Bulletin - November 2014
Locally, it's been a varied month, from the wonderful display of community pride at the unveiling of Downside's new village sign, to success in securing the early suspension of the very noisey flight trials from Heathrow across Molesey and Walton.

At Westminster, human rights and EU reform have been high on the agenda - along with the aftermath of the Scottish referendum. 

Best wishes,

MP for Esher and Walton

Dom Unveils Downside Village Sign
Dom Unveils Downside Village Sign

I was delighted to join Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust, Downside and Hatchford Community Group, St Matthews School and local residents for the unveiling of Downside's elegant new village sign - designed by local artist Kate Ellis - as blogged here, and reported here. It was a great celebration of local village pride.

The rest of the month was dominated by the usual buzzing around the borough, trying to help and support as many local initiatives as possible. Amongst the various highlights, I visited the inspiring special needs school, Walton Leigh, in Hersham. I also joined the fabulous Fadi Kesserwany for the launch of his new restaurant Mezzet Dar in East Molesey, as reported here.

Finally, working with East Molesey concillor Steve Bax and residents, we scored an important victory in securing the early suspension of Heathrow Flight Trials over a narrow corridor across Molesey and Walton. I blogged on the issue here, and it was reported here.

Westminster Watch

One of the local gripes I often hear about most often is value for money on South West Trains, along with overcrowding at peak times. So, I secured a debate in Parliament with the Transport Minister responding, and set out the local data on fares, cost, overcrowding and passenger satisfaction, making the case for a fairer deal for local passengers - as reported here and here. You can read my full speech, and the Minister's response, here

We also had a further debate and vote on Bob Neil's Private Member's Bill seeking a referendum on the EU by 2017. Naturally, I supported Bob. Once again, it was scuppered by Lib Dem and Labour opposition. I also raised the issue of the growth of human rights claims against the Ministry of Defence here.

We have had a number of debates on Scotland in the aftermath of the referendum. I intervened on Gordon Brown during one to ask him about the fairness for my constituents of the Barnett formula - you'll see from our exchange, here, that he didn't much like (or answer) the question. So, I have teamed up with Frank Field to secure a further cross-party Backbencher's debate on the implications of further devolution for the rest of the UK - at which we will air concerns about the Barnett Formula and the West Lothian Question. The date should be announced shortly.


At the beginning of the month, I went up to Birmingham for the Conservative Party conference - participating in 13 events in two days, mostly debates about policy areas from the cost of living to the 'squeezed middle'. I also published a new book, "Britain, Tomorrow", with a Foreword by Boris Johnson, which you can read online here.

The week after conference, I wrote a column for the Daily Telegraph, looking at the challenge of policing the internet here. And I have also been making the case for the Conservatives' new proposals for human rights reform, announced by David Cameron up in Birmingham. I wrote about them in The Sunday Times here, and debated the issue with Shami Chakrabaty (of Liberty) on the BBC here.

Finally, in November, Parliament will debate and vote on the decision to opt back into 30 or so EU regulations on crime and policing, including the European Arrest Warrant. I have been arguing against opting back in, setting out the case in The Independent here, and discussing the issue on the Today program here (from 1hr, 33mins).

For a full list of media comments, click here.
For blog posts on local issues and national debates, click here.




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