David's article for local media on the RAF

“The RAF has a strong presence in Buckinghamshire, nowhere more so than in Walters Ash, Naphill and Bradenham.

I recently spent a day at RAF High Wycombe. I was wearing two hats. I am both the local constituency MP and also a member of the National Security Council, chaired by the Prime Minister , which brings together senior ministers with armed forces, civil service and intelligence chiefs to discuss both domestic and international threats to our country.

It was a fascinating visit. I spent the morning being briefed on current challenges, from issues to do with recruitment and equipment through to operational matters. We discussed the steps being taken to recruit more women and more people from ethnic communities, the long timetable needed to procure and design new aircraft and the challenges presented by advances in both air and space technology. Every day of the week, RAF men and women are taking action to deter and protect the United Kingdom and to defend our interests around the world.

A visit of a few hours can only give you a snapshot, but even that helps when you faced with decisions on security policy.

In the afternoon I was honoured to be invited to present awards to RAF people (some in uniform, others civilian staff) who had contributed that bit above and beyond normal expectations of duty.

The recipients were men and women from many different parts of the RAF family. But what their stories had in common were two distinctive features. First, they had all in different ways demonstrated a capacity for leadership, to take the initiative to get something done. Second, they had all shown an ability to motivate and work with others,

In the RAF’s centenary year, it was a reminder how much we all continue to owe to their service.”

 David visiting a local RAF base.

David visiting a local RAF base.

Chilterns Heritage Festival

 

David thought you might be interested to know about the upcoming Chilterns Heritage Festival. It will feature a series of events from 22 September-6 October celebrating the diverse heritage of the Chilterns. From historical open days, to visits to iconic Chiltern houses, the Festival will have a wide range of activities for all ages. For more information and an event schedule, please click here.

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Latest Unemployment Statistics for Aylesbury

  • The total number of unemployed claimants in Aylesbury constituency in May 2018 was 790.
  • This represents a rate of 1.3% of the economically active population aged 16-64.
  • The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.8%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.2% in February to April 2018.
  • The number of claimants in Aylesbury constituency is 45 higher than May 2017 and 10 higher than April 2018.
  • There were 125 claimants aged 18-24 in May 2018, 5 higher than May 2017.

David's Statement on the Bucks Unitary Authority Decision

David said:

"As you know, the Secretary of State has announced that he is minded to agree to the proposal of a single unitary authority to replace both Buckinghamshire County Council and the four District Councils. Milton Keynes would remain as a separate unitary council in its own right.
 
"I share the view of both the County and District Councils that the present two tier system should be replaced by unitary local government. Money in local government is and will continue to be tight. It should be used to spend on front-line public services rather than on supporting five different hierarchies of officials, personnel systems, maintenance contracts and so on. I have also come increasingly to the view that the current distribution of responsibilities is confusing. For example, the District Council is responsible for collecting our bins, but the County Council for managing and disposing of the waste. The District Council takes planning decisions about new housing, but the County Council has to deal with the consequences for roads, schools and social services.
 
"My approach to this debate has been to try and start with an open mind and judge which of the unitary options, one or two authorities, will best deliver improved public services at least cost to local residents.
 
"Having studied both proposals, and while I respect the case that the District Councils have made for having two authorities, my own preference is for a single unitary Council.
 
"There were a number of reasons that led me to this view.
 
"First, the saving to local residents would be significantly greater with one authority rather than two: £18.2 million a year compared with £10.3 million. That's nearly £8 million extra each year to spend on local services or to return to local residents through a lower rate of Council Tax.
 
"Second, I discussed the proposals with the local NHS organisations who were concerned that social services for children, elderly people and people with disabilities, currently the responsibility of Buckinghamshire County Council, should not be split up as a consequence of local government reform. Indeed, the two NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, the purse holders for local NHS spending, that cover North and South Bucks respectively have decided to federate in order to work more effectively on a County-wide basis.
 
"Third, local business, especially as represented by Bucks Business First and the Bucks Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, argued strongly for a single unitary council.
 
"A lot of work has been done by both County and District Councils to support the different cases that they have made to the Secretary of State. He made his "minded to" decision having taken account of detailed submissions by both the County and the Districts as well as responses by other organisations and individuals. Both the County and District Councils are now entitled to make their case again to Mr Javid ahead of his final decision. However, I hope that this will be done without spending large amounts of taxpayers' money and I regret the decision by some Councils to spend residents' money on door to door leaflets."