Wayne Instrell, Bedford Academy student and Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport Student of the Year 2012′, received a special visit from his MP, Richard Fuller, on 19th April.
The Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport Awards’ celebrate the successful way UK secondary schools are using Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport’, a free initiative delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, to inspire young people through sport. The Awards offer UK schools the opportunity to shine a light on their pupils’ sporting journeys and share their stories of success.
Wayne was chosen as the winner of the overall Student of the Year Award because of the transformation in his behaviour since participating in a Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport’ project. Before the project, Wayne was having difficulty in school and was no longer participating in mainstream lessons because of bullying. Since participating in the project, Wayne has returned full time to mainstream lessons and is no longer afraid to contribute in class. He has also increased the amount of extracurricular activities he takes part in and volunteers his time to the school’s sports leaders.
Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford, arranged the visit to Bedford Academy so that he could congratulate Wayne on his award in person and learn more about the ‘Living for Sport’ project.
So said Bedford and Kempston MP, Richard Fuller, in Prime Minister’s Questions today, with the Prime Minister agreeing about Bedford’s “leadership in all things”.
Richard had raised the issue of encouraging new businesses and securing employment. He spoke of the example Bedford is setting by being the first area in the country to set up a Local Enterprise Fund, in which people who care about Bedford and Kempston have raised £400,000 to invest in businesses locally.
The Prime Minister showed support for the fund that Richard has spearheaded and said that we need to see more enterprise and more businesses starting.
Bedford and Kempston MP, Richard Fuller, has joined calls for a freeze in beer duty in the March Budget by sending a special ‘message in a barrel’ to the Chancellor at an event in Parliament.
The hand-crafted oak barrel, an iconic symbol of Britain’s world-renowned brewing and pub industry, is a reminder of how important brewing and pubs are to the Bedford and Kempston constituency, says Richard.
The barrel, with its calls for a freeze in beer duty, was later delivered to the Treasury by MPs and representatives of the British Beer & Pub Association, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers).
“I strongly support calls for a duty freeze, and I hope the Chancellor will listen. The brewing and pub industries are incredibly important to our town. The Charles Wells brewery was founded in 1876 in Bedford and is still going strong nearly 140 years later. Nearly 2,000 local people are employed by the industry and I do not want any further increases in duty to put any of these jobs in jeopardy.”
Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, which organised the event, added:
“I want to thank Richard for championing beer and pubs in Bedford. Beer tax hikes are not raising more revenues for the Government, and with a duty freeze we can create many more local jobs.”
MP for Bedford and Kempston, Richard Fuller, spoke out for pregnant women in the asylum system at an event in Parliament on Monday 25 February.
Richard was hosting the launch of new research from The Refugee Council and Maternity Action that showed UK Border Agency policies are putting the health of hundreds of pregnant women and their babies at risk, by moving them to accommodation around the country, thereby removing them from essential healthcare and leading to isolation.
The charities are calling for women in the asylum system to be allowed to prepare for motherhood and access the healthcare they need.
Richard Fuller MP said:
“Every woman should be allowed dignity in pregnancy, no matter what their immigration status. The Government has recognised this with recent changes but I want to see them go further to ensure a health pregnancy and birth.”
The report explains that asylum seeking women in the UK have high risk pregnancies, often due to serious mental and physical health conditions having fled torture, or sexual violence in their own countries. The study found, however, that due to UKBA’s policies, such women are being separated from the specialist treatment they need throughout their pregnancies, contrary to guidance from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
On Tuesday 5th February, the House of Commons debated a Bill aimed at allowing same sex couples to marry. I attended the House of Commons for the entirety of the debate because I wanted to listen to points raised on both sides, and I am glad that I did so. I also spoke in the debate to explain why, though I share the ambitions of the Bill, I would be abstaining in the vote in order to ensure that concerns expressed with anomalies in, and potential consequences of, the bill would be taken seriously as the Bill progresses. You can view a video of my contribution to the debate below, or you can read a transcript here.
The Department of Health has announced that Bedford Borough will receive a 20% increase in its public health budget over two years.
From April 2013, public health budgets will be ring-fenced for the first time, with local authorities taking the lead for improving the health of their local communities. This will help drive local efforts to improve health and wellbeing by tackling the wider determinants of poor health.
