The budget is one of the most important events in the political calendar, especially when it also coincides with a new parliamentary term. The truth is though that the budget process is much more than a speech on a Wednesday afternoon in March; the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been preparing for it for months.
This week I had a meeting with the Chancellor, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, with my fellow Leicestershire MP, Alicia Kearns, to discuss what the forthcoming budget needs to deliver in order to help our county.
As you might expect it has been another busy week both in London and the constituency, I have:
- Attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Zoos and Aquariums in Westminster. The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) promote the important conservation work of zoos like our own Twycross Zoo.
- Asked the Transport Minister in the House of Commons about what can be done to simplify rail fares? Only one quarter of train users say that they fully understand the fares system, if we want people to switch to using the train then the way tickets are sold needs to be much more transparent and straightforward.
- Welcomed members of Bosworth’s Young Conservatives group to the Palace of Westminster.
- Started to make a number of enquiries with Ministers and local bodies about policy issues and ideas raised by my constituents.
- Speaking to Leicestershire County Council about broadband and mobile connectivity coverage in the constituency.
- Continued my induction as a Member of Parliament by attending a briefing from Government Whips – you never stop learning!
- Attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group for District and Borough Councils. For most of us when we mention ‘the council’ we mean our local Borough Council, it’s important that the Government hears their collective voice.
- Met with the Chief Executive of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council to discuss emerging issues in my constituency; we talked about many things including improving the A5, and ensuring home builders start constructing in a timely fashion when they are given planning permission – potentially a really important way of preventing undesirable new developments from being approved.
- Held a meeting with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Baroness Morgan of Cotes, about a campaign I am working on – more details in future weeks!
- Visited Chris’s Fish ‘n’ Chips in Barwell who this week won the national British Takeaway ‘Game Changer’ Award for leading the way in sustainability, offering healthy choices and supporting the community. The kebab and chips were delicious too!
- …and held my first formal surgery where constituents can come and talk with me about any matter of importance to them.