Robert's Weekly Column - Wednesday 28th November 2018

One of the greatest pleasures about my role as your MP is welcoming local schools to Parliament, and last week, I welcomed Year Six pupils and staff from Peatmoor Community Primary School to Westminster to discuss climate change, bees and plastic pollution, after the group won a Research Council Global Food Security Competition for their presentation on bees, their importance to our ecosystem and the threats they face.  We discussed Government proposals to strengthen environmental laws and had a lively question and answer session in one of the Committee Rooms.  I was also able to take them on a tour of Parliament, exploring its history and traditions.

Every year MPs welcome hundreds of constituents to Parliament. The usual format is a coach trip, arriving in London during the morning for a free tour. I always try to meet visitors from my constituency during their time in Westminster to talk about the politics and history of Westminster, the work of an MP and about local issues.

Parliament’s Education Centre is a world-class education facility that inspires and connects young people with Parliament and democracy. It is a stimulating environment for children, which is distinct from the school environment. It makes use of creative and immersive technology to create a unique learning experience that generates a sense of anticipation in groups entering the space, and from which groups depart feeling inspired and excited about their Parliament. You can find out more, access free educational resources and book a tour by visiting

I also carry out a programme of school visits throughout South Swindon. The visits are a great opportunity for students and teachers to talk to their MP about issues, as well as a fantastic opportunity for me to see the school at work.  If you would like any further information on tours or school visits, please get in touch by

Christmas always begins for me with the Old Town Christmas Lights Switch On and on Sunday, I joined the crowd here at my offices in an absolutely packed Wood Street to enjoy the great atmosphere at this year’s event. I would like to thank the Old Town Business Association, the performers, local businesses and organisations and all of the volunteers for their tremendous work to make this happen.

Over the past few years, I have been working closely with Swindon Seniors Forum on a local Campaign to tackle Loneliness here in Swindon. During the Campaign, we have successfully brought together key local organisations from different sectors to highlight some of the excellent work that is being done and to discuss what we can all do to deal further with the problem in Swindon. Following a second successful Loneliness Follow Up Summit back in April, I will be holding my third event with Swindon Seniors Forum this coming Thursday, 29th November at the Buckhurst Community Centre in Walcot. At the event, we will look at the new Government Loneliness Strategy and how we can implement this locally in key areas including Charities, Health/GPs, Transport and Local Businesses.  Swindon Seniors Forum will also feedback on the recent Campaign to end Loneliness Conference “Be More Us – Belonging and Community”. If you belong to a local community group, charity, or business and you would be interested in attending this event, please get in touch by emailing