When it rains!

As the forecasters duly proclaimed the end of the lingering summer weather, today saw downpours across Surrey. I was up before 6 a.m. to catch a ride with local paramedics (Aran Blunden and Katie Crabb, see below), and get a glimpse first-hand of the challenges they face on an ordinary shift. They responded to two […]

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Planning and Local Democracy

Planning is a red hot local issue in Elmbridge, a borough which is 57% greenbelt. I have regularly posted comment on the need to protect the greenbelt, but also address the lack of affordable housing locally. The South East plan imposed top-down targets of nearly 6,000 new housing units in Elmbridge. The newly elected government […]

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How Resilient is Elmbridge?

Last week, the BBC published a report based on research by Experian (a credit checking business) which stated that Elmbridge (and Surrey) are amongst the areas of Britain most ‘resilient’ to economic shocks. Good news, and little surprise at one level. We live in an affluent area with thriving local business and relatively low unemployment. […]

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Thank You

Thanks to everyone who turned up for one of the six town hall meetings I hosted over the last fortnight. I enjoyed meeting so many new people – as well as some familiar faces – and appreciated you giving up a summer evening to come along and raise a range of local and national issues.

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Ambulance Chasing

Today, I visited the Ambulance depot near Chertsey, which services part of the constituency. Our frontline paramedics face a range of challenges – whether picking up the pieces after binge-drinking in town centers, or aiding an ageing population. The team at Chertsey have rolled out ‘Make Ready’, a system which has separate specialist teams cleaning, […]

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Local Democracy in the NHS

I blogged last week about the government’s plans to put GPs in charge of commissioning local healthcare services. When it comes to accident and emergency care, here in Elmbridge we rely on hospitals outside the constituency – such as Kingston and St Peters. That doesn’t mean our local community should have no say in how […]

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Lobby Group Politics

MPs get hundreds of emails and letters from constituents. I try to answer every one in reasonable time. But, MPs have finite time and resources, and I also want to prioritise those in the greatest need. It is a difficult balance. My approach is to ask those with a problem or issue they want me […]

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Why do MPs have such long holidays?

It is a common myth that MPs have ludicrously long holidays. Parliament went into recess last week. With the exception of two weeks in September, MPs will not return for two and a half months. But, Parliament not sitting is not the same thing as MPs not working. I can’t speak for others, but I’m […]

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