and associated drainage improvements, are located over the brow of a hill, on a corner where the road narrows. This can cause visibility problems and make vehicles in the left-hand lane vulnerable to possible road accidents. A point well highlighted by locals.

  • Article: Feb 12, 2015

    North Devon MP Nick Harvey has welcomed a funding boost for jobs and industry across the South West today from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

    Established in 2010 by Liberal Democrats in Government, the Regional Growth Fund was designed to support projects and programmes to stimulate economic growth and long-lasting employment.

  • Article: Feb 9, 2015

    Nick Harvey has welcomed progress in rolling out superfast broadband across North Devon.

    Figures published today show that over 100,000 homes in Devon have so far received superfast broadband, comprising internet speeds greater than 24Mbps. Connecting Devon & Somerset (CDS), the regional body in charge of the superfast broadband project, are on track to achieve 90 per cent coverage by the end of their 2016 target.

  • Article: Feb 5, 2015

    This column originally appeared in the North Devon Journal.

    The burgeoning market for so-called 'legal highs' in North Devon and across the country is extremely worrying - no less because the authorities currently have very limited powers to combat the harm they do. Despite being labelled as legal, the substances have been shown to have impacts on health and behaviour worse than some illegal drugs. Indeed, the number of deaths linked to the use of legal highs has increased eightfold in three years, from 12 in 2009 to 97 people in 2012.

  • Nick launching IfG paper
    Article: Feb 3, 2015

    Nick Harvey MP has today launched a paper, published by the Institute for Government, called 'After the Rose Garden: Harsh lessons for the smaller party about how to be seen and heard in government'.

    The pamphlet gives Nick's opinion on what has and what hasn't worked in the current Coalition, and what the Lib Dems should demand 'next time' if they were to find themselves in the same situation again.

  • Article: Jan 29, 2015

    North Devon MP Nick Harvey has welcomed measures to grant the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) powers to fine UK supermarkets who don't give farmers a fair deal.

    Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced that provisions had been laid before Parliament which would allow the Adjudicator to impose penalties on large retailers who breach the code. Tory MPs have opposed the moves to grant the watchdog these powers.

  • Ilfracombe Rescue Dat
    Article: Jan 29, 2015

    Nick Harvey has today launched a petition in support of the campaign to reduce tourism VAT.

    It is hoped the measure will stimulate tourist numbers across the country. Additionally, research by Deloitte has shown it would create 120,000 jobs in three years and boost Treasury takings by £2.6 billion over the next decade.

  • Petition: Jan 29, 2015

    The tourism industry is worth £4 billion in the South West alone, and 14% of jobs in Devon are in tourism.

    The UK's tourism VAT rate is double the EU average - it is time to put the UK on a level playing field with the rest of the EU.

    We call on the Government to cut the VAT on tourist accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5% to help promote real growth in the UK's Tourism industry and create thousands of new jobs.


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