Posts Tagged ‘Bedford & Kempston’
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.
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.”
Richard has signed a motion calling for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate allegations of price-fixing by British oil companies. The motion, initiated by Robert Halfon MP and supported by a number of MPs across all parties, is likely to be debated in Parliament in September.
Richard said, “As the Times and Citizen fuel campaign has shown over recent months, our local petrol prices are unjustifiably high. Although the Government has already done a great deal to support the motorist – stopping the 3p August rise, scrapping the January rise, and cutting fuel duty by 1p in 2011 – there is much more that should be done to challenge the oil companies and their part in keeping petrol prices high.
“The OFT has failed to tackle the oil companies and that’s why I am calling for an OFT investigation – a crucial next step in the T&C’s campaign for fairer fuel prices.”
Robert Halfon MP added, “I’m delighted that Richard is campaigning for cheaper petrol and diesel. To be fair to the Government, they have now cut fuel duty by 10p, compared with what Labour were planning. But it’s essential that we also crack down on the oil companies to make sure they pass on cheaper oil process at the pumps. That’s why Richard and I are pressing for a full enquiry by the OFT.”
Richard welcomed the Government’s announcement on rail investment for 2015-19 that places Bedford at the centre of new investment in our railways.
Richard commented, “These plans will upgrade the Midland Mainline, which connects London through Bedford to Sheffield, by electrifying the line from Bedford northwards. The announcment also reconfirmed the Government’s commitment to re-building – and fully electrifying – the railway between Bedford and Oxford as part of the East-West Rail Project. The Department for Transport will also be continuing discussions with local authorities to secure the final piece of the East-West rail line that will connect Bedford to Cambridge and beyond.
“Bedford and Kempston have a proud rail heritage and I am delighted that Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Transport has recognised this in today’s announcement. Although scheduled some time ahead, these investments emphasise Bedford’s centrality for commerce and will provide a long term boost to the potential for local job creation.”
Richard attended the Armed Forces Day parade, which took place in Bedford town centre last Sunday. The parade consisted of armed service personnel from the past, present and future.
On Monday, a ceremony was held for the signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant – a statement of mutual support between the civilian community and the armed forces community, which includes service personnel and their families as well as reservists and veterans.
The Covenant aims to encourage local communities to support the armed forces community and to promote understanding and awareness of the issues affecting them, as well as remembering the sacrifices made by them.
Twelve town centres across the country – including Bedford – will have a unique opportunity to revitalise their high streets after being selected to be the first Portas Pilots.
Richard was delighted to learn that the Bedford ”Town Team”, led by BedfordBID and created to bid for Mary Portas cash, has been awarded £50,000. Richard welcomed the announcement as another positive piece of news for Bedford that will bring a much needed boost to our town centre and he congratulated the Town Team for their “enthusiasm and vision, which clearly came across in the application”.
Local Government Minister, Grant Shapps, praised the exceptional quality of the winning bids, which will each receive funding and a tailored package of support from both the Minister and retail guru Mary Portas.
The winning video submission can be found here.
Last Saturday, Richard waved off a train load of people from Bedford railway station, who were treated to a day out in Brighton by First Capital Connect (FCC).
On board was a party of almost 40 from Foxgloves Children’s Home and Sunflower House, as well as other children with disabilities from around Bedford. On-board, the group was entertained by a clown, face painters and a magician and in Brighton, they enjoyed events put on by the Brighton Fringe.
The trip was organised by FCC to celebrate the end of cross-London engineering works on the Thameslink route.
Richard recently attended the opening ceremony of the newly named Phil Cottier Field next to the International Athletics Stadium on Barkers Lane, home to our very own American Football team, the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders.
Phil Cottier, who tragically died last year, was a League official for 20 years and the Blue Raiders’ first youth coach.
After a few words by Richard, the team’s honorary president, the field was officially opened by Phil’s widow, Marion, ahead of the team’s first pre-season game against the Ipswich Cardinals.
Prospective investors were introduced to the Advisory Board of The Bedford Business Fund at an event at Colworth Science Park last Tuesday.
The Bedford Business EIS Fund, which will be managed by the FSE Group, will seek to raise £500K to invest in businesses in the Bedford area over the next two years.
The Advisory Board, which will provide the local input and knowledge to guide the fund managers, is made up of Bedford business leaders. At the event, the Board members were introduced by Chairman, Justin Phillimore. They are:-
• Justin Phillimore – Group Finance Director, Charles Wells Ltd (Chairman)
• Dougie Hunter – Chief Executive, Aircraft Research Association (Deputy Chairman)
• Ian Carlisle – former Managing Director, Autoglass Ltd
• Nick Kier – Founding Partner, Lane & Holmes Estate Agents
• William Naylor – former Commercial Director, Gibbs and Dandy Group
“We believe the Bedford Business Fund is an important initiative to address the financing gap so many small companies are experiencing. Bedford is a great location to start a business and we think there is an important role we can play as a local community to support the next generation of business owners.”
During the evening, the appointed Fund Managers – the FSE Group – presented the fund prospectus and answered questions from the floor about the mechanics of the fund and the organisation’s track record in managing investments.
Summing up the evening, Richard called on local people with an interest to invest to “step up” to make Bedford the “best place in the country to start a new business”.
“Future jobs will come from entrepreneurs employing small numbers of people and we should do all we can to support those who have the courage to start something new and create local employment.”
For the fund prospectus and contact details, please visit: