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Welcome to the forty sixth edition of my Westminster Report.
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Tom Pursglove MP's Westminster Report

It's a huge honour and a privilege to be your Member of Parliament for Corby and East Northamptonshire.

Welcome to my Westminster Report, where you can find out more about what I've been doing as part of my Listening Campaign, both in Westminster and across the constituency.

As always, if I can ever be of any help to you, please feel free to contact me at any time using the following details:

Address:
Tom Pursglove MP
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA

Email:
pursglovet@parliament.uk

 

Telephone:
020 7219 8043

I also hold weekly advice surgeries around the constituency, and as I said in the run up to the General Election, I remain committed to being Corby and East Northamptonshire's voice in Westminster and not Westminster's voice in Corby and East Northamptonshire.


Now, for some of what I've been getting up to, both locally and in Westminster!

With best wishes,




Tom Pursglove MP
Member of Parliament
Corby & East Northamptonshire


Address:
Tom Pursglove MP
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA

Email:
pursglovet@parliament.uk

Telephone:
020 7219 8043

Website:
www.votepursglove.co.uk
Contents:

Introduction

Tom in Westminster

Corby Urgent Care Centre Update

Tom in Corby & East Northamptonshire

Lobbying Campaigns

Tom in the Press
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TOM IN WESTMINSTER
Yesterday lunchtime, I sat through the start of the well attended Second Reading debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.  I am conscious that there has been a lot of discussion about this in the media this week, and as it is currently being debated in Parliament, I thought it would be useful to clarify the aims of the Bill.
 
Officially known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, the Great Repeal Bill will transfer European Union law, including the case law of the European Court of Justice, into UK law at the point of the UK’s departure from the EU. This will make sure that the UK has a functioning statute book when it leaves the EU and it will provide the maximum amount of certainty, control and continuity. Thus, and as the Prime Minister has stated is her aim, the Bill will minimise disruption to businesses and individuals as the UK leaves the EU.
 
The Bill is a necessary step in delivering on the referendum result and it helps to ensure the UK exits the EU with certainty, continuity and control. Without it, the UK’s statute book would contain huge gaps once we left the EU, and there would also be major uncertainty about the meaning of many existing laws.  
 
The Bill will also give Ministers in the UK Government, and in the devolved administrations, a temporary power to make legal corrections to transposed EU legislation. This will be time-limited to two years after exit day. Parliament, or the devolved legislatures, will also be able to scrutinise any statutory instrument made under this power. This power could only be used to make corrections to transposed law; for example, by removing references in transposed EU law to the UK as a member state of the EU, or references to EU institutions which will no longer be applicable.  The Bill is not a vehicle for major policy changes, or a "power grab" – rather, it is a technical device that will achieve three simple aims:

 
-Repeal the European Communities Act 1972, and in so doing, remove the supremacy of EU law and return control to the UK;
 
-Convert EU law into UK law, giving businesses continuity to operate in the knowledge that nothing has changed overnight, and providing certainty that rights and obligations will not be subject to sudden change; and
 
-Create the necessary temporary powers to correct the laws that no longer operate appropriately, so that our legal system continues to function outside the EU.
 
This rightly applies equally across all parts of the UK, so that regardless of where people live or businesses operate, the law is clear. The Bill will temporarily preserve the consistency provided by EU rules in operation for the UK, so that we can work with the devolved administrations to ensure that once we have left the EU, policy making sits in the right place and closer to the people than ever before. The Government is clear - under this Bill, no decisions currently made by the devolved administrations will be taken away from them as we leave the EU, and by the end of this process, we expect there to be a significant increase in the decision making power of the devolved administrations.

What is clear is that, without the provisions of this Bill, huge gaping holes in the statute book would pose significant problems at our point of leaving the European Union, and that is why every single Member of Parliament should be voting for it, whatever their vision of a post-Brexit United Kingdom.  The debates around the Repeal Bill will no doubt rumble on, but I wanted to be absolutely clear about what the Government's intentions are, the rationale for them, and the importance of getting this right.
On Tuesday in the House, during a Statement about the recent violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, I noted that the Minister had set out the significant humanitarian aid being provided by the UK to try and relieve the crisis, and asked if the Government will continue to urge other foreign Governments to follow suit. In his reply, the Minister assured me that the Government is working in partnership through the UN and through other international bodies. He added that it is worth pointing out that we should be proud of our own expenditure, particularly in that part of the world, and that Bangladesh is a member of the Commonwealth and Burma was at one time part of India, so there are longstanding connections between our countries. He further added that, although he hoped that the international community would also take on some of the burden, it is important to recognise, through our DFID commitments, that we have particular responsibilities and connections in that part of the world. You can see my question and the Minister’s answer, here.
On Wednesday in the House, during a Statement given by the Secretary of State for Defence on the new National Shipbuilding Strategy, I highlighted that when I recently wrote to him, I included a prospectus of Corby steel products, which I commend to him wholeheartedly. I then asked if he would give an undertaking that, whenever possible, we use British steel in the building of these ships. In his answer, the Secretary of State for Defence said that the Government will take a very close interest in the percentage of steel used in each of the bids— and that they will be watching that extremely closely. He further added that he would like to remind the House that some specialist steels that are not produced in this country are needed for the hulls of our warships, but that the Government will be looking to those who submit their bids to demonstrate just how much British steel they will use, as well as how they will fully engage their local supply chains, and, indeed, take the opportunity to refresh local skills in their area. You can see my question and the Secretary of State’s answer, here.
CORBY URGENT CARE CENTRE UPDATE
As I have said previously, the future of the Corby Urgent Care Centre is an extremely serious issue, and one which affects many, many, people; particularly the people of Corby, but also those from across the north of the county who regularly use it too, along with those from further afield. Over the past two weeks, since my previous update, there have been a number of significant developments. Given the amount of activity, I have provided a summary, below, of the actions I have been taking in order to try and help secure the future of this fantastic facility:
 
Last Tuesday, the NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body met again to discuss the Urgent Care Centre, and in light of this meeting I wrote to the Chief Executive, asking her to clarify precisely what the Governing Body had agreed, and the next steps in place to move this matter forward.
 
I have also received a couple of relevant responses.  The first of these is from Carole Dehghani, the Chief Executive of NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group, which sets out the broad decisions taken at the CCG’s Governing Body meeting on the 29th August. It is obviously very good news that the CCG is willing to see the current contract with Lakeside+ extended, which will allow the Urgent Care Centre to continue operating after the 30th September, and in turn avoid the cliff edge we have all feared – to this end, I very much hope that agreement will be reached extremely speedily between the CCG and Lakeside+.
 
I have also received a letter from NHS England, further to our meeting a fortnight ago. You can see these responses in full,
here.
 
Last Friday, I had a phone call with Carole Dehghani, the Chief Executive of Corby Clinical Commissioning Group, to further discuss the current situation.  Once again, in this phone call, I welcomed the recent decision of the CCG to support a four month rolling contract with Lakeside+, the current provider, and I urged Ms Dehghani to expedite the dialogue with them to ensure that the Urgent Care Centre does not close on the 30th September. Thereafter, I am clear that we must ensure local views are heard loud and clear in the consultation about the longer-term future of the UCC - something I will work hard to help ensure.
 
Further to that phone call, I also met with Lyn Buckingham and Maria Bryan, along with other representatives from the 'Save Our Urgent Care Centre Action Group’. The action group has done a lot of valuable work on this issue, and this, along with my efforts in Parliament and the Urgent Care Centre campaign postcards which I am sending out to every house in the Borough at present, really does reflect the huge strength of local feeling on this issue - not least judging by the early returns! This was certainly a very useful catch-up and a good opportunity to update each other.
 
Finally, I am pleased to have been able to secure a debate on the Corby Urgent Care Centre next Wednesday afternoon, to be answered by the Minister of State for Health. This debate will take place in Westminster Hall, and I will be sure to feed back the strength of local concern, the need for the CCG to expedite the signing-off of the rolling contract with Lakeside+, the current provider, and emphasising the importance of urgent care facilities in our town for the longer-term. The debate is scheduled to start at 4pm and can be watched live on the Parliament.TV website. 
 
Rest assured that, as soon as I hear more, I will be sure to post further updates on my Facebook page, as well as provide a comprehensive update in my next Westminster Report.

 
TOM IN CORBY & EAST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
I have recently received communication from Northamptonshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, Councillor Ian Morris, in response to the letter I sent to him regarding the A605. This letter was sent in light of the recent collisions on this stretch of road, which is a very serious local concern. In his letter, Cllr Morris confirmed that Northamptonshire Highways have started the first phase of maintenance improvements along the A605 - albeit on the Northamptonshire side of the border, in light of the recent funding the county was awarded by the Government - and that they are in discussions with Cambridgeshire County Council regarding the particularly dangerous stretch of road and any proposals that they may have at Elton. This is very welcome cross-county engagement, and something I will be sure to keep a close eye on - indeed, I had a conversation this week with my neighbouring colleague, Shailesh Vara MP, about our approach to the Secretary of State for Transport, to discuss this matter. I will be sure to provide any further update as I have it.
Last Thursday morning, I made a visit to Powdertech in Corby. Powdertech is a company that specialises in providing powder coatings and high quality finishes for architectural metal, and it was very interesting to visit them at their Corby factory to learn more about the company and the processes involved in their work. During the visit, I also had a tour of the factory and met with the Directors to hear more about Powdertech’s plans for the future – a very interesting morning, and particularly interesting for me, given my interest in steel, aluminium and metal related matters generally. The visit yielded lots of useful feedback and some key messages for me to feed back into debates and to discussions with Ministers.
Last Thursday afternoon, I met with Simon Fisher, the county adviser for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire & Rutland at the National Farmers Union (NFU). During our meeting, we had an interesting discussion about recent developments in the farming industry; both in terms of the local farming landscape, and the industry more broadly, including on the issue of rural crime. It is always very helpful to hear up-to-date feedback relating to the rural areas of the constituency, and to hear about the sector's ongoing needs in light of the UK’s exit from the EU, as I work hard to ensure local needs are properly heard during the crucial weeks and months ahead.
LOBBYING CAMPAIGNS
As you might be aware, I am now responding to standard campaign emails via my website, here.  For ease, I also wanted to share the links to the most recent replies, which you can find below:

Keep Our Pubs Afloat 22.08.2017

Freedom From Torture 22.08.2017.pdf

Fair Fuel UK Campaign 22.08.2017.pdf

Foie Gras 22.08.2017.pdf

Precarious Contracts 22.08.2017.pdf
TOM IN THE PRESS
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