Hello and welcome to my weekly View from the House for Tamworth Informed. This has been a busy week for Brexit as the Government is working to break the deadlock in Parliament and move forward with Brexit.
We saw the second round of indicative votes on Monday, with four options on the ballot paper (Customs Union, Common Market, 2ndReferendum and Cancelling Brexit). These are similar to the votes we had last week, however, the Speaker felt that by narrowing the choices this may reach a consensus. Again, not a single proposal got a majority which frankly makes the indicative votes process a bit of a joke, and I voted as follows:
I voted AGAINST a Customs Union
I voted AGAINST an EU Common Market
l voted AGAINST a 2nd Ref
I voted AGAINST cancelling Brexit
I will not vote for proposals that contradict, delay or even cancel Brexit. It is clear there is no majority in the Commons for the soft Brexit it keeps trying to push through. The people of Tamworth have clearly said that you want to leave the European Union, so I have consistently backed the Prime Minister’s Deal which I believe delivers on the Brexit the people of Tamworth voted for. Likewise, I voted against the Article 50 Extension on Wednesday, as I am committed to delivering a smooth, timely Brexit. Labour has made it clear that they will stop at nothing to block Brexit against the will of Tamworth’s residents and the British people.
Whilst it feels a bit chillier, the sun is trying to break through – just time for English Tourism week! This week we celebrate all the places and people that make England a great country to visit. I have met with the Tourism Minister Michael Ellis, this week, to discuss all the great attractions Tamworth has to offer, from the Castle and Pleasure Grounds to Drayton Manor and the Snowdome. People from all over make their way to Tamworth for thrills, history and family-friendly attractions and this brings more jobs and money into our local economy.
The Parkinson’s UK team visited Parliament to meet with MPs and brief us on World Parkinson’s Day (April 11th). Parkinson’s is a long-term degenerative disorder, causing problems in the brain and often the cause is unknown. It affects over 145,000 people in the UK, or 1 in every 350 adults and it is encouraging to see researchers working hard to develop new treatments. Local health professionals across Tamworth and the borough work tirelessly to support not only those afflicted but their immediate families too.
In the theme of supporting charities, on Wednesday both Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant and I abandoned the suits and ties in favour for clothing a little more colourful for Orange Wednesday. We were raising awareness, along with many local businesses, schools and families, for the vital care services St Giles Hospice offer for those living with a terminal illness in Tamworth and Lichfield. As the Chief Exec recently said, the word ‘hospice’ doesn’t invoke any other feeling but fear. The aim of Orange Wednesday is to show that hospices are warm, vibrant places to celebrate life. I am very pleased to support them in fundraising to keep their services running for all the good they have done in the community.
As seems to be the norm now, this week has been a heavy week in politics. Many of you have taken the time to sit and write or email me, and I always appreciate you taking the time to do that. I aim to keep you updated as much as possible, you may have seen I publish my Brexit voting record on my Facebook page.
Over the weekend, I have a constituency surgery in Clifton Campville and then I am looking forward to seeing the people of Tamworth and Lichfield get their running shoes on for the Cathedral – Castle run on Sunday.