Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - More needs to be done to support carers’ needs

In September, I attended an event for Carer Support Wiltshire’s friends and supporters to hear about the free advice and assistance the charity provides to 8,000 unpaid carers across the county.

The coalition government is introducing new measures to support them and thousands more like them in the Care Bill currently going through Parliament.

At Health Questions in the House of Commons last week, I pointed out that carers can only benefit from this extra support if they know about it, and pressed the Care Minister to ensure that local authorities work with hospitals and GPs to identify them and stop their needs going unnoticed.

Last week I wrote about the terrible destruction in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan. In the Commons, I raised with the International Development Secretary concerns from constituents about the lack of aid reaching some of the more remote island communities where their relatives live. I asked her to make sure that there are no delays in distributing the supplies to those affected.

Having visited the site of a proposed solar farm east of Melksham last month, I asked the Energy Minister when the government will publish its Community Energy Strategy so that we can learn the process for agreeing how any community dividend from such projects will be distributed in the local area.

I also pushed ministers to make sure that energy-efficiency standards for new buildings are enforced so that households do not end up paying for poor insulation in their energy bills.

I recently listened to an informative presentation to Transcoco (Transition Community Corsham) members by a local early adopter of the government’s Green Deal for improving energy efficiency. The assessment he was given had revealed some pretty fundamental flaws in his home’s energy conservation, despite it having been built less than ten years ago.

On Wednesday I voted for Wiltshire Scrapstore in the People’s Millions competition, and was delighted to hear that they won the funding they’d asked for. I look forward to stopping in for a cup of tea and cake at their new café, once it opens.

My last constituency surgeries before Christmas will be at my office in Avonbridge House, Chippenham, on Monday (10am-11.30am) and on December 13 (9.30am-11am).

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