Please find below the letter David received from the Ministry of Justice confirming that they will be closing Aylesbury Magistrates' and County Court. This was the result of a consultation to reduce surplus capacity within the court system and to adapt the Court & Tribunal service for the future.
David received a reply from the interim Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, in response to a letter raising concerns over the potential impact of HS2 on ambulance services in Bucks.
Community Policing Awards
Thames Valley Police are holding their 16th annual community policing awards. The awards allow members of the constituency to nominate officers who have gone above and beyond in their role.
Tiffin Cup Competition
David will be holding a competition to decide which South Asian restaurant he will nominate for the Tiffin Cup.
Restaurants who wish to enter the competition can be voted for at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GQDHS6W or tweet your vote using #TiffinCupAylesbury.
The voting will close on 30 March.
Letter from the Secretary of State
This week David received a letter from the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defence regarding the future of RAF Halton. The letter clarifies how the closure will proceed.
David also received a letter from Sainsbury's this week outlining their plans to invest in Aylesbury.
This week David met with members of the clergy in order to allow them to raise any concerns that they may have about the local area.
David also met with the Bucks Herald to discuss issues of interest within the constituency.
Later in the afternoon David attended further private meetings.
David thought you might be interested in seeing his responses to national policy campaigns he has received this week.
In response to 'Finn's Law',
Police support animals undoubtedly make a valuable contribution in the detection and prevention of crime and in maintaining public safety Attacks of any sort on police dogs or horses are unacceptable and should be dealt with severely under the criminal law.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 an attack on a police dog or other police support animal can be treated as causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, and the maximum penalty is 6 months' imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both. The financial element of the penalty was raised in 2015 from a maximum fine of £20,000. Similarly an attack on a police animal could be considered by the court as an aggravating factor leading to a higher sentence. Under some circumstances assaults on support animals could be treated as criminal damage which would allow for penalties of up to 10 years' imprisonment.
The Government has also requested that the Sentencing Council considers assaults on police animals as an aggravating factor as a part of their current review on guidelines for sentencing in the Magistrates' Courts, which includes animal cruelty offences.
While the current penalties are appropriate, I agree that it is unpalatable to think of police animals as merely 'equipment' as the charge of criminal damage might suggest, and does not convey the respect and gratitude felt for the animals involved and their contribution to law enforcement and public safety. Work across Government is underway to explore whether there is more that the law should do to offer the most appropriate protections to police animals and all working animals.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Holocaust Educational Trust
This week David signed the Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment, pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day, honouring those who died and paying tribute to the Holocaust survivors who still work to educate young people about these events.
Letter from Minister
David also received a letter from Andrew Jones MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport.
In the letter he outlines how Buckinghamshire County Council will benefit from the Department for Transport's 'Access Fund' competition
In addition to his regular surgery meetings with constituens, David also met with the Chief Executive of Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust at Stoke Mandeville Hospital to meet with members of staff and discuss issues surrounding healthcare.
David thought you might be interested to see his responses to a number of campaigns he received this week.
In response to 'Crisis' Homelessness Reduction Bill' campaign.
I share your concern regarding the situation faced by those who are homeless.
The Government is working hard to reduce homelessness. In the last parliament more than £500 million was provided to councils and charities to tackle homelessness and central Government funding is now increasing to reduce homelessness further. Homelessness acceptances are now less than half of what they were during their peak in 2003-04 under the previous Labour Government.
Councils have a duty to provide advice on homelessness to anyone seeking help and they will take steps to prevent homelessness wherever possible. Since 2010, councils have prevented over 1 million households from becoming homeless and the Government is now protecting homelessness prevention for councils.
The report by the Crisis Expert Panel, to which St Mungo’s contributed, provides a valuable insight into how aspects of the current legislation in England can be updated in light of the models adopted in Scotland and Wales.
The Homelessness Reduction Bill has not yet been published but I look forward to examining the contents of the Bill in due course.
I look forward to receiving more details about the event that Crisis is organising on the 27 October. I will be sure to check my diary and see if I am able to attend.
In response to the Royal College of Nursing's 'speaking up on nursing pay' campaign.
Following recommendations from the independent pay review bodies, the NHS Pay Review Body and the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body, the Government accepted a 1% pay rise for doctors, dentists and all NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts for 2016 to 2017.
