View From The House - Feb 15th

I have written another View From the House column for Tamworth Informed.  Check it out by visiting their site or reading below.

MPs received an update on the work the Prime Minister has been doing in Brussels and Dublin, as well as the Government passing the Mental Capacity Act which will help the most vulnerable in our society.

This week it was a pleasure to meet with the Royal British Legion in Parliament, and I congratulated the team on the inspiring 100 year anniversary of World War One they put on in November of last year. I have always been a fervent supporter of our armed forces, and so I look forward to hearing more on what we can do in 2019 to support current and former armed service personnel.

In between the Royal British Legion, visit MPs were voting on the Mental Capacity Act amendment. This will give GPs more clarity when it comes to determining a patient’s mental capacity. Whilst it is a smaller piece of legislation than what normally goes through the House, it directly contributes to liberty and security rights for vulnerable people. In some circumstances, people may find themselves unable to consent due to a multitude of health reasons and this can led to their liberty being taken away from them. The amendment has given more clarity to medical professionals and with the Prime Minister putting mental health care at the forefront of her NHS long term plan, I feel this is a good first step.

What this means for us in Tamworth is that local hospitals will have responsibility to authorise the new scheme, whilst in the community it will be down to local authorities to hold responsibility and deliver this reformed system, this will reduce the waiting list backlog as well as providing a quicker response to those patients often left in limbo.

PMQs is always on a Wednesday and to my horror, we saw Jeremy Corbyn state he wouldn’t even plan for a No-Deal Brexit. As we get closer to the 29th March, we have to show that we are prepared to walk away from a deal, this is negotiating 101 but it seems Labour would take a deal at any cost. Meanwhile, we saw the Department for Transport announce the largest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian times, with nearly £48 billion announced to improve journey times and increase capacity on the lines.

As many of you will know, this week the George Bryan Centre next to the Sir Robert Peel Hospital suffered a fire, which has caused substantial damage to the building. Thankfully all patients and staff were evacuated with no injuries reported. I want to say thank you to the hard work and bravery of all our emergency services that were on the scene last night and through to this morning. Also to the centre staff for their swift and calm actions to save lives.

I have this kept in close contact with the emergency services and the NHS Trust, as well as the Secretary of State for Health and I am reassured by the rapid and efficient response carried out in evacuating and relocation patients. The most important thing is that staff and patients are now safe, and we should allow both the Police and Fire Service to carry out their investigations.

On Friday I will be discussing with St Editha’s church the possibility of a memorial plaque commemorating all our fallen soldiers from Tamworth, a fitting tribute to those we lost in two World Wars but also more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will also be meeting the NFU and local farmers concerned about rural crime. I will be out across Tamworth over the weekend, knocking on doors and speaking to residents, so if you see me on your street or local shop do stop me for a chat!

My final thought for the week is from the Prime Minister herself. Now is the time we must “hold our nerve on Brexit talks”.