Saluting Our Troops

Today, I joined the local throng saluting soldiers from 22 (Gibraltar 1779-83) Battery and 32 Regiment Royal Artillery, accompanied by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Artillery Band. The troops were marking the end of a 6 month tour of Afghanistan, heading from Esher police station to Sandown Park for the Royal […]

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The Nuclear Option

I have long supported an expansion of nuclear power in the UK, as the most cost-efficient and environmentally sound way to cater for Britain’s future energy needs. It is also an area where Britain can develop a high-tech niche, both to broaden our economic base and support the revival of our domestic industry. On Friday, […]

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NHS Reform

Since August, I have been talking to local partners about the forthcoming NHS reforms. Over the last week I have had a series of useful meetings. First, I met with Surrey County Council to hear more about their plans to take on responsibility for ‘public health’ from the Primary Care Trust (PCT). This is a […]

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Support for People with Learning Disabilities

On Friday, I opened a new sensory room, at Mencap Elmbridge, for people with learning disabilities. The money for the facility was raised through a mix of fund-raising, including a generous contribution from Glaxo Smith Kline. Jean Rigden and Veronica Collins are part of a fantastic team, doing inspirational work. It was great to see […]

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Affordable Housing in Elmbridge

Development is one of the thorniest local issues. On the one hand, we are blessed with 57% greenbelt in this borough – and we want to protect our open spaces. On the other hand, there is an acute shortage of affordable homes. The government’s answer is twofold. First, to scrap the top-down housing targets (such […]

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Moving House

Knee deep in boxes – Erika and I are moving house this weekend. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful year renting in Claygate, and have been looking for a place to buy here and around the area. Eventually, we found the right place for us in Thames Ditton – looking forward to getting settled in.

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Claygate Clubhouse

Congratulations to Nigel Abbott for another successful fund-raiser for the new Claygate Clubhouse. I only managed to drop by late on, but the Sportsman’s Evening at the Bengal Lancer was a great success – when I arrived Tony Gale was holding court, entertaining a packed venue. Nigel et al have made great progress towards the […]

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Ending the Year on a High

Elmbridge has come top of the Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2010, for the third year running. Elmbridge scored highly on health, life expectancy, employment, average earnings and school results. Of course, reports like this are a double-edged sword. Labour used these ‘mean’ scores to diddle Elmbridge (and Surrey) in terms of the funding we […]

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Happy Birthday Noelle

Val Hibberd and the Claygate & Hinchley Wood branch put on a wonderful Christmas lunch on Friday. The star guest was Noelle Shilson, one of the leading lights in the Conservative Association for decades. At ninety-eight Noelle is still going strong, an inspiration to us all. Born on Christmas day, we wished her a very […]

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Local Cuts

This week, we heard the news on the local cuts resulting from the Spending Review: Over the next two years, Surrey County Council will see cuts in its grants from central government of 9.5%, but Elmbridge has been hit harder by 34% cuts. The practical impact is not as severe as that may sound, because […]

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