Getting fair deals for UK and county
The great British summer is approaching its twilight and as the nights start to draw in Westminster is back in full swing.
There are some late nights as Parliament debates some of the great issues of our time. We are debating and voting on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
I have been receiving letters and emails from all sides of the debate. It is enamouring to see such informed democratic debate on which direction our country takes.
We have to ensure an orderly Brexit and this Bill ensures that the decision taken in the referendum is upheld and that we don’t have legal chaos when we leave the EU. The continuity of law is vital. Without it we would be in danger of creating a chaotic and irresponsible Brexit, which would leave huge gaps in social and employment law.
This is the start of the process. Much of EU law was brought in without great scrutiny or transparency. This is the chance for laws for our nation to be debated in Britain and our Parliament, which is what many of us who campaigned for Brexit wanted.
It allows us all a period to ask questions, engage in debate and discuss what we want laws to look like, how the Government is going to tackle deficiencies in EU law and how our processes will work post-Brexit. There will be no shortage of transparency and this is something we should look forward to.
Sitting alongside the letters about Brexit are many regarding transport. This is an issue I have campaigned hard on. I founded the Dual the A1 campaign, which culminated in the announcement last week that the Highways Agency has declared its Green option the preferred route between Morpeth and Felton, and the Orange route the preferred one between Alnwick and Ellingham.
For Morpeth to Felton, this involves constructing a new stretch of dualled carriageway to the west, and between Alnwick and Ellingham, the road will be widened. In both cases the choices represented the favourite option among local residents who took part in consultation.
This is fantastic news, not only for those of us who have spent a decade working towards getting the A1 dualled, but for the people of North Northumberland.
The Highways England team has worked hard to ensure local views were included in its planning. The £293million represents a huge investment for Northumberland and it is a proud moment for me to see that this dualling is really happening.
Infrastructure has an impact on every part of our community, including education. There are great challenges for education in rural areas, from transport to funding and beyond. I have been knocking on the door of the Department of Education to secure greater funding for our schools and we are now finally getting a fairer funding formula.
I held a debate in the House of Commons this week on funding of schools in North Northumberland. This gave me the chance to raise all those issues I have discussed in schools, playgrounds and on doorsteps, and put directly all those concerns and ideas to the minister.
Young people are the future of our nation and that is why I have put forward bold and innovative plans for rural transport and a new vision for an academic framework across the county, academy plus. I look forward to working with the department, minister and council to make sure that our children, no matter where they live or their means, can access the highest quality education so that they can fulfil their dreams and ambitions.