Treasury and Charity

June 9, 2010

Yesterday at the House of Commons the debate was about the economy and work and pensions. After voting in the Deputy Speaker elections, doing some case work and tabling written questions about the Government’s plans to improve the quality of our rivers, I spent the afternoon in the Chamber. There were lively Treasury Questions with Coalition Ministers explaining the need for deficit reduction. Before the Election, Labour Ministers claimed that cutbacks had no international support, but the latest reports and meetings show that major countries, economic groupings and institutions are supportive of deficit reduction. Since the wobbly state of the Greek economy became known, international eyes have turned to look at nations with big deficits. The UK has one of the biggest. It is therefore vital that we can show that there is a plan to reduce it or there could be worse trouble with higher borrowing costs and interest payments becoming one of our largest expenditures. The burden of a high deficit also means higher taxes than are good for business and jobs. We need to get the country back on track. The Chancellor was good at explaining this in answers to questions and later in the main debate.

I also attended the launch of two campaigns – the RNIB on how to represent constituents with blindness or partial sight, which was full of good practical advice. I also went to the National Autistic Society launch of “You Need To Know”, their campaign for better Child and Mental Health services for children with autism. Parents and a user of services spoke movingly and Ministers Sarah Teather MP and Paul Burstow MP explained how important this issue is to Government and about a new initiative to drive improvements. I have signed an Early Day Motion by St Albans’ Anne Main MP asking for improved support. I have long supported this campaign and in the last parliament was one of Cheryl Gillan’s supporters for her Bill. It is good to see the battle continuing.

Fetes and Fayres Galore

June 7, 2010

This weekend Christine and I went to two really enjoyable summer events. Yesterday was the Bayford Musical Gardens with over 20 gardens open to the public and five bands playing in the village. We met many people as we walked round and had a very good tea and cakes at Warren House, where we were able to look out over the lake whilst listening to a steel band, playing the tune to Test Match Special. The Manor House Garden and Bayford House attracted many visitors and by 3pm the Round House had received 1900 visitors. We are well and truly into the Summer Season of Fetes, Fayres and Open events now. On Saturday we were in Weston for Harriet Kelsall’s Open Day at her jewellery studios. This is one of the most successful local businesses employing 30 people and making individually designed pieces of the highest quality. Last weekend we thoroughly enjoyed the Watton at Stone May Fayre. This is one of the best Church Fayres on the Glebe Field below the flint church flying St George’s flag.
The photograph shows me at Warren House with owner Mrs Hudson.