Nigel Huddleston's Westminster Diary - The Evesham Observer

Nigel Huddleston's Westminster Diary

Evesham Editorial 19th Dec, 2017   0

IN RECENT weeks, the Chancellor has delivered his latest Budget and the Prime Minister has successfully completed the first phase of Brexit negotiations.

The Budget saw around 300 new measures that looked to strengthen key services like schools and hospitals at the same time as investing in new and exciting technologies like Artificial Intelligence and driverless cars.

Of particular note was an ambitious new housing programme that will look to address the challenges young people and first time buyers are facing in the challenging current market.

It was also encouraging to see the completion of a Phase 1 Brexit deal that stuck to the key principles of the Lancaster House and Florence speeches at the same time as cleverly navigating complicated talks on issues like EU citizens’ rights and the Irish border.

The Prime Minister and her team deserve considerable credit for the tireless work they have done to achieve this over recent weeks.

In Westminster, I had the opportunity to raise the issue of grandparents’ access rights during PMQs.

Currently, some grandparents experience what they call a “living bereavement” and are unable to see or build a relationship with their grandchildren.

I have received help from Esther Rantzen and others in pushing this issue and was glad to hear a positive answer from the Prime Minister. I also opened the Parliament and Internet Conference, which brought politicians, academics and security experts together to discuss the most pressing policy issues regarding the internet.

Back in Worcestershire, I enjoyed a busy “Small Business Saturday”, which is an initiative set up by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to celebrate the contribution of smaller independent businesses to the British economy and way of life.

Starting in Evesham, I met David Chill and his team at Mr Chill’s Traditional Sweet Emporium, I was also glad to visit businesses like Vale Pianos in Throckmorton and Checketts Fine Foods in Ombersley.

Other local highlights in the constituency this month have included a high energy Google-led “Internet Legends” assembly at St Egwin’s school and an important meeting with Evesham Vale Refugee Welcome Group.

I would also like to take the brief opportunity to thank all of those who have worked tirelessly to make our highways usable after our first significant dump of snow in the county.

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