Join me in Parliament

This week I was delighted that 30 members of the Bexhill Health Walk Group visited Parliament.

We have to spend more on the elderly who are often vulnerable

I was interested by a recent report highlighting that, by 2050, the proportion of our population aged over 65 years would rise from 17% to 25%. The reason for my interest was due to the fact that the proportion is already 28% in the Bexhill and Battle constituency. As well as being one step ahead of the nation, we are also aware of what is needed in our community to look after those who are advanced in age.

Local rail services

My position on the Transport Select Committee gives me the platform to press for better local rail services for the Bexhill and Battle constituency.This week, I joined the Rail Minister, 15 other MPs and the Managing Directors from Southern and Network Rail to discuss the performance of Southern Railway. It was clear from our meeting that the service needs to improve quickly with some MPs even calling for Southern to be stripped of its franchise.

Political Priorities for 2016

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year and as the magazines fill with predictions for 2016, I too have pondered the next 12 months and the political matters which I suspect will keep me busy on your behalf.

Ending a busy first year with an insight into reduced mobility

In the first 6 months as your MP, I have tried to get across the 200 square miles of our constituency on a regular basis. Every week, and most days during recess, I visit schools, charities, businesses, councils, public services and constituents in their own homes. Unfortunately, my ankle and leg are now in plaster over Christmas so I will have to slow down a little having ruptured my achilles whilst playing football with the Parliamentary team.

Taking constituency issues to the heart of Government

Listening to constituents and discussing their problems, ideas and concerns is an important and rewarding part of my job. I meet them at local advice surgeries, at their homes, local pubs and cafes, when they visit Westminster or correspond with them by phone, email or letter

Speaking up for Sussex Police funding

Keeping constituents safe from harm and keeping crime down in the constituency must be one of the top priorities for any MP. Like every public organisation, Sussex Police have been required to make savings in recent years. Last week, I spoke up for our local police in a House of Commons debate on police funding. I did so because our force has to find further savings to its budget and additionally faced a funding reduction from a new Government funding formula. Sussex also has one of the lowest spends per-head on policing in the country. 

Work Experience in Parliament

I was delighted to host Hamzah Zia, a student at Hatch End High, in North West London for a week of work experience in the House of Commons. Having undertaken work experience myself, as a 15 year old, I am a huge believer in the opportunities which this form of experience can bring. Hamzah’s work experience was arranged by the Social Mobility Foundation. Below are Hamzah’s thoughts of his week in Parliament and politics in general. We wish Hamzah the very best with his future studies and look forward to keeping in contact.

Working and Child Tax Credits

Working and child tax credits have dominated the national media in recent weeks. These payments are made by the Government to top up the wages of the lower paid and to provide extra income to qualifying families. When first introduced in 1998, tax credits cost the taxpayer £6bl. By 2010, the cost had ballooned to £30bl. This increase was more down to politicians seeking to give away 'election sweeteners' than a decline in living standards in recent years