In the constituency
I have been contacted by constituents on a number of issues. Last month the most common concerns were over the future of the Pensions Dashboard Project. This month so far, constituents are contacting me asking me to push the Government to make tax changes to ensure retail giants such as Amazon are paying appropriate levels of tax in the UK and to share their concerns over fracking. I attended the short debate on fracking but, unfortunately, I was not called to speak.
Other issues raised include teachers’ pay and blood cancer. On the issue of blood cancer and stem cell donation, I was delighted that following a community campaign a stem cell donor was found for Kaiya, a young girl who has been suffering from a rare form of blood cancer. She remains in hospital and I am following her recovery closely, hoping that the transplant has been a success.
Out and about
Diary highlights in the constituency include experiencing a day spent out and about with Bedfordshire Police. It was a pleasure to visit Guild House to see first-hand the services they offer for people over 50, and I was delighted to be invited to open the Marie-Curie charity shop in its new location on the High Street in Bedford.
I welcome the opportunities to meet residents of Bedford & Kempston enjoying the summer at Brass’s 20th Anniversary picnic party at the Quarry, Salvete Care Home Summer Fete honouring Doris Sharp’s 104th birthday, the Family Fun day at Addison Park in Kempston, and I was pleased to attend the Honour Walk at Priory Country Park, which had a great turn out raising money for wounded and sick Armed Forces personnel.
The House of Commons was back in session for two weeks following the summer recess, and I raised questions regarding the Government’s extreme cuts to funding, which have led to Bedford Hospital’s maternity unit closing its doors six times last year, and which are stretching local mental health provision to breaking point and preventing Bedfordshire Police from effectively carrying out front line policing.
The speaker granted me an urgent question on Thursday 13th September after the extremely worrying news that her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons had issued an urgent notification to the Secretary of State, delivering a damning report on the state of HMP Bedford.
Click on the following links to read what I’ve been doing in Parliament:
- 5 September 2018 PMQ on Bedford’s Maternity Unit and Nursing Bursaries
- 11 September Children with Mental Health Issues
- 12 September Police Funding Cuts
- 13 September Bedford Prison Urgent Question