Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham
12:00pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in Latest News
In Westminster last week I highlighted the opportunities for rural areas like ours that can come from City Deals to the minister for the rural economy.
When I meet the minister to discuss the Swindon and Wiltshire City Deal bid I will be highlighting how we can build a stronger economy by unlocking unused Ministry of Defence land, attracting more jobs to the area and assisting a local university to open a new campus in our part of Wiltshire.
On Wednesday, I was able to ask David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions about how he could use Britain’s G8 leadership this year to tackle the root causes of hunger around the world. Land grabs by large companies have become common in much of Africa. This, and using food for fuel, are major obstacles to those countries feeding their own people.
Last week, I raised concerns with the Ministry of Defence after the announcement of a new round of redundancies to military personnel.
I sought to encourage ministers to avoid a financial cliff edge effect for service personnel just short of pension milestones. Whilst I recognise the need for reductions given the dire state of public finances I think every care should be taken to treat our service personnel fairly.
I was pleased to learn this week of the achievements of the HeadSmart campaign in increasing awareness of brain tumours in our schools. Spotting symptoms early can help save some of the 500 children and young people that die from brain tumours nationally every year. I was happy to support local campaigner Danica Marshall and I am delighted the symptom cards have now bee rolled out across schools in the county.
On Friday I met with tenants of Sellwood Housing to discuss their priorities for improving local affordable housing stock. Shortly after, I had the pleasure of officially opening the learning and support facility and new medical room at Chippenham’s Sheldon School.
The new facilities are looking fantastic and I’m sure the improved classrooms will help local children to learn as well as enjoy their time at Sheldon even more.
After an over-subscribed surgery at Bradford and Avon Library, my next constituency surgeries will be at Pound Arts Centre in Corsham tomorrow from 4.30pm to 6pm; Melksham Town Hall on Friday, February 8 (10am-11.30am); and then at my office in Chippenham on Saturday, February 16 (10am-11.30am).