Monday, 29 June 2015
Monday, 22 June 2015
Sunday, 14 June 2015
Sunday, 7 June 2015
I was pleased (& perhaps a little relieved!) to have the opportunity to make my Maiden Speech on Monday evening. Obviously a little nerve wracking, as its the first time a member actually speaks in the Chamber: mine was made a little more challenging by a decision by the Deputy Speaker, who was in the chair, to limit speeches to 4 minutes rather than 6. However, he was being kind and more than a little flexible to my colleagues speaking before me. I was then called, and stood up and began.
I looked up over my notes as I turned my first page, & noticed that the deputy speaker had become the Speaker (Mr Bercow) - so I had to remember to refer to him now- and that as the timer on the wall clocked down towards zero (yes, there really is a stop watch system to stop us all going on too long!) I saw (& felt) the hard stare of the Speaker to wind up.
So the Maiden Speech which I gave (http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2015-06-01b.399.0) was a shorter version than the planned one which you can find onwww.teamtrevelyan.co.uk . I am definitely fully inducted into Chamber life, where the Speaker's word & decision is law.
Having made my Maiden Speech, I am now allowed to ask questions of Ministers and my first opportunity arose on Monday evening to new Minister & Cumbrian MP Rory Stewart, asking about Government support to our farmers if the voters decide we should leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum (http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2015-06-01b.431.0).
My second question was during the Health debate on Wednesday, asking Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt to review ambulance protocols where breaks stop paramedics being called to life-threatening 999 calls – this is a situation which worries me enormously for the safety of patients as well as the mental health of paramedics who want to be able to do their job in those life-threatening situations (http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2015-06-02b.437.2).
On a practical level, I now have an office & my team are just about all in post; we have our Berwick constituency base sorted out and Alnwick's shortly.
Locally, the challenge of getting longterm stability into the residential care home sector in North Northumberland is testing us all: with Seton Hall Care Home looking to leave the sector, and changes in plans from Abbeyfield Care Homes in Alnwick this week, there is work to do. We need to protect those in homes at present as well as make sure that those whose needs will have to be met through residential care (especially those with dementia). If you have concerns for family or friends please contact me.
On the national scene, I have joined the Conservatives for Britain group of MPs who support 100% the Prime Minister’s efforts to get a good renegotiation package for our nation with the EU: but we are a group of MPs who make it clear that if that cannot be achieved because European leaders refuse to engage with us, then we would campaign to leave the EU. I am so pleased that having a majority Conservative Government means that we will be able – at last – to get the EU Referendum onto the statute book so that the British People will decide how we go forwards as a nation in Europe.
Sunday, 31 May 2015
We are kicking off proceedings with the EU Referendum Bill & the Scotland Bill, both of which I have strong views upon. It is now looking like the Referendum Bill will go through OK thanks to a late Damascene conversion by Harriet Harman of Labour. They will now support the bill, and once the Referendum starts they will support the "In" campaign.
If the deal, which our Prime Minister has started negotiations on this week, goes well, and the outcomes look like a trading relationship without the federalising & Napoleonic legal frameworks presently imposed on us, then I too will be supporting "In". However, if the Europeans really won't play ball to free us from their "one state" vision then I will be supporting "out". David Cameron has some challenging negotiations ahead of him, but I know him to be a man of considerable nerve & determination, so I watch with interest as he heads into that European jungle.
The Scotland Bill (which I was reading on the train home.... these documents are definitely a foreign language to those not trained as lawyers!) is so important to get right from the North East's perspective. I am all for Scotland getting more powers, but then they must also take more responsibility for their own finances. And if they decide to cut a tax such as Air Passenger Duty it is vital that our Chancellor can react quickly to vary English taxation so thar our regional airports are not negatively impacted.
I have met with the new Minister responsible for rolling out the new North Northumberland Enterprise Zone to discuss in detail how we make this happen quickly; the new Secretary of State for Communities to discuss my Social Housing Bond proposal, and discussed with the Chancellor & his team how we expedite A1 dualling progress and ongoing monitoring.
On Thursday I was invited onto ITV's Around The House with fellow new MPs Anna Turley (lab, Redcar) and Calum Kerr (SNP, Berwickshire) alongside old hand Tim Farron (Libdem, Westmoreland & Lonsdale). I reckon we were all quite nice to each other, but don't expect that to last - there are some enormous ideological differences between us. Politicians are definitely not all the same in this Parliament.
DEFRA & broadband, my maiden speech, the annual Macmillan House of Commons tug of war (yes, I'm in the line up!) & a train strike on Thursday which will force me to fly home.
It seems no two weeks will ever be the same.
We are progressing our new offices but in the meantime you can always reach me on email@example.com or call my Chief of Staff Tom on 07791 565044.