last two months have flown by, with glorious sunshine giving way to a
distinctly autumnal feel. Well, we are only three months from
Christmas! Locally, schools continue to dominate my time, along with
the horrendous noise pollution residents in Molesey and Walton are
getting from the new 'trial' flight paths from Heathrow.
After all the
nail-biting, the Scots voted to stay British. Now, I hope we can extend
this debate to the whole of the United Kingdom - proceeding on the
basic principles of democratic equality and financial fairness.
MP for Esher and Walton
Dom Opens Revamped
Oxshott Post Office
Cobham Free School gained government approval to open its secondary
department, as reported here,
the hunt for a viable long-term local site goes on. Current
negotiations are focusing on the Anvil Lane site, with the school
working up plans to take to a public consultation in due course. Plans
for the re-development of Rydens Enterprise School (RES) were also the
subject of a local public meeting in Walton. The planning
considerations for both schools will be decided by the local councils,
independently, but they are a major part of a wider strategy to ensure
enough school places for youngsters in the borough. I also joined
teachers, governors, parents and pupils for RES's prize-giving
celebration on 18th September, a great opportunity to pay tribute to
the remarkable progress the school is making.
Residents in Molesey and Walton have been blighted by disproportionate
noise resulting from new flight path trials at Heathrow. I have written
to the Transport Minister, Civil Aviation Authority and will be meeting
the relevant Director at Heathrow in the next few weeks. The issue was
raised at my local Molesey public meeting, as blogged here,
a good example of the value in holding regular open meetings across the
constituency. The final meeting of this round is in Long Ditton on
Monday (click here
for details). I have also used the Parliamentary recess to buzz around
the borough - talking to Walton stroke group (as blogged here),
Paragon housing association (as blogged here),
Esher Probus group, and opening the revamped Oxshott Post Office (as
pictured above, and blogged here).
Finally, there are some taxes that hit us particularly hard in
Elmbridge - and stamp duty is one of Labour's most vindictive stealth
taxes. So, I co-sponsored a debate in Parliament looking at the local
and national impact of stamp duty, particularly for low and
middle income home-buyers, and calling for radical reform. You can read
my speech in Parliament here,
or my column for The Daily
Up at Westminster, Scotland has dominated political debate (on which,
see below). But, the House of Commons has also been looking at a range
of other matters. The Education Committee (which I sit on) has been
examining the so-called 'Trojan Horse' attempt to impose a hard-line
Islamist agenda on certain schools in Birmingham, as reported here.
am no expert on commercial puppy farming, but - judging from my mail
bag - the issue has aroused a lot of local and national interest. So, I
joined the debate in Parliament, as reported here.
I made the point that the key to avoiding cruel practices was more
rigorous inspections, not yet more legislation.
Likewise, in the ongoing debate on what to do about British jihadis
returning from foreign conflicts, I made the argument for a more robust
approach to prosecution, rather than bringing back control orders. I
debated the issue on Radio 4's World
continue to press my national campaigns on familiar themes. I have been
highlighting further absurd cases of foreign criminals avoiding
deportation - as reported here.
I engaged Liberty's Director,
Shami Chakrabati in a 'duel' for Prospect
magazine on the issue of prisoner voting. You can read the lively
the big issue of the year has been the referendum on Scottish
independence. I am pleased Scots voted to stay British. However, now
the debate must be opened up to the English, Welsh and Northern Irish
too. I joined the Prime Minister's summit at Chequers to discuss the
issue, as reported here,
set out my views in The Sunday
and discussed what should happen next on The Sunday Politics show here.
a full list of media comments, click here. For blog posts on
local issues and national debates, click here.
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