Richard Fuller MP

Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

cutting income tax

Richard has welcomed a new tax cut for hardworking people in Bedford and Kempston.

The personal allowance rose to £10,000 on Sunday 6 April, taking nearly 400 people in Bedford out of income tax altogether. Taxes have been cut for more than 25 million people across the country, with over three million now taken out of paying income tax altogether.

Because of tax cuts since 2010, the typical taxpayer is now paying £705 less in income tax than they were.

Taxes will be cut even further next year when the personal allowance is set to rise again to £10,500, as announced in the 2014 Budget.

Richard commented:

‘This tax cut is excellent news for hardworking people.

‘This is the third time this Government has cut income tax, benefitting nearly 44,000 people here in Bedford and Kempston, with 4,817 people now taken out of income tax altogether.

‘Cutting taxes is a key part of the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan to build a better future for Britain. These cuts mean around 44,000 people are keeping more of the money they’ve worked hard to earn, giving them and their families more financial security for the future.’

Richard pledges support for the My Voice, My Vote campaign

Richard pledges support for the My Voice, My Vote campaign

Richard Fuller, has pledged his support for My Voice, My Vote –  a new, independent all-party campaign to support young first time voters to take social action in their community as a way to encourage their involvement in the democratic process.

Richard commented: “I’m pleased to be lending my support to the My Voice, My Vote campaign to increase young people’s engagement in politics and the democratic process through taking social action. It benefits all of us if young people are more engaged in politics and exercise their democratic rights more actively.”

My Voice, My Vote is a programme of UpRising, a new charity that has Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband as its three founding Patrons.  Richard is a local Ambassador for the UpRising programme which has been running in Bedford for the past three years.

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Richard Fuller and Alistair Burt at debate on Bedford Magistrates' Court

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On Tuesday 25th March, local MPs Richard Fuller and Alistair Burt held an Adjournment Debate in Parliament on Bedford Magistrates’ Court.

The debate was in response to an announcement in February by the ‘Justices Issues Group’ in Bedfordshire that all criminal and civil cases would be removed from Bedford Magistrates’ Court and heard in Luton instead.

During the debate, Bedford MP Richard Fuller expressed his concerns that the decision would effectively lead to the closure of Bedford Magistrates’ Court. He said,

“This is a crucial issue for local people. It affects access to justice, the ability of people to get to their magistrates court.”

“It is being presented as a reallocation of case loads, but it is not a reallocation of case loads. It is a closure of Bedford Magistrates’ Court by the back door, cleverly but unfairly bypassing the rights of the people.”

Alistair Burt added,

“This is a closure by other means, and an administrative dodge used to ensure that the decision avoids the Minister.”

The MPs called on the Minister to take a close look at the decision and to see whether he might be able to intervene.

The Minister agreed to come to Bedford to meet with the MPs and local people affected by the decision.

bbcschoolreport
Students across Bedford and Kempston have taken part in the 2014 BBC School Report. BBC News School Report gives 11-16 year-old students in the UK the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience.

Year 8 students from St Andrew’s School in Bedford grilled Bedford MP, Richard Fuller about his school-days, his work and even his favourite sweet shop! While Sophie, a year 7 student at Bedford Modern School, asked Richard for his thoughts on racism and diversity.

The full reports are available at St Andrew’s School Report and at Bedford Modern School Report (News Article 005).

Richard with Mr Bosco of AB Fruits

Richard with Mr Bosco of AB Fruits

Richard welcomed the exciting news that Bedford company, AB Fruits, has won a contract to supply fruit and vegetables to Chequers – the Prime Minister’s official country residence.

Even more exciting news reached Bedford when it became known that AB’s produce was served to the Queen and Prince Philip when they dined at Chequers last month.

Richard said:
“I am thrilled that a successful local business has won the contract to supply David Cameron’s official residence and that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed their produce too. When I visited AB Fruits, I was very impressed with the operation run by Antonio Bosco and his three sons. The quality of their produce is excellent and I am delighted that a thriving Bedford business has won such a prestigious contract.”

Mr Bosco of AB Fruits added:
“We were over the moon to win the contract with Chequers and are very proud that that our local family-run company has the Prime Minister’s Head Chef as a customer.”

Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford and Kempston, has expressed his disgust at the actions of local health groups that has resulted in the cancellation of a much needed improvement to mental health services in Bedford.

In 2010, Bedfordshire PCT, the forerunner of local commissioning groups, agreed a contract with mental health provider SEPT that included a commitment for SEPT to invest £17.9m to upgrade the facilities in Bedfordshire and Luton.

In the first three years, SEPT invested £10m in “direct upgrading and re-provision of mental health and learning disabilities services” with the majority of this, £5.9m, being spent in Luton.
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Parliament has agreed to increase the maximum sentences that can be given to the owners of dangerous dogs that kill or injure people or an assistance dog.

The move followed an amendment by local MP, Richard Fuller, and a public consultation that endorsed an increase. As a result, the maximum sentence will increase from just two years to fourteen years under provisions in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.

Speaking after the final Commons debate on the Bill, Richard said:

“I was appalled to learn that the average sentence given to a dog owner when their out of control dog kills a child was just eight weeks.

“I am glad that the Government has listened and has now brought the maximum sentence in line with that for causing death by dangerous driving.

“What people need to know is if you own a dog which kills or seriously harms someone, you are responsible.”

You can watch Richard’s contribution to the debate on the Bill here and a transcript is available here

The release of national school results lets me recognise the dedication, hard work and results of teachers, and the support staff, at our schools in Bedford and Kempston.

In 2010, local schools were 13 percentage points behind the national average for the proportion of students achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths.
Now, that gap is down to 8.8%, and 52% of students achieve that standard in Bedford and Kempston schools compared to just 42% in 2010.

Though not always consistent, each step of progress has to be hard won.
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Richard Fuller supports Big Energy Saving Week

Following on from his own energy advice events in December, local MP Richard Fuller has this week shown his support for Big Energy Saving Week, which will help people in Bedford and Kempston to cut hundreds of pounds from their energy bills.

The campaign, which runs from 27-31 January 2014, gives practical advice to consumers on how to save money by checking, switching and insulating their homes. Citizens Advice Bureaux are running over 500 events to help consumers get advice on how to cut their bills during the week.

Big Energy Saving Week is run by Citizens Advice and supported by charities, the Government and the energy industry. By following the advice, consumers could save:

    - £100 average saving paying by direct debit rather than cash or cheque
    - Up to £200 saving for switching tariff or supplier if you have never switched before
    - £320 average saving from insulation and other energy saving measures

Richard said:
“Big Energy Saving Week is a great opportunity to take action and cut your energy costs. I encourage everyone to see what they could do to reduce their bills and make sure they aren’t paying more than they need to.”

Consumers can visit the Big Energy Saving Week stall in the Harpur Centre in Bedford today (Wednesday) or they can drop in to the CAB on St Paul’s Square on Thursday.

People can also get help and advice online at www.bigenergysavingweek.org.uk, or can join in a CAB twitter chat on Thursday 30 January. You can see a full list of events at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/besw_events.htm.

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