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Last week was a week of endings and new beginnings. It saw the end of the summer term, for many schools and Parliament, the end of Theresa May’s time as our Prime Minister and the end of my, and many other colleagues’ time as Government Ministers. It has been an honour to serve this wonderful country under the dignified and committed leadership of Theresa May.
However, as these chapters come to an end, we move straight to the next chapter – with summer holidays getting off to a gloriously sunny start, a new Prime Minister launching straight into action and a new job for me. When I met with the new Prime Minister on Wednesday evening, I decided to relinquish my role as Minister for Energy and Clean Growth so that I could accept the honour of being appointed President of COP26 – the UN Climate Change conference which the UK has bid to host with Italy in 2021. It has been such a privilege to work with so many amazing civil servants in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, where we have delivered the Clean Growth Strategy, the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the Powering Past Coal Alliance and of course our COP26 bid.
Having secured the support of Cabinet for the UK bid, and delivered our world leading net zero target, I am very excited to take on this new role. It is a huge task and important opportunity to demonstrate our global leadership in tackling climate change, and our commitment to end our contribution to emissions by 2050 through the innovation and determination of UK businesses and people, which has seen us lead the world in reducing our emissions while continuing to grow our economy.
Of course, I am not the only one starting a new job, and I would like to offer my congratulations to our new Prime Minister who has already got off to a very energised start to his premiership. He will of course, face enormous challenges: a country still divided over Brexit, a very narrow majority in Parliament and a looming deadline to find a way through the current Brexit impasse. It is a tall ask, but I am confident that our new Prime Minister can succeed, so long as he works constructively with colleagues across the House, with businesses and industry, and with our friends in Europe.
With my very best wishes,
MP for the Devizes Constituency
President of COP26
In the Constituency
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Support for Major (R’td) John Winskill
I am steadfast in my determination to support my Constituents and over the last year I have been working with John Winskill from Durrington who is facing legal proceedings following a tragic incident when he was a volunteer support driver in a Race2Recovery charity event in Peru. I have raised Mr Winskill’s case with Ministers and organised a key meeting at the Foreign Office where John explained the detailed background to the incident, and the failings in the legal process in Peru. I am very pleased that following the meeting the Minister arranged for a comprehensive letter outlining the Government’s concerns to be sent from Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Peru to the Peruvian Government to request that Mr Winskill’s case is carried out transparently and expeditiously in accordance with Peruvian, and international, legal standards. I am continuing to follow developments very closely, and my thoughts are with the Winskills at this stressful time.
Local Opportunities From The Recently Announced Tourism Sector Deal
Recently the Government launched the Tourism Sector Deal which sets out an ambitious plan to grow tourism across the UK. The deal aims to deliver the infrastructure and expertise so that the tourism industry can continue to grow inbound visitor numbers by an estimated 23% by 2025. The plan includes Tourism Zones which will bring businesses and local organisations together to establish a coordinated strategy for growth in their local visitor economy and a reduction in the impact of seasonality; a commitment to deliver 30,000 apprenticeships per year, in England, by 2025; and, the creation of a Tourism Data Hub which will allow organisations, including SMEs, to make the most of the big data revolution to understand activity and product preferences in their area. More information about the Tourism Sector Deal is at [link removed]
Locally I was delighted to see the fabulous video launched by the Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership which works so hard to promote all the wonderful sights and businesses across the Pewsey Vale to tourists from far and wide. Please do take a moment to watch and share with your friends and family. [link removed]
A Lovely Afternoon at West Lavington Fete
It was a pleasure to formally open, and join so many local people at the West Lavington Fete in such glorious sunshine. I very much enjoyed visiting the many stalls and all the wonderful cakes and jams I purchased. I was delighted to hear that almost £4000 was raised from the fete for brilliant local causes including West Lavington Village Hall, The Pre-school and the Friendship Club which provides an opportunity each month for older people in the village to enjoy teas, entertainment and outings. Thank you to the organising team for inviting me, and for putting on such a great event.
