My Week in Westminster - 24th July 2018

Responded to the Environment Agency’s (EA’s) consultation on the Biffa Incinerator in Shepshed - I have, for many years, been in discussion with local residents, Biffa, the Council, the Planning Inspectorate and the Government about this incinerator and I continue to be disappointed and very frustrated by the decision to approve planning permission. Biffa has now applied to the EA to change the site’s environmental permit and I have responded to the consultation on this.

 
Local group Loughborough Air Quality Protection, which is a coalition of residents’ groups, elected representatives, other organisations and individuals dedicated to protecting the local area from the harmful effects of airborne toxins, can be found here.

 

Voted against New Clause 36 and Amendment 73 of the Taxation (Cross Border Trade) Bill – New Clause 36 aimed to prevent the UK from collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU unless the EU agreed to collect them for the UK and Amendment 73 aimed to prevent the UK from joining the EU’s VAT regime. Both of these amendments were an attempt to scupper the Prime Minister’s workable, practical proposal, captured at Chequers, that could be negotiated with the EU. Unfortunately, these amendments were passed by a slim majority.

 

Supported an amendment to the Trade Bill – whilst I supported the Government on the majority of the amendments to the Bill, I did co-sign New Clause 18 with my colleague Stephen Hammond MP which would have made it a negotiating objective of the UK to secure an agreement to enable the UK’s participation in a customs union with the EU, should an agreement on establishing a free trade area for goods not been reached. This was an eminently sensible proposal and would have safeguarded businesses, jobs and the future financial security of people across the country. I was disappointed, then, that it was rejected by 307 votes to 301.

 

Launched a report on Heritage Rail – as Chair of the APPG on Heritage Rail, I launched a new report on young people and heritage railways. The report reveals that not enough young volunteers, and particularly young women, are being recruited which is essential to ensure the future of Britain’s heritage lines. A copy of the report can be found here.

 

Pressed the Minister for Health, Stephen Barclay MP, to explore more cost effective options for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome – a local resident, who is a retired NHS consultant, has raised his concerns with me about how operations for this condition are being carried out in hospitals when they could be carried out at general practice level for about a third of the cost. I, therefore, asked the Minister to consider moving this surgery out to community facilities and will be meeting with him later this year to discuss this in more detail. I have also written to the CEO of NHS England, Simon Stevens, for his comments. My question to the Minister can be found here.

 

Attended the National Lottery reception – this reception was an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic projects the National Lottery has supported across the UK, learn more about National Lottery funding and the National Lottery Awards, and meet some of the projects that have been nominated for an award this year. I particularly wanted to attend so that I could thank the Lottery for their recent generosity in supporting a number of projects locally.

 

Chaired Treasury Select Committee evidence sessions on the Independent Review of the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Bank of England’s Financial Stability Reports if you would like to watch these sessions, you can do so here. More information about these inquiries and the work of the committee can be found here.