REDDITCH MP Rachel Maclean has said she will ‘never apologise for being ambitious’ following a failed bid to get electric buses in the town.
The transport minister had fought for a greener and a more reliable bus service in Redditch but it may be neighbouring Bromsgrove which has been given the thumbs up instead.
County Councillor Ken Pollock, portfolio holder for economy and infrastructure, recently announced the news in bizarre fashion on Twitter by saying he imagines Mrs Maclean will be ‘pleased’.
He stated that Redditch will receive no funding from the Government’s all-electric bus scheme, announced earlier this year, and instead it will go to MP Sajid Javid’s constituency.
A spokesperson for Redditch Labour Party said: “We can’t think why Coun Pollock would say ‘this is something for Rachel Maclean to be pleased about’ as she is a minister for transport and also campaigned to name Redditch as the first all-electric bus town.
“Appears things are not going too well for our MP since Redditch has been losing out on many government funding bids.
“This is despite her ardent claims during campaigning as well as being a minister in the very government department that’s dishing this fund out.”
Mrs Maclean hit back at the Labour Party this week by pointing out that funding bids aren’t always as black and white as some would believe.
She told the Standard: “Redditch will still benefit from the County Council’s all-electric bus town bid.
“If successful it will still mean that Redditch’s bus fleet, because they serve Bromsgrove also, will be converted to electric too.
“So yes, Redditch will still get electric buses if the bid is successful which is fantastic news.
“I’m determined to make Redditch a greener and cleaner place to live and I will never apologise for being ambitious.”
Mrs Maclean added that when new funding is announced or projects are launched, she is always the first knock on the relevant ministers’ door to ensure Redditch is in the running.
“Does this always work? No. But I’d rather be proactive then just sit idly by watching these funding pots come and go than not even trying.
“This approach has paid off before when I secured the Town Deal worth up to £25 million for Redditch and also additional capital funding for the Alex.”