In the Constituency
Over the summer, much of the communication from constituents has been about Brexit, with several residents contacting me recently to share their views about the proroguing of Parliament and a no-deal Brexit.
There is real concern about the tactics of Boris Johnson and what this could mean, not only for Brexit, but for democracy. I have written my views about how, without your consent, Boris Johnson has prevented me from doing my job.
Constituents have contacted me with continued reports of poor train service along the Thameslink and Bletchley lines. The recent hot weather caused delays and cancellations and I wrote to the Chief Executive to express my frustrations and ask what they are doing to ensure the efficient running of the service during extreme weather conditions. Over the weekends and evenings Bedford continues to be poorly served for both North and Southbound trains and the rail replacement bus services are struggling due to road closures.
My team have been busy helping constituents with a range of other issues. We have had a number of health and NHS related complaints recently including long delays for GP waiting times and concerns over delays to orthopaedic surgery at Bedford Hospital as well as the future of the hydrotherapy pool at Gilbert Hitchcock House. We are seeing the result of Government cuts to patient experience and access to treatment locally.
The Government approved the funding after months of delays for the merger of Luton and Dunstable Hospital and Bedford Hospital. I continue to be advised by hospital bosses that this is the only way to secure acute services in Bedford. I have been reassured that A&E, full maternity and paediatrics are safe. I am watching closely and will do all I can to ensure that there are no cuts to services at Bedford Hospital, and will campaign for the retention of the Hydrotherapy Pool, which I know is an important service for to many of my constituents.
It has been my pleasure to attend several events across Bedford and Kempston this summer including, but not limited to, the Bedford Eid Festival, the Italian festival in Harpur Square, the Queens Park Allotments open day, the Bedford Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support AGM and the Bedfordshire Police Family Fun Day.
I made a representation that was recorded on the Hansard prior the House of Commons prior to recess:
25 July 2019: Priorities for Government (Bedford Hospital funding)
This week MPs have returned to the House of Commons, and it has been a very difficult few days. At the time of writing this, Boris Johnson has lost his majority and reduced it yet further by expelling 21 MPs from the Party, neighbouring MP Alistair Burt has confirmed that he will not stand in the next General election, and there is a steady flow of Conservative MPs handing in their resignations, the last of which was the Prime Minister’s own brother, Orpington MP Jo Johnson. This week MPs have voted in favour of legislation which aims to prevent No Deal, which is now making progress through the House of Lords.
In order to prevent any risk of a no deal Brexit happening, Labour party MPs abstained from voting in favour of a General Election, and will likely decline to do so before the withdrawal date of the 31st October, however the prospect of a snap general election continues to loom large.