Well, October was an interesting month!
If you are not an active news reader, listener or watcher, you may not know that I made my official maiden speech in Parliament on 20th October. Although I had spoken in the Chamber on many occasions since my election in May, I had not so far made a “formal” speech. A local parish publication is not the place to be political so I won’t spend too long talking about its content – but suffice to say I failed miserably to follow the conventions of a maiden speech! Short, yes…. polite, I hope so…but uncontroversial, no!
In brief, I challenged the Government’s approach to tax credit reform, requesting that the pace be slowed down and the impact reconsidered. If you’d like to read the full text, you can do so here…..
I would like to say thank you for the overwhelming support I received from South Cambridgeshire constituents. I was literally inundated with emails, letters, tweets and phone calls. It was a challenging time for me with my party, so I am so grateful for your backing. The most pleasing result is that the Chancellor agreed to look at mitigating the effects of the reforms and we will hear his plans in the Autumn statement.
We have had a lot of what we call “sitting Fridays” in Westminster, which means my time in the constituency was restricted in October. However, I was delighted to help open Cottenham’s new £640 000 sports pavilion, alongside three-time Paralympic medallist Dan West. This was such a successful community project. It was great to see local builders, engineers and residents come together to deliver a valuable asset for the community. Well done team Cottenham and thank you for the early morning champers!
Later in the month, I met with representatives of the student bodies of Homerton and Girton colleges to discuss the new student finance proposals. It became very clear to me how the way Government communicates change can really make or break the implementation of a policy. Students were concerned about the thought of having more debt as maintenance grants are changed to loans, despite the fact that they would be unlikely to have to pay it back. But it shows we must never forget how people “feel” – it’s not just about black and white policy.
On the same day I met with a group of Junior Doctors from Addenbrooke’s hospital in light of the proposed changes to contracts. As I listened to the variety of specialisms and careers they were engaged in, it was a useful reminder for me that the word “Junior” is so misleading. These doctors will have up to 10 years of clinical experience under their belts and are an essential part of our NHS. It is vital any new contract is fit for purpose so I will continue working with them to ensure their voices are heard.
As always, you can contact me by Heidi.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 01954 212707 Twitter @HeidiAllen75/ My next surgery is 11 December please contact my office for an appointment