This month started in the north west of the constituency as I was invited to open the 60th Elsworth & District horticultural show. My husband Phil and I enjoyed wandering around the stalls and seeing the impressive and sometimes misshapen(!) exhibits - see photo below.
The following day saw me in Girton opening the new sensory garden commissioned by Girton Town Charity. County Councillor Lynda Harford and I made our way around the garden, thoroughly impressed by the charity’s determination to turn a scrap of land into a beautiful facility the whole village can enjoy. Having held a surgery at nearby Abbeyfield, Girton Green back in July, it was good to be back in the village to see how their community café had welcomed in local residents. I really would recommend it for a cuppa and a slice of cake. I know the residents love chatting to mums and their kids as it helps keep those grey cells active!
Talking of grey cells, I was delighted to attend the presentation of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation to Geo. This developer of smart home energy products, based in Hardwick, was recognised for its technical and business success and the key role they have played in introducing ground-breaking solutions to help consumers control their home energy usage. I am constantly reminded of just how many technology success stories we have tucked away in our beautiful villages. The employment opportunities they create make us very lucky indeed.
Many readers will know I have a corner of Cambridge City in my constituency too, so it was a pleasure to visit EF, an international language school. After a tour of their Hills Road campus I joined a group of students for a question and answer session. I recognise that international students are an asset not only to our local community, but also the UK economy as they progress onto higher education courses around the country.
The biggest news this month is that her Majesty the Queen has awarded a royal title to Papworth Hospital. I am bursting with pride that the Royal Papworth Hospital will become the first royal hospital in the East of England! Offering first class care whilst also undertaking pioneering and ground-breaking work, it is fitting this honour should come during the hospital’s centenary year and as they make the move to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
I was honoured and deeply touched to receive personal recognition from the disability charity Sense recently, as I was awarded “Parliamentarian of the Year” at their 2017 awards ceremony. Sense is a truly amazing organisation, working tirelessly to improve the opportunities for people with incredibly complex needs and I am glad I was able to meet some of the staff, carers and volunteers who donate so much time, passion and energy to help the most vulnerable of people.
Re-elected recently to the Work and Pensions select committee, I now also chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Young Disabled People. We want to provide a great response to the Minister, Paul Maynard’s recently announced Accessibility Action Plan Consultation. What more needs to be done to improve transport accessibility for disabled people? If you have any experience of this, especially if it is on a point that might not have been identified in the consultation, please can I encourage you to contribute? The consultation closes on 15th November and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-transport-accessibility-action-plan If you are unable to access the internet or require the consultation document in a different format, please write to: Accessibility Action Plan Consultation, Department for Transport, Zone 2/14, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR.
My next constituency surgery is on Saturday 21st October from 10am to 12pm at the Melbourn Community Hub, 30 High Street, Melbourn SG8 6DZ. This is a drop-in event with no appointment necessary. Details of all the upcoming surgeries can be found on my website at www.heidisouthcambs.co.uk/residents-drop-surgeries. You’ll also find further information about my work and news stories there.
To contact me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also phone my Westminster Office on 020 7219 5091 about national issues or my constituency office on 01223 830 037 to raise local concerns. See you soon!
Photo mentioned above: Phil and I admiring one of the exhibits at the Elsworth show!