Last Saturday, I was extremely proud to join veterans from the Royal Hospital Chelsea and the Royal British Legion and the Mayor of Swindon, Andrew Bennett, in the Brunel Centre’s Arcade to officially launch this year’s Poppy Appeal in Swindon and commemorate those who lost their lives in warfare.
Like many other Swindon residents, members of my family have served in our armed forces, so I was proud to be there both as South Swindon’s representative and in a personal capacity. As a community, we are rightly proud of Swindon’s long-standing links with the armed services. I know that the appeal will enjoy a lot of support from us as we remember the debt of gratitude we owe to all those brave men and women in the Armed Forces community who help to keep our country safe, as well as the significant contribution that Swindon’s residents make to today’s Army, Royal Navy and RAF.
In Westminster news, I am pleased that the House of Commons has voted to change the way legislation is considered in the House of Commons to give English and Welsh MPs a fairer say over laws that only affect their constituencies.
English Votes for English Laws helps to address the so-called ‘West Lothian Question’ - the position where English MPs cannot vote on matters which have been devolved to other parts of the UK, but Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland MPs can vote on those same matters when the UK Parliament is legislating solely for England.
As devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is strengthened, the question of fairness for England becomes more important. These proposals change the process by which legislation is considered by the House of Commons so that MPs with constituencies in England (and where relevant England and Wales) are asked to give their consent to legislation that only affects England (or England and Wales), and that relates to matters that are devolved elsewhere in the UK. Those MPs will therefore have the opportunity to veto such legislation.
This important change will strengthen the Union, create fairer arrangements and ensure the English have more of a voice over matters that only affect them. The proposals are fair and balanced and are being introduced in a considered way and will be reviewed after 12 months to ensure the process is working effectively. It is important that we have a system which is fair and workable for every part of the UK.
Last Friday I hosted another very successful (and busy!) surgery at the big Tesco on Ocotal Way. It was great to see lots of new faces and I had a lot of interesting discussions. If you would like to meet me to discuss any local or national issues, please get in touch with me:
The Constituency Office, 29b Wood Street, The Arcade, Swindon, SN1 4AN
Tel: 01793 533393