Select committees have become increasingly important in parliament as a way of holding the government to account. Committees closely shadow the work of a government department and scrutinise its actions; they act very much as a critical friend and, sometimes, as a constructive opposition.
This week saw the election of select committees for this parliamentary term and I was fortunate to be elected by my fellow MPs onto the Health and Social Care Committee under the chairmanship of the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP. I very much hope that my professional background will allow me to make a positive contribution towards the work of the committee in the coming years.
As you might expect it’s been a very busy week, this week I have:
- Met once again with fellow Leicestershire MPs to discuss fairer funding for local public services and the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections when we will be supporting our excellent candidate Rupert Matthews.
- Held a meeting with the Transport Secretary, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, to discuss the reopening of the Ivanhoe Line from Burton on Trent to Leicester in the north of my constituency.
- Marked World Cancer Day by meeting campaigners calling for better diagnosis and treatment of less survivable cancers through targeted investment.
- Continued working on my pre-budget submission to ensure government is aware of the needs of the Hinckley and Bosworth area.
- Asked the Church Commissioners for England about the nationwide increase in lead thefts from church roofs.
- And asked the Health Minister about preparedness for dealing with a potential outbreak of Coronavirus in the Hinckley and Bosworth area.
- I also asked the Education Minister about home to school transport for special schools, an area which is seeing significantly increased funding demands.
- Met with specialist House of Commons staff to further discuss an ongoing campaign which I will be launching in the coming weeks.
- Visited Hinckley based employer DS Smith to see their state-of-the-art packaging plant. It was wonderful to see how cardboard packaging is recycled over and over again, how packaging technology is changing, and how a local business is working hard to minimise their environmental impact.
- Took part in the recording of the ‘Politics East Midlands’ programme, which will be broadcast this Sunday Morning on BBC 1.