Nigel’s June Newsletter

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Dear Constituent,

Welcome to my latest newsletter to keep you updated on my work in Parliament and around Amber Valley.

As always, you’ll find a selection of what I’ve been up to over the last few months (alongside the General Election!) and details of upcoming events. You’ll also find the usual information about my columns, surgeries and how to get in touch.

Thank You:

It’s an honour to have been re-elected as the MP for Amber Valley for the third time and I would like to thank everyone who supported and voted for me. I was overwhelmed by the warm welcome I received on doorsteps during the election campaign and I am pleased to be able to continue to represent the views of Amber Valley in Westminster.

Following the election, I’m eager to catch up with local businesses, charities and organisations to hear your plans for, and views on, the future. So, if you would like me to visit your organisation, or if you would like to meet with me to discuss any concerns, please contact me in the usual way, by replying to this email or ringing my office on 01773 744341.

Grenfell Tower:

Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, my thoughts are with the victims and families of those affected. Many constituents have contacted me with their concerns over fire safety and I would like to reassure all those living in Amber Valley by reiterating the words of Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, that they carry out regular Fire Risk inspections and assessments.

Rivermead House, in Derby, is Derbyshire’s only high rise block, and the Fire Service have confirmed it fully complies with current fire safety regulations, as well as being designed to prevent the spread of fire between flats and between floors.

The Prime Minister has ordered a full, judge-led public inquiry into the events at Grenfell, which will give people the answers they deserve and the Government has arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks. A new £5 million Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund has been made immediately available to help those who had to flee their homes. Every household whose home has been destroyed will receive a guaranteed £5,500 minimum down payment from the fund. I understand that the fund will be kept under review and will increase if necessary.

To support victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, I recently played in a charity cricket match with other MPs against the Lashings All Stars. It was a rainy evening, but I’m pleased we raised £5000 and you can read more about the match here.

Grenfell Fire Cricket Event

Queen’s Speech Recap:

Following the General Election, the Queen’s Speech recently set out this Government’s legislative programme for the next two years.

The immediate focus will be on Brexit, and making a success of our exit, so the Speech included a Great Repeal Bill, an Immigration Bill, an Agriculture Bill and new Trade and Customs Bills, which, combined, will provide certainty and security for businesses and families, whilst also giving us greater control to act in our interests.

The Queen’s Speech also set out welcome plans to continue driving investment and innovation in transport, including continuing the Modern Industrial Strategy and setting out the next steps to deliver HS2, linking up Birmingham and Crewe, and providing a station in the East Midlands.

This Government will also be focusing on continuing to improve public finances whilst keeping taxes low; ensuring that every child has the opportunity to attend a good school and that all schools are fairly funded; introducing a new Mental Health Act to provide greater rights for those experiencing mental health problems; and continuing to increase the National Living Wage so that people who are on the lowest pay benefit from the same improvements in earnings as higher paid workers.

You can find the full details of the plans set out in the Queen’s Speech here.

Public Sector Pay Rises:

Many constituents have recently contacted me regarding their concerns about last week’s votes on the Queen’s Speech, and Labour’s amendments to it regarding public sector pay.

The votes in the House of Commons last Wednesday and Thursday related to the Queen’s speech to establish the Government’s legislative programme for the next 2 years. If the Government fails to win the votes on the Queen’s speech, it is considered not to have the support of Parliament and therefore the Prime Minister would resign.

The Labour amendment on public sector pay, and the voting down of it, has not in any way set any public sector pay rises in the coming year. These will be set, based on advice from the Public Sector pay review bodies, later in the year.

I said publicly during the election campaign that I do not believe below-inflation pay rises can any longer be justified given that we are 8 years on from the economic crash. I will therefore continue to impress upon Government ministers the need to revert to pay rises in line with inflation as soon as possible.

In reference to the cheering in the chamber, I left immediately following the vote. I believe strongly in the passion, commitment, and specialist knowledge of our nurses, firefighters, police and all public sector workers and will continue to raise this serious issue with ministerial colleagues.

Northern Ireland & agreement with the DUP:

Following the election, the Conservative Party finalised a confidence and supply deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to enable the formation of a government in the national interest. Some constituents have raised concerns over this agreement, so I wanted to offer reassurance on some of the key issues:

As the Member of Parliament for Amber Valley, I have consistently voted for allowing same sex marriage and I will continue to promote and champion equal rights. Conservatives in Government introduced same sex marriage and earlier this year passed ‘Turing’s law’ to remove historic convictions for consensual acts. We will continue to promote and champion equal rights, and under the deal, the DUP have not been given any say in these issues in England.

The Northern Ireland peace process will also carry on as the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland continues to work to restore a Northern Ireland Executive as soon as possible. To ensure neutrality in Northern Ireland politics agreed as part of the peace process, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is not part of any discussions with the DUP in the confidence and supply agreement.

Following the announcement of the agreement in the House, I asked the First Secretary of State whether, in welcoming the deal, it was also time to look again at donations to Northern Irish parties to ensure that they are consistent with the rules on the mainland, both in terms of transparency and of being sourced from outside the UK. The First Secretary responded that, whilst this wasn’t part of the agreement, this issue will be noted – and I will continue to raise it for debate going forwards.

You can read my full question and the rest of the debate here.

Committees:

Following the election and the beginning of the new Parliament, select committees will be re-allocated over the coming weeks. I’ll keep you updated on which committees I’ll be serving on as soon as they’ve been re-elected.

Column:

You can find my latest Ripley & Heanor column, which looks at recent events and the impact of the Queen’s Speech for Amber Valley residents, here.

Street Watch:

As always, if there are any street repairs in your area, such as potholes, pavement repairs or broken street lights, you can report these issues and concerns to me quickly and easily here so I can ask for the repairs to be investigated and addressed.

Surgeries:

I regularly hold surgeries to give you the opportunity to meet with me and discuss any concerns or problems you may have. These are held on Friday evenings between 5pm and 7pm.

If you would like to meet me and discuss any issues, the dates of my upcoming surgeries are:

  • Kilburn – 21st July 2017
  • Heanor – 28th July 2017
  • Ripley – 4th August 2017

Please contact my office on 01773 744341 to book an appointment for any of the above, or to arrange an alternative meeting.

Tours and Public Gallery Tickets

As your MP, I am able to book tours of the Houses of Parliament and arrange public gallery tickets for constituents. If you would be interested in having a tour of Parliament or arranging public gallery tickets to sit in on the business of the House, please do get in touch.

Get in Touch!

As always, you can contact me by hitting the ‘reply’ button on this email, or you can ring my office on 01773 744341.

Twitter and Facebook

You can also follow me on Twitter @NigelMillsMP and like me on Facebook here to stay up to date with news and events in Amber Valley throughout the month.

Yours sincerely,