March 26, 2015
It’s good to hear news that, during the February half-term, 220 young people participated in the National Citizen Service with Youth Connexions Hertfordshire. As a strong supporter of the NCS, seeing that these young people have spent 6,600 hours volunteering on social action projects to help their local areas is very encouraging. The NCS aims to provide 16- and 17-year-olds with the skills needed for work, life, and the transition to adulthood, and I’m delighted that so many young people are taking full advantage of it.
The NCS’s programmes with Youth Connexions Hertfordshire continue throughout 2015 with opportunities for another 1,000 young people. I urge young people across North East Hertfordshire to get involved with this excellent scheme.
March 5, 2015
I am concerned by the recent arson attacks against vehicles in Letchworth Garden City. There were over ten such attacks in January and February and they are completely unacceptable. There have also been some van break-ins reported. As I told the local press, the idiots committing these offences are putting themselves and others in danger, and I am glad that we are seeing an increase in police patrols in Letchworth to deal with the situation. Our police are a great local asset and they are working hard to solve these crimes and keep our streets safe.
We must remember that, even with these recent problems, North East Hertfordshire remains a low-crime area. I appeal to local people to report any suspicious circumstances to the authorities.
March 3, 2015
There has been some encouraging news on the inflation rate recently and it is important to examine the benefits that this will bring to our economy. The CPI inflation rate fell to a record low of 0.3% in January, helped especially by lower food and oil prices. This downward trend looks set to continue with the possibility of negative inflation coming briefly in the Spring, according to the Governor of the Bank of England. Mr Carney also said that the falling oil price was “unambiguously good” for the economy and motorists have seen petrol prices fall by more than 8p per litre.
All this will have positive effects on the British economy, with the Bank of England predicting growth this year of 2.6% which have led to forecasts of strong wage growth this year.
This is good for hardworking people across the country. Falling prices and rising wages means that more and more pressure is being lifted from family budgets, and this should support growth in consumer spending.
The recovery is, of course, not complete, but these figures are another sign that the Long-term Economic Plan is working. The deficit is down by a half, a thousand jobs have been created for every day that this Government has been in office, and now, low inflation and increasing wages are making life easier for families up and down the country. Britain should stay the course.
February 27, 2015
East Herts District Council are offering Community Activity Grants of up to £500. This money is intended to help with new or replacement equipment, day to day running costs or one of costs for community events which benefit the people of East Hertfordshire. Parish Councils, community/voluntary groups, clubs and parish councils are all invited to apply. The deadline for applications is this Monday 2 March. For more details about how to apply please click here.
I appreciate the deadline for applications for these grants is quite soon but I strongly encourage constituents to apply for them if they can so that they can enjoy some benefit from any grants within the community.
February 13, 2015
Following the Secretary of State for Education’s speech yesterday about the money being provided by the Government to help families with mental health support, I was pleased to read that as part of “Feelin’ Good Week” which has run this week, £20,000 has also been awarded to community groups and schools in Hertfordshire by Hertfordshire County Council and the county’s two NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Feelin’ Good Week is a Hertfordshire wide event which has been set up to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in the county through community events and activities. In Hertfordshire as many as 47 organisations have been given awards of up to £500 each. Within the constituency these include Icknield Walk First School, Stonehill School, Greenaway School and local authority groups and charities such as the East and North Herts NHS Trust, The Education Support Team for Medical Absence, Aspects, PHASE, the Pre-School Leaning Alliance and Step2.
I am a keen supporter of such schemes that help those with mental health needs and am glad that both on a national and local scale help is being provided to help children who need it.
February 13, 2015
I was pleased to hear that nominations have opened for the Campaign to protect Rural England’s Hertfordshire Rural Living Awards. These are intended to recognise the efforts made by groups or individuals who have improved life and bettered the environment in Hertfordshire’s villages and countryside. The two categories for these are as below:
• Rural Community Living
• Rural Environment
There are also two Rural Living Champion Awards and these are:
• The Dorothy Abel Smith Award for a young person aged up to 18 who has made an outstanding contribution to rural living
• The Peterkin Award for an adult who has made an outstanding contribution to rural living
Details about how to nominate people and the necessary forms to do so can be found here. I am a strong supporter of the rural community in my constituency. There are many that make a valuable contribution to it and I hope that people will consider nominating them so that their hard work is suitably recognised.
January 29, 2015
The Conservative Party believes that if someone works hard and earns money, they should be able to spend as much as possible, as they like. The Government has no intrinsic right to it: it’s yours. This is why low taxes are so important. People spend their own money, helping the economy.
Since 2010, this Government has cut income tax for over 24 million people, with an average saving of £705, but the Conservatives want to go further after the election. We plan to take everyone who earns less than £12,500 out of income tax altogether, and raise the 40p tax threshold so that no-one earning less than £50,000 pays it. This will provide a tax cut and more disposable income for 30 million people. It will help the economy to grow.
We would do this while cutting the deficit. Over the last five years, Conservatives in Government have halved the deficit while cutting income tax, and in the next Parliament, we’ll do the same again: eliminating the deficit while reducing taxes. The Prime Minister has said that after years of sacrifice, the British people deserve a reward. People whose hard work and personal sacrifices have got this country through the difficult times should come first.
The other main parties have said that, instead, they would tax people more. This would not recognise the sacrifices that the British people have already made, and it would be an attack on aspiration. Only the Conservatives are committed to cutting taxes and building a Britain that rewards work.
Our long-term economic plan will cut tax, create growth, and allow us to cut the deficit.