Reports from two work experience students who spent a week at my office

June 25, 2015

Being given an opportunity such as this has motivated me to pursue a career in the field of politics or international relations. Prior to the placement I was somewhat undecided as to what I wanted to do in the future. However, having been able to work with people as well-informed as Sir Oliver Heald MP and all of his wonderful staff I have developed a much clearer insight into a world that I already found interesting.

My highlight of the week was definitely Prime Minister’s Questions on the Wednesday. It is such a renowned event, and this was clear to see from the large queue that had formed prior to session. I found the experience both insightful and educational – being in such close proximity to David Cameron himself, as well as other well-recognised MPs such as Alex Salmond, Ed Miliband, and Boris Johnson was a truly memorable experience. Most people only get to see them on the television. Furthermore, we saw a number of famous faces around Parliamentary Estate, particularly in Portcullis House where we saw Brian May (lead guitarist for Queen).

Overall the experience was truly eye-opening and has definitely been influential in my decision as to what I will do in the future. I would like to say thank you to Sir Oliver Heald MP, and also to Christine, Robert and Mara who have been a great help throughout the week – Callum Goodall

work ex

Working within Parliament has always been an ambition of mine, naturally when the opportunity to do work experience for Sir Oliver arrived I jumped at the chance. This week has certainty not disappointed me and has instead provided me with a personal insight as to how our government is so successful. I’ve been able work alongside researchers, watch debates and see famous faces such as Deborah Meaden.

The part of the week which I particularly enjoyed was watching Prime Minister’s Questions. The Prime Minsters questions was both interesting and humorous, the humour mostly being provided by John Bercow, The Speaker.  Being able to have lunch next to Ed Miliband, sharing a corridor with Alex Salmond and being only a glass panel away from David Cameron was truly unforgettable.

My experience here has been wonderful, I can’t thank Sir Oliver and his staff enough for showing me around and teaching me more about politics. I would like to say a special thank you to Sir Oliver Heald, his wife Christine, Robert and Mara. I would recommend that everyone who is given this opportunity to take it, it’s one of the most rewarding week of my life – Eleanor Sangan

Good news for small businesses

June 24, 2015

I met the Federation of Small Business yesterday and heard that small businesses are in a robust mood, and we have seen small business confidence picking up markedly, with growth and investment intentions reaching levels not seen since the Crash. They say that the latest survey readings on job creation, productivity, and investment all bode well for small businesses sustaining the economy’s growth throughout 2015. We are seeing improvements locally too.

This heartening news is encouraging businesses to invest in further growth and, because of this, productivity is increasing in the sector.

Although there is still much to be done to secure the recovery, these developments in the small business sector are to be welcomed, and I am confident for more of this in the coming months.

Job opportunity for Roystonians at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group

June 22, 2015

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group is recruiting two Governing Body Lay Members – one for Governance and one for Finance & Performance – to join its Board.

The CCG is responsible for the planning, organising, and purchasing of 941 million pounds’ worth of healthcare locally. It is a GP-led organisation, with about 281 employed staff and 80 GP associates, representing 107 GP Practices. It is one of the largest CCGs in the country, and is responsible for the delivery of high-quality, NHS funded healthcare for a patient population of about one million people.

These jobs require the commitment of about four days per month, and will be held for two to three years. Applications close on Monday 29 June, and more details can be found in the attached advertisement.

GB Lay Members Advert – June 2015

Barley Playground nominated for OneFamily Foundation Grant

June 18, 2015

I am very pleased to hear that the Barley Playground has been shortlisted by the OneFamily Foundation to receive a grant of £25,000 for its refurbishment. The OneFamily Foundation is designed to provide funding for community projects which will benefit the local residents of an area and this money will allow for the existing rundown playground to be resurfaced and new play equipment to be installed. Barley is a lovely village within the constituency and it would be great if children were able to play safely whilst being usefully diverted as well. Voting for the project finishes on 29 June which is not far away now. As the time of writing, the project has already received 368 votes but I am sure that we can do much better. Those that wish to vote for the project can do so here.

Welcoming the CVS to Parliament

June 9, 2015


I was delighted to meet 40 members of the North Hertfordshire Centre for Voluntary Service in Parliament yesterday. Their trip to Westminster consisted of a tour followed by a question-and-answer session with me in one of the committee rooms.

Their Community Development Manager, Michal Siewniak, has already told me that he has received a number of emails from members of the group saying how much they enjoyed their day, including this: “I was fortunate indeed to join in your well organised trip today… The whole time was so enjoyable. It far exceeded my expectations and I wish to thank you all very much for your care”.

The CVS is launching its 100-day ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ campaign, which will run locally from this month until September across Hitchin and Royston. It is aimed at making a positive difference within the community, and is gaining support from local charities, community groups, and statutory organisations. Activities will include advice about healthy living, home security, children’s fun days, volunteering opportunities, and more on how to make our neighbourhoods bloom. This is an excellent campaign, and I am happy to lend my support to it.

The group is photographed with Sir Oliver in Parliament.

Hertfordshire Libraries’ “Record Breakers 2015 Reading Challenge”

June 8, 2015

I was pleased to hear that Hertfordshire Libraries are running a Record Breakers 2015 Summer Reading Challenge. This follows last year’s successful 2014 Summer Reading Challenge which saw as many as 19,000 children take part. Children are challenged to read six books and then talk to library staff and volunteers about them. As they do so, they collect stickers and rewards. 

I think this is an excellent measure to entertain children whilst they are on their holidays and encourage those in the constituency to sign up. I understand that Hertfordshire libraries are looking for volunteers to help in libraries whilst the challenge is running. More details about this and the challenge can be found here.