Newsletter #9

I would like to begin my newsletter by paying tribute to my parliamentary colleague Jo Cox. Her death was an absolute tragedy and my thoughts go out to her family. Jo was quite simply an inspiration and we owe it to her to carry on fighting for those most in need.

They say you’re starting to get old when times speeds by, so I must be guilty as charged as I honestly can’t believe I have been your MP for a whole year! Having just had the Queen’s Speech, we are off again at the start of a new Parliamentary year. As you know, I try and keep my newsletter pretty much politics free, but if there are any areas of new legislation coming through that you have expertise or concerns with, please do get in touch.

Since I last wrote I’ve been out and about as usual. I’ve unveiled the new village sign and plaque in Little Shelford (the smallest village green in the UK!) and tied a joint ribbon across the river Granta in Little Abington to celebrate the joining of the Sawston and Linton Medical Centres. Recent meetings with the BMA, GPs, and staff at Addenbrooke’s remind me of the challenges the NHS faces, so I am grateful that this new partnership will be able to offer new services and extended opening hours for their patients.

I was very pleased to be invited to visit Moorlands Court in Melbourn, an extra-care housing site which supports elderly residents with their care needs. They also extend their services to the wider community by providing a day centre, home support and a community meals service. Provision of quality social care for our elderly residents is extremely important to me and I welcome the hard work and standards set by the staff at Moorlands. Having also spent a day shadowing social services, I do wonder if this may be a model for the future.

Readers will be aware of the ongoing situation with Tata Steel. In light of this, I visited The Welding Institute (TWI) at Granta Park to discuss their proposed Materials Catapult Centre which is currently under consideration by Ministers. TWI want to support the development of evolving technology areas which will help UK growth so I hope to secure a visit to TWI by the Secretary of State Sajid Javid very soon.

I also met NFU farmers and representatives from across the constituency in Harlton earlier this month to discuss the impact of the EU on trade and the rural economy. Agriculture plays a vital role in the economy of South Cambs and the wider country so we need to ensure our farms are economically viable, in our out of the EU.

Progress continues apace at Northstowe but in addition to delivering housing, I also see it as an ideal opportunity to deliver apprenticeships. As with most things in life, it’s about getting the right people around the table, so I had a really positive meeting with a range of key individuals including councillors, officers, developers, local schools and colleges. I had been disappointed to hear of the number of students leaving our colleges with no apprenticeship to go to and yet hearing from builders they are short of skilled trades. This is simply not good enough and we will make sure we don’t waste this opportunity! I’ll keep you updated on our progress with this.

Having recently held drop in surgeries in Whittlesford and Papworth, I’m heading next to Bar Hill on 9th July. Please see my website for details www.heidisouthcambs.co.uk/residents-drop-surgeries or please get in touch if I can help you with anything. You can contact me by phone on 01954 212707 or via email at heidi.allen.mp@parliament.uk.