So, Autumn is upon us and the return to Parliament has started with a bang. I’m keeping a close eye on some of the new legislation coming through as I believe there may be some great opportunities. Through the Digital Economy Bill I want to explore whether we can legislate for all TV companies to provide subtitles. Also, a universal broadband standard could be transformative for the constituency. The Neighbourhood Planning Bill could set mandatory levels of accessible housing in all new developments, something our disabled and elderly residents know is often in short supply. If you have ideas regarding any of the new legislation, please do keep them coming.
Of course, a busy week in Parliament is always matched by busier weekends in the constituency. I visited a number of fundraising events during the last of the summer sunshine - the Steeple Harvest Fair which I was delighted to open (and even better – judge the children’s fancy dress and dog classes!), Guilden Morden Food Fayre and the Orchard Manor Summer Fete. All had a great turnout and I am thrilled to see Orchard Manor in Meldreth thriving under new owners, Aurora Care. I campaigned to keep this vital facility open and it’s brilliant to see it growing.
I kept up my contact with local NHS organisations by meeting with the incoming Chair and Chief Executive of the CCG, and attending the 250th Anniversary celebration for Addenbrooke’s Hospital. It didn’t surprise me to hear that Addenbrooke’s was the first hospital to deliver bedside examinations; they continue to provide outstanding care for our constituency and I’d like to take this opportunity to place my thanks on record for the outstanding service they provide.
On one particularly busy day, en route to Sawston Nursery to hear about the challenges of providing government funded childcare and Babraham CofE School (what a fantastic school!), I stopped by Reed Autos in Foxton who were hosting a ‘Green Garage Event’. They’re aiming to do their bit for the environment by providing courtesy electric cars and bicycles. Not only did they source an emergency tyre for me the very next day when I had a puncture, they have also just won the East of England Apprenticeships award for 2016. That’s what I call a full service! Thanks and well done to Reeds Autos.
I also dropped into Gilead Sciences who are one of our bioscience pioneers in Granta Park, pioneering investigational drugs for cancer, HIV and hepatitis C. My inner science nerdiness really enjoyed hearing from such a passionate and forward focused team. South Cambridgeshire has an unrivalled reputation for bio-sciences and it’s important we support them as we transition through Brexit.
I had an extremely positive meeting with Stephen Kelly, the new Joint director of Planning and Economic Development at South Cambs District Council. He is dedicated to improving the service of his department and is determined to make planning a fair and transformative system for all. The job isn’t going to be easy but he is committed to delivering change and I support his initiatives to recruit more planners to his department which will give a better service to all.
You might have seen the new Constituency Boundary Proposals which came out in September. You can see what is suggested for South Cambridgeshire and have your say by visiting this website www.bce2018.org.uk I was bitterly disappointed to see suggestion that the Mordens, Bassingbourn and Melbourn be moved into a Hertfordshire constituency. If you feel as I do, please make your voice heard! They are part of South Cambridgeshire and always must be.
As always, please do get in touch with any issues and you’re welcome come to my “no appointment needed” drop in surgeries. The next dates are Saturday 19th November and 10th December. You can find full details on my website www.heidisouthcambs.co.uk/residents-drop-surgeries or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 01954 212707.