has been a pivotal month for government reforms coming through the
pipeline. We've seen the introduction of our welfare reforms, capping
benefits in line with average working incomes whilst protecting the
most vulnerable, and the local implementation of the coalition's NHS
reforms. I have been scrutinising both the national policy and the
Locally, I have been talking to local GP's about the NHS reforms, and
touring local businesses in East Molesey.
Up at Westminster, we commemorated the passing of Lady Thatcher, our
greatest postwar leader. I continue to campaign against the snoopers' charter, and for deportation reform. I also
teamed up with Zac Goldsmith to make sure we keep local neighbourhood
safeguards in the new rules on home developments.
MP for Esher and Walton
Dom Talks to East Molesey Retailers
I have been speaking to the two local Clinical Commissioning Groups
(CCGs), which have now taken over control of commissioning local NHS
services from Surrey Primary Care Trust (PCT). The aim is to
replace the bloated bureaucracy of the PCT with locally accountable
groups of medical practitioners. For all the opposition to these
reforms inside the Westminster bubble, I have been heartened to see the
progress being made. Our two local CCGs have plans to cut waste, cut
waiting times for counselling, and re-invest in helping children with
multiple disabilities. Crucially, both CCGs are looking strategically
at what services can be provided closer to home to reduce the number of
patients having to be treated in large hospitals. That includes the
roll-out of 'virtual wards' overseen by a matron to join up the
provision of local services (historically a problem), and a strategic
review of our community hospitals to consider how they can best
serve patients locally. It's just the beginning, but their common sense
focus on local needs is a far cry from the doomsday scenario painted by
In other NHS news, I am delighted that Kingston hospital has won
Foundation Trust status. It means more autonomy to innovate locally,
and greater accountability to local communities. For the first time, we
will have two publicly elected governors representing Elmbridge - an
important local voice in the running of the hospital.
Elsewhere, I paid a visit to Bridge Road in East Molesey to talk to
local retailers about parking regulations and other local challenges.
Bridge Road is a really vibrant part of the borough, and I blogged on
the tour here.
Lastly, I wish all the Conservative candidates running in the local -
county and borough - elections the best of luck. I have enjoyed getting
out on the door-step, from Walton to Claygate, supporting them. Please
make sure you vote on Thursday, because turnout will be key and every
Up in Parliament, we scored two local victories in the formulation of
national policy. First, I received confirmation, here,
that the 'damping' arrangements that protect local police funding in
Surrey will not be eroded before we have a full review of the police
funding formula (which prejudices Elmbridge). That will protect the
equivalent of 83 police constables in Surrey, as I explained in my
The second achievement was over new planning rules, currently being
streamlined as part of the effort to boost economic growth. I joined
Zac Goldsmith MP in objecting to specific proposals that risked
sidelining the views of neighbours when home developments take place.
The Communities Secretary re-considered the plans, as reported here,
introducing a safeguard to ensure neighbours can object to developments
that impact on the enjoyment of their homes. I am grateful for the
feedback and views I received locally on this issue.
In addition, I led Conservative opposition to new surveillance powers,
dubbed the Snoopers' Charter, as reported here
It appears the proposed Bill will not now feature in the forthcoming
Queen's Speech. I also joined Boris in calling for strike law reform,
in the wake of militant threats of a general strike later this year, as
And I continue to press for deportation reform, given the farce of the
Abu Qatada case and other spurious human rights challenges - as
Let's hope this does feature in the Queen's Speech!
Parliament was really eclipsed this month by the tributes to Margaret
I spoke in the debate commemorating her legacy, which you can
and joined her friends, colleagues and well-wishers at the very moving
funeral at St Paul's cathedral. It was quite an incredible occasion and
I felt humbled and privileged to be able to pay my respects.
introduction of the government's welfare reforms has attracted the
predictable scaremongering from the Left. I believe they are fair and
reasonable, an important step towards helping the jobless into work and
ending the welfare dependency culture encouraged by Tony Blair and
Gordon Brown. I also think it is reasonable, in the wake of the
Philpott case, to reflect on the dire social consequences of the
dependency culture, as reported here.
a more positive note, I mentor at a boxing and martial arts academy -
called Fight For Peace - that helps get youngsters from tough
backgrounds into training and work. I was interviewed by the academy
for their website here.
I have been calling on the government to take a more robust approach to
law enforcement. I wrote an article for the London Evening Standard, here,
looking at the 'prosecutorial deficit' from tax evasion to
counter-terrorism. I have also been campaigning for a UK Sergei
Magnitsky Law to stop torturers and gangsters from entering Britain or
laundering blood money here. I was interviewed by Panorama on the subject - you can
watch the episode here.
a full list of media comments, click here. For blog posts on
local issues and national debates, click here.