Visit to Leonard Cheshire Agate House
Posted Friday, 27 February 2015 at 20:59
I have visited the Leonard Cheshire Home in Ampthill many times during my tenure as the MP for Mid Beds and it feels like only five minutes ago we were fundraising for the renovations. None of us know how we would cope if we were faced with such adversity. I know many of the 'back stories' of the residents and some have lived a very different life before tragedy or illness kicked in. Many thanks to Cllr Mark Smith for answering so many of the council related questions.
Read more at leonardcheshire.org/agatehouse
Nisa Toddington wins at the Best Small Shop of the Year awards
Posted Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 20:20
Nisa Local Toddington received Highly Commended for the Best Small Shop Competition 2015
at the House of Commons. Really exciting to be with them all on the day and witness their achievement. Small business thrives in Mid Beds!
For more see bestsmallshops.uk
Why career politicians are terrible for democracy
Posted Monday, 23 February 2015 at 20:52
I'm always thrilled to be asked to appear in #wasteland, I just want to ride all those yummy haxorz
Ampthill Surgeries Parking Crisis
Posted Thursday, 12 February 2015 at 10:55
As a patient at the Greensands surgery in Ampthill I have always been frustrated by the parking situation in the area. The allocation by SEPT of 20 district nurses to the town was a great boost to health service provision but it has turned a serious problem critical.
When I was contacted by the management of the surgeries and the patient participation groups I was happy to do what I can to raise the issue and push the relevant decision makers to release the funding necessary to provide adequate parking. This is vital before a serious accident occurs.
Amanda Devlin of the Beds Times & Citizen has covered the story with a great article (available here
), the video above and the front page splash.
I have contacted the head of NHS England and Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health. I am working with the local council. I have started a petition in the surgeries so that the people directly affected can make their voice heard.
With a playgroup nearby and elderly patients trying to navigate the pavements a serious accident could occur near the Ampthill surgeries at any moment. I will work with any and all available stakeholders to find a solution that keeps my constituents safe.
Millbrook Technology Park
Posted Tuesday, 10 February 2015 at 09:17
It was a pleasure to attend the Millbrook Technology Park in my constituency last week for the launch event of the new business park.
This fantastic asset for Mid-Bedfordshire is a globally renowned centre for design, engineering, testing and technology development.
The new technology park will provide a home to a cluster of companies renowned for their expertise at the leading edge of automotive technology.
Expansion and development of the site’s facilities is a great boost to our local area and will provide more than 1,000 highly skilled jobs, worth a forecast £118 million to the economy.
Mitochondrial Donation Regulations
Posted Wednesday, 4 February 2015 at 12:41
Yesterday I was proud to be able to vote for the mitochondrial donation regulations. I thought about this at great length and received much correspondence from constituents on the matter so I wanted to explain why I voted the way that I did. Several people, including my own family, have expressed surprise for my support of this issue.
When I first became an MP in 2005 one of the first pieces of constituency casework I dealt with was a family with two young boys suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The regulations I voted for yesterday will enable scientists to attempt to eradicate the disease. Although neither of those boys would have been able to benefit, other families around the country and in Mid-Bedfordshire in the future will have the chance to rid themselves of what can only be described as a heart-breaking disease, which affects the very young.
The regulations presented for a vote yesterday were very specific. The slippery slope argument therefore doesn't apply as any further move would require a further vote. I am also satisfied that the regulations affect such a small number of scientists working in such specific circumstances that most of the arguments against given are not relevant.
If there are any further votes liberalising rules in this area more generally for advancement in DNA modification I would likely vote against in an instant. The arguments given by several of my constituents against general genetic engineering are entirely valid but they are fighting against changes that have not been proposed and were not voted upon yesterday.
For me, the best illustration of the broad coalition supporting these regulations comes in the form of both Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, and the Bishop of Carlisle. Many religious groups have legitimate concerns about the direction of some medical research but this was not the right time to draw that line.
Any further attempt to loosen regulations and unleash a torrent of negative side-effects from genetic research will not receive my assent. But this was a chance to make a minor change to regulations that will bring enormous benefits to families affected by diseases such as muscular dystrophy. I could not look in the eye the parents of those two young boys in my constituency if I had voted in any other way.