On Wednesday Parliament broke for a mini-recess. This allowed the Youth Parliament to take control of the chamber for their annual debates on a range of issues. This year following the “Make Your Mark” ballot, in which 954,766 young people voted, the Youth Parliament debated 5 key issues, including: Votes at 16 and 17, a curriculum to prepare us for life, and protecting LGBT+ People. The debates were passionate and well-articulated and no doubt a glimpse into the future as these young people forge a path for themselves with a bright future for many in politics should they wish!
This year marked the ninth year that the Youth Parliament has sat in Parliament for their annual debate and marks the start of the largest ever UK Parliament Week. Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch and Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, both praised the great work these young parliamentarians do and promised to listen to the debates closely. Standing up in the Chamber is no easy task and especially hard in front of your peers, therefore I applaud all of the members of the youth parliament for their great speeches. The final votes decided that the Youth Parliament would campaign for votes at 16 nationally and a curriculum for life for England.
Elsewhere in Parliament this week there was a further debate on the UK’s Membership of the European Economic Area and the Trade Bill was presented to Parliament by Dr Liam Fox, the International Trade Minister. The Trade Bill will focus on providing continuity for businesses and consumers including enabling the UK to transition trade agreements that currently exist between the EU and other countries, establishing a new independent body and ensuring the UK Government has the necessary powers in relations to the gathering and sharing of trade information.
While the Youth Parliament were debating their motions in Parliament on Friday, I invited the local Youth Parliament representative for Teignbridge and South Ham’s into my office. Jack was articulate and spoke at great length about the issues which he was passionate about and was looking forward to visiting Westminster. Not many people have the privilege of sitting on the green benches and besides MPs the Members of the Youth Parliament are the only people who are allowed! I wish Jack well for his future endeavours and hope we can continue a good relationship between the elected members of the Youth Parliament and myself moving forward.
Remembrance weekend was marked by a number of services within the constituency that I had the pleasure of attending. On Friday I attended the Remembrance Service at Stover School. The children knew of the reasons why we pause to pay our respects to the soldiers that have given their lives to protect our country and also those that are currently serving in our armed forces. I also was honoured to give the scripture reading at the Remembrance Sunday parade in Newton Abbot. It is important that we continue to honour those who have served and those serving now. These events allow these tributes to continue.
It was a pleasure to visit the new houses that have been built on the old Marston Court care home site. The development of ten houses have been built by a local developer and are wonderful additions to our local housing stock. It was great to see constituents enjoying their new homes and many were kind enough to show me round!
Finally Network Rail are holding a public drop in at Teignmouth Library on Wednesday 6th December from 17:00 – 19:00 regarding replacement work to be undertaken as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan on Saxe Street footbridge which is in need of replacement. A letter should also be sent to affected residents.
My next surgery will be at 14:00 in Newton Abbot, on the 17th and the 23rd November. Please call 01626 368277 to arrange an appointment.