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Fortnightly Update #10 - 19.09.2016

Welcome to my latest fortnightly update.

The last fortnight has been very busy in Parliament - with everything from grammar schools to proposed boundary changes on the agenda.

I hope this gives you a flavour of what has been taking place.

Best wishes,
 

Alex Chalk MP

PS. Please note that these fortnightly updates are only intended to be an overview. They deliberately do not detail all the projects I'm working on. If you want an in-depth update on my various campaigns (from education funding, to the Air Balloon roundabout, to broadband etc) please do get in touch.
 
                                   
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Over The Last Two Weeks, Alex has:
 
IN PARLIAMENT
  • Grammar schools - spoken out in Parliament on the need to take account of Cheltenham's special circumstances. READ MORE HERE
  • Took part in several sessions of the Higher Education and Research Bill Committee, (relevant to UGlos) which involves line-by-line scrutiny of the Bill. Alex has examined witnesses and debated the relevant provisions READ MORE HERE
  • Led the case for a review of the law of homicide (described as a 'rickety structure set upon shaky foundations') in a special session of the Justice Select Committee, called to hear evidence on Alex's calls for reform. READ MORE HERE
  • Attended and spoken in a debate on declining prison safety in Westminster Halll
  • Spoken out in the House of Commons to call 5-day BMA strikes 'disproportionate' READ HERE
  • Been to 10 Downing Street to deliver campaign messages on behalf of pupils at St John's Primary School (Send a Friend to School campaign)
  • Hosted 50 residents from Cheltenham's Park ward in Parliament for a parliamentary tour and Q&A (see photo below)
  • Called upon the Government to use the opportunity posed by Brexit to redirect farming subsidies to focus on environmental protection. READ MORE HERE
  • Quizzed the SoS for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as to what more can be done to manage the seagull problem here in Cheltenham, specifically seeking clarification regarding the protected status of the birds in urban areas READ MORE HERE
  • Asked the SoS for Work and Pensions to consider amending the eligibility criteria for bereavement benefits to enable unmarried couples who have cohabited for many years to claim the same bereavement benefits as married couples and civil partners READ MORE HERE
  • Called upon the SoS for Business, Innovation and Skills (as was) to clarify when the Government would be publishing 2017 apprenticeship funding band rates, following a visit to local engineering firm, CF Roberts. READ MORE HERE
  • Raised concerns with the SoS for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about dog breeding for aesthetic reasons READ MORE HERE
  • Asked the SoS of Transport to clarify what powers are available to local highways authorities to resolve neighbour highways disputes. READ MORE HERE
  • Sought clarification from the SoS for Health regarding the Government's commitment to supporting women suffering from HER2 Breast Cancer. READ MORE HERE
  • Asked the SoS for DEFRA what is being done to tackle foreign diseases which present a threat to our indigenous trees READ MORE HERE 
  • Raised the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is currently detained in Iran on ‘secret charges’, with the Foreign Secretary READ MORE HERE
  • Asked the SoS for Business, Innovation and Skills (as was) to confirm what steps the Government is taking to encourage research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. READ MORE HERE
  • Asked SoS for Health what is being done to improve provision for adult in-patient care for sufferers of eating disorders, following visit to the Brownhill Centre in St Paul's, Cheltenham READ MORE HERE
  • Sought clarification from the Government regarding the decision not to uprate the earnings threshold for university students. READ MORE HERE
  • Spoken in the debate on the Korean Dog Meat trade READ MORE HERE
  • Met with the Director of Voice4Victims to see what more can be done to support victims of domestic abuse and stalking
  • Supported the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Almshouses
  • Supported the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s launch of their new campaign against puppy farming
  • Taken part in a charity quiz to raise money for Brain Tumour research
  • Competed in the Westminster Dog of the Year competition in support of the Dogs Trust READ MORE HERE

IN CHELTENHAM
  • Won a commitment from the County Council to re-lay the unsightly tarmac infill paving on the High Street, after consistent lobbying. Work is set to commence on 26 September! READ MORE
  • Spoken out against the proposal from the independent Boundary Commission, to transfer Springbank to the Tewkesbury constituency (residents have 12 weeks to respond to the formal consultation). READ MORE
  • Responded to plans to redevelop the Elms Park site in Uckington - making clear that clear assurances are needed about green spaces and necessary infrastructure improvements READ MORE
  • Surveyed residents in Whaddon regarding the roadblock on Mersey Road (Alex intends to present the results to the County Council). READ MORE HERE
  • Supported Cheltenham Boxing Academy's efforts to locate new premises in town. READ MORE
  • Surveyed residents in All Saints regarding the former Carlton Street Post Office, to gauge local support for efforts to press Cheltenham Borough Council to utilise the powers available to them (under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act) READ MORE
  • Attended an anniversary party in Cheltenham to celebrate 18 years of LINC and their invaluable work in Gloucestershire
  • Addressed local businesses at a breakfast meeting to discuss the implications of Brexit and the (embryonic) negotiations between the Government and our international partners regarding our future trading relationship 
  • Supported the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the consecration of St Michael's Church in Oakley
  • Attended the Cheltenham Together World Fun Day event in the Winston Churchill Memorial Gardens
  • Supported the opening of the new dementia-friendly garden at Wentworth Court in Hesters Way
 IN THE MEDIA
  • Written two columns for the Echo (including on grammar schools)  READ HERE
  • Interviewed on the Breeze about his calls for the reform of the law of murder and the creation of new 'first order' and 'second order' murder offences. READ MORE HERE
  • Appeared in several articles about Alex's proposed amendments to law of homicide (just one example HERE)
  • Co-written an article for the Hollie Gazzard Trust regarding his campaign to introduce a tougher maximum sentence for stalking. READ MORE HERE
  • Appeared on BBC Points West to discuss the Government's grammar schools expansion plan. WATCH HERE

·UPCOMING CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES
 
Alex will be holding a constituency surgery in September and October for residents who wish to raise any issues with him. Appointments can be booked in advance by calling Hannah Wright on 01242 210473 or emailing hannah.wright@parliament.uk
 

PHOTO GALLERY
Delivering bags designed by St John's Primary School pupils in support of the Send a Friend to School campaign to Downing Street 
Visiting Wentworth Court in Hesters Way to see the new dementia friendly garden
Welcoming 50 Cheltenham residents to Parliament
Taking part in the Westminster Dog of the Year competition
Backing the Wear It Pink Breast Cancer research campaign
Calling for an end to puppy farming
Backing National Fitness Day in Parliament
Supporting the NHS Organ Donor campaign
Celebrating LINC's 18 year anniversary in Cheltenham
Backing National Suicide Awareness Day
Supporting British Cycling in Parliament with a static-ride competition (Alex scored fastest time of any MP!)
Promoting his campaign to introduce a tougher maximum sentence for stalking
At St Michael's Church for the fiftieth anniversary of its consecration 
With the Chinese Parents and Children Association in Winston Churchill gardens in Cheltenham
What's on in Cheltenham
 
Copyright © 2016 Alex Chalk MP, All rights reserved.


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