Delivering a safer 7-day NHS for patients is a government priority. An important part of this is that the NHS has to ensure it has the right staff, in the right place, at the right time to provide high quality services across the week. The NHS already has 32,000 extra clinical staff, including more than 10,000 additional doctors and more than 10,600 additional nurses on its wards since May 2010.
To help support NHS staff in their duty of care, the Government has committed to increase NHS spending in England by £10 billion in real terms by 2020, of which £6 billion will be delivered by the end of 2016/17. By cutting bureaucracy and championing higher standards, Ministers have ensured this money goes on frontline care not administration. The NHS has been rated the best healthcare system in the world, something that is only possible thanks to the dedication and hard work of all NHS staff, supported by a strong economy.
This weekend David presented the keys for the new Wendover community car. The community car is operated by a group of volunteers and enables residents of Wendover and near by villages to remain active and outgoing.
On presenting the keys David said " I am delighted to support the efforts of such a worthwhile service that was of direct benefit to local residents."
David thought you might be interested to see his responses to a number of campaigns he received this week.
In response to 'Our NHS needs more funding':
I believe fully in the NHS and its value. The Government is committed to a tax-funded NHS, free at the point of use, wherever and whenever you need it. As Ministers plan a new relationship with the EU, the Government will continue to ensure that the NHS is given the priority and stability it deserves.
Despite tight public finances, the Government has actively supported the NHS’ own plan for the future. That is why it is providing the additional £10 billion of investment per annum in real terms by 2020/21 - compared with 2014/15 – requested to fund a transformation in care. This will allow the NHS to offer 800,000 more operations and treatments and spend up to £2 billion more on new drugs. It will also ensure that by 2020, everyone will be able to access GP services at evenings and weekends.
On top of this, to secure the best value for taxpayers, the Government has introduced tough new financial controls to cut down on waste in the NHS, including introducing caps for agency staff and management consultants, and introducing central procurement rules. The Government has also introduced a £1.8 billion Sustainability and Transformation Fund in 2016/17 to support providers to move to a financially sustainable footing.
In response to 'make the air fair':
Ofcom is responsible for the health of the UK mobile market, in line with its statutory duties. These duties include the promotion of competition and efficient use of spectrum.
The regulator also recently launched a consultation on the upcoming spectrum auction. The auction consists of 2.3 GHz spectrum, which is already useable for better 4G services and 3.4 GHz spectrum which is unlikely to be useable for at least two to three years, but could help unlock a new wave of future services such as 5G.
Ofcom agrees that there is a competition concern around the 2.3 GHz spectrum available and it has therefore imposed a cap on bidding. The cap prevents any one company holding more than 45 per cent of spectrum that can be used immediately after the auction. It also argues that by the time 3.4 GHz spectrum is usable, other bands will become available and there is therefore no immediate necessity for action on competition grounds in respect of this spectrum.
Intervention by Ofcom has been minimal as it does not want to distort the auction by giving the smaller operators a price break through the weakening of competition. Furthermore, there are concerns it would provide a perverse incentive for smaller operators to under-bid in this and future auctions if they always expected intervention in their favour on grounds of lacking spectrum.
The Government has rightly welcomed Ofcom’s focus on ensuring effective competition in the mobile market and on getting the spectrum into use as quickly as possible.
David thought you might be interested to see a letter that he received from the Prime Minister. In it she outlines the 12 negotiating objectives for Brexit as part of the Governments wider plan for Britain.
The letter can be found below.
David recently received a letter from the Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
In the letter he outlines how the constituency will benefit by £625,996 from the governments new Homelessness Prevention Programme.
Last month, David was asked to stand in for the Prime Minister during the weekly Prime Minister's Questions while Prime Minister was visiting Bahrain for Gulf Co-operation Council Summit.
You can watch his performance or read the transcript at the link below
David visited the parliamentary post room before Christmas to see the hard work of the staff during the extremely busy winter period.
The total number of unemployed claimants in Aylesbury constituency in October 2016 was 699. This represents a rate of 1.2% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 528th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.) The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.4%.
This includes 486 people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and 213 people claiming Universal Credit who were required to seek work.
The total number of claimants (both Jobseeker's Allowance and Universal Credit) is 89 higher than in October 2015 and 12 higher than in September 2016.
There were 135 claimants aged 18-24 in Aylesbury constituency in October 2016, 15 higher than in October 2015. (Figures for 18-24 year olds are rounded to the nearest 5.)