The funds, provided by the Government specifically to improve public health, total £5.45 billion for the two year period. Bedford Borough will receive a 10% increase in 2013/14 and a further 10% increase in 2014/15.
Local MP, Richard Fuller, was delighted at the news, commenting “The Government clearly recognises the need to target health inequalities and to help people live longer, healthier lives.
“For the first time, this funding is being specifically targeted at those areas that need it most – based on advice from an independent expert group: the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA).
“It is a major investment in health and the prevention of illness in Bedford and Kempston.”
As you may be aware, the Prime Minister has detailed his view of the UK’s future relationship with the EU. In short, Mr Cameron has clearly declared that the EU needs to change; that ‘ever closer union’ is not the right path; and that he will seek a better relationship for Britain.
Importantly, he will put the outcome of these negotiations to a referendum where people can decide to accept a new settlement or to leave the EU.
As I have said before, I want the British people to be given a choice over our future with the EU. To this end, I am pleased that the Prime Minister has committed to holding an ‘in/out’ referendum. As he must have time to negotiate a better position for Britain, I see the merit in deferring this until no later than the end of 2017.
I realise that some people are calling for an immediate in-out referendum, but a vote today between the status quo and leaving would be – as I said previously – a false choice. The EU is in a state of flux while the Eurozone countries work out their new relationship. For a vote to be held there must be clarity of the choice on offer.
Cranfield Audio’s Managing Director, Roger Samels, welcomed local MP, Richard Fuller, and the other guests to the company’s showroom facilities on Adams Road, Kempston.
Roger said “My father started his local electrical wiring business in 1959 and I am delighted that the new CAL showroom can bring the best in audio to our existing and new customers.”
Richard met the team, viewed the latest developments in HiFi and home cinema in the two new demonstration areas at Cranfield Audio and chatted to guests from CAL’s suppliers who represent some of the very best names in the HiFi and Audio-visual industry, such as Tannoy, Quad, Roksan, Rega and Musical Fidelity.
Gregory Colton, Technical Sales Manager added “We are tremendously supportive of quality products, and it is surprising how many are still manufactured here in the UK.”
Richard has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement today that veterans of the Arctic Convoy will be awarded their own medal, while members of Bomber Command will receive a medal clasp as recognition of the vital roles that they played during World War Two.
Arctic Convoy veterans, including some residents of Bedford, have long been fighting for their own campaign medal. Last December, Richard wrote to the Prime Minister on behalf of local constituents to press for recognition of those who served on the Arctic Convoys.
Richard said: “We owe an immense debt of gratitude to the brave sailors who served on the arctic convoys in almost unimaginable conditions. Ensuring that supplies reached our allies in Russia was an incredibly important part of the war effort and I am pleased that these veterans will now get the official recognition that they deserve.”
During the recent debate on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, Richard called on the Government to do more to support business and to encourage job creation:
“Enterprise and regulatory reform, part of the title of the Bill, are words to bring succour to those who work in the engine room of the British economy — words that can take a thousand ideas for a new business, which have been discussed over a pint or sketched out on paper, and transform them into job-making, wealth-creating vehicles of growth.
“The anticipation for the Bill is almost tangible, but I fear that it will fall short of fulfilling the hopeful expectations. Where is the rolling back of the myriad fees and charges that are blithely imposed on businesses; where is the relief for shopkeepers from the sky-high rateable values set at the peak of Labour’s boom-cum-bust; and where is the implementation of our policy to roll back job-destroying EU regulation?
“The Bill’s proceedings should have started with a rallying call to our businesses that this Government are unambiguously on their side; a statement cherishing the principles of the free market as the most liberating force for social good; a determination to embrace, defend and expand the global free market that has lifted hundreds of millions of people from poverty, to which too many were consigned by the misguided socialist policies of the past; a rebuttal of the insidious assumption, which too often underlies Government intervention, that, left to their own devices, people who run their own business cannot be trusted. That assumption should be replaced by a presumption of trust that in starting and growing businesses, people are doing the essential work of a grateful nation, burdened by its debts and seeking the wealth to maintain its cherished public services.