Congratulations to the Wiltshire Council Children’s Services Team
I was delighted to hear from my colleague, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister for Children and Families that following a recent OFSTED inspection that Wiltshire Council Children’s Services has been rated “Good”. This is a brilliant achievement, which I know reflects the huge efforts which have been made to improve services since the last inspection in 2015. I was pleased to read that Ofsted especially noted the strong sense of the commitment of frontline staff, managers, senior leaders and elected members to delivering consistently good services for vulnerable children and families. Well done to everyone involved!
My Wiltshire App
I am often approached by Constituents seeking my help with local matters such as potholes, tree and hedge cutting, waste and recycling collections and whilst of course I am always very happy to help I wanted to highlight My Wiltshire which is a really handy and simple App where you can directly notify Wiltshire Council of a wide range of local concerns including those above and also noise nuisance, street lighting issues, fly tipping and fraud, plus many more. You can also book Registry Office appointments, inform Wiltshire Council about changes which may affect benefits and view Leisure Centre opening times. ** [link removed] ([link removed])
What The Government Has Been Doing
Looking after our Veterans
* The Prime Minister has created a new Office for Veterans’ Affairs to provide lifelong support to military personnel by ensuring the whole of Government pulls together to deliver the care our veterans deserve. The Office will coordinate and drive policy on veterans’ welfare, including mental and physical health, education and employment.
Boosting all Regions of the UK
* Setting out his domestic agenda, the Prime Minister announced a levelling up of regional growth and opportunities across the whole of the UK. This will include a new rail route between Manchester and Leeds to improve transport links across the North, a £3.6 billion Towns Fund to improve transport and broadband connectivity across the country, and more power to regional mayors.
Keeping our Streets Safe
* The Prime Minister has launched a recruitment drive to deliver 20,000 new police officers over the next three years to make our streets safer. The unprecedented drive to deliver more frontline officers will start in September with the launch of a national campaign and a new national policing board.
Rewarding our Public Sector Workers
* The Government announced that almost a million public sector workers, including police officers, prison officers, teachers, doctors and soldiers will get a higher than inflation pay rise for the second year in a row.
Protecting New Mothers in Work
* As part of the Good Work Plan, the Government announced that it will extend legal protections against redundancy by six months, so that new mothers returning to work are not discriminated against. Research has shown that up to 54,000 women a year felt they had to leave their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity discrimination, which is why we are extending redundancy protection, including those taking adoption or shared parental leave.
Key Stats from the week
* Retail sales in June increased, beating predictions. The figures take the yearly growth rate for the amount bought to 3.8% in June, an increase from May’s 2.2% year-on-year growth.
* New independent jobs figures show that there are a record number of people in work, wages are rising at their fastest pace in 11 years and the unemployment rate is at its lowest since 1974.
1. Average weekly wages have increased by 3.6% compared with a year earlier – outstripping inflation.
1. The number of people in work is at a record high, with 354,000 more people in work than this time last year, and 3.7 million more people in work since 2010.
1. In addition, there are 446,000 fewer young people out of work since 2010, with youth unemployment halving since 2010.
For more information
To find out more about what I am doing in the Constituency and in Westminster visit my website ** www.claireperry.org.uk ([link removed])
or email me at ** clai[email protected]
. I am also on Facebook ** www.facebook.com/claire4devizes ([link removed])
and Twitter ** [link removed] ([link removed])
I always try to help resolve my Constituents' personal issues and concerns and I hold Advice Surgeries at locations across the Constituency. I always try to help where I can, by raising issues directly with Ministers or writing to relevant national and local organisations. Sadly, I can’t help in every case but I am always willing to listen, and to give it a go. Please do include your full address in letters and emails as this enables me to respond more quickly to your correspondence.
Please email me at ** clai[email protected]
or call 01380 729358 if you would like to book an appointment.
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