New Arrival

My apologies for the period of silence on this blog. Last week, Erika and I celebrated the arrival of our first child, Peter. Both mum and son are doing very well. I have taken some time off but normal service will be resumed shortly!

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Stamping Out Boredom

Throughout August, I have been dropping by on a range of Summer programmes for youngsters across the borough. It is good to see a lot of creative thinking going in to this kind of Summer holiday project. Last week, I joined Elmbridge Housing Trust, Surrey Youth Services, Elmbridge Council and Surrey Police to celebrate the […]

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Part of History

Today, I opened the stamp fair at Claygate village hall, hosted by Kingston and District Philatelic Society (pictured below). Brian Sole and his team organised a magnificent display – with dealers and enthusiasts from the local area and further afield bringing together collections covering topics as diverse as the Olympics and hyperinflation in Weimar Germany. […]

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Fire and Rescue

Today, I was given a tour of Walton Fire and Rescue Depot. Les Dodd and Paul Kenny explained how the station operates, including the mix of fire response and water-based incidents they have to deal with, coupled with the preventative side of their work in the community. I met with local officers (pictured below), and […]

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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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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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Britain’s Modern Slave Trade

Every now and then the media pick up on the gruesome modern equivalent of the slave trade in Britain – Chinese cockle pickers drowning in Morecambe Bay, or squalid urban brothels enslaving young girls. The UK Human Trafficking Center (in Sheffield) report the referral of over 500 victims trafficked into Britain for forced labour or […]

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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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Coalition Cup – Half Full?

As the policy wonks, commentators and public digest the coalition programme for government, there will be a lot of carping. I was not enthusiastic about a full 5 year coalition. But having joined it, we must make it deliver. The programme is not perfect. It reflects compromise. But let’s not lose sight of the positives, […]

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