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Claire Perry Devizes MP

House of Parliament, Claire Perry Devizes MP weekly blog

Monthly update from Devizes MP Claire Perry

July 2019 Update

23rd July 2019

This morning, we will know who the new Prime Minister is going to be. While I don’t know the outcome at the time of writing, I would like to offer my congratulations to whoever wins; either candidate would be an excellent leader of our country.

However, they will also face enormous challenges: a country still divided over Brexit, a very narrow majority in Parliament and a looming deadline to find a way through the current Brexit impasse.

It is a tall ask, but I am confident that our new Prime Minister can succeed, so long as they work constructively with colleagues across the House, with businesses and industry, and with our friends in Europe.

There has been a lot of talk in the last few weeks of the October deadline, and whether we should leave then, even without a deal. I have always maintained that leaving the EU without a deal is unnecessary given that we should be able to negotiate an arrangement that works for all.

However, I have also been clear that I will not engage in Parliamentary manoeuvres to try and block No Deal, as I think this dilutes our negotiating efforts and also risks not being able to deliver Brexit at all - which would be a serious departure of duty given the Referendum result. 

But while Brexit carries on, so does much of my portfolio, and I have been continuing to champion policies to support rural areas such as ours. For example, I recently organised the re-opening of the Rural Community Energy Fund.

This £10 million programme has already helped over 150 rural communities plan projects which will support them to become cleaner and more sustainable, and I would urge our local councils and other organisations to bring forward some good Wiltshire-based projects to bid into the fund. 

Posted by Claire Perry at 8:12am

June 2019 Update

25th June 2019

Whilst the headlines are dominated by the race to succeed the Prime Minister, she is ensuring her legacy and continuing to deliver for the country with the announcement of landmark legislation to set a new net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for the UK, to be delivered by 2050.

This world-leading target will bring an end to our country’s contribution to climate change, making us one of the first major economies to legislate for net zero emissions.

I am also thrilled to announce that, after lots of diplomatic discussions, the UK has put forward a positive bid for the Presidency of COP26 – hosting the UN’s 26th annual Climate Change Summit!

We are proposing to hold the main summit, with Italy our partner country hosting the opening events. This will be a momentous occasion to demonstrate our global leadership in tackling this issue.

These two momentous developments were a fantastic way to mark two years in my role as the Minister with the climate change portfolio, and I was delighted to celebrate by travelling with the Prime Minister in my first blue light cavalcade to Imperial College London to tour the College’s Carbon Capture Pilot Plant – the most advanced facility of its kind at any university in the world!

Locally, I’m very much looking forward to celebrating Armed Forces Day this weekend by joining dignitaries, including the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Defence, in Salisbury where we will enjoy an Armed Forces Parade.

The day is the culmination of Armed Forces Week, an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the incredible work and sacrifice of our Armed Forces, and I am delighted to see this important occasion held in Salisbury – both to highlight the historic ties that the city has to our Armed Forces and also the role the area is playing in the army rebasing and of course marking the huge amount of work that has gone on following the nerve agent incident in Salisbury last year. 

Posted by Claire Perry at 12:25pm

May 2019 Update

28th May 2019

As the Prime Minister sees out her final few days in office, I have been reflecting on the honour it has been to serve this wonderful country under the dignified and committed leadership of Theresa May. She was undoubtedly the first feminist Prime Minister, but I am confident she won’t be the last.

What happens now is that I, along with Conservative MPs and Party members, will be thinking long and hard in the coming weeks about who is able, at this critical moment, to bring our Party and country back together to deliver Brexit in the national interest so that we can focus on working to address the huge challenges facing our country’s future.

For example, climate change is a global issue which poses a clear threat to our planet’s future and requires a united response. The latest school strikes last Friday, which I know included many local schools, show just how passionate the younger generation in particular are for us to address these vitally important issues. Under this Government we have made great progress in tackling climate change – we recently reached a record 258 hours (and counting at the time of writing!) of continuous coal-free generation, and the last time the UK’s emissions were this low was in 1888!

Finally, you may have seen reported in the press that I am taking a temporary Ministerial leave of absence to look after a sick family member. I am extremely grateful to the Prime Minister for allowing me to take this temporary leave, and huge thanks to my talented colleague Chris Skidmore who will be covering my portfolio as Energy and Clean Growth Minister.

However, my Parliamentary team based in Devizes and Westminster will continue to progress personal casework and policy queries in my absence, so please do continue to contact my office at claire.perry.mp@parliament.uk or call 01380 729358.

Posted by Claire Perry at 1:15pm

April 2019 Update

24th April 2019

After a particularly hectic time in Westminster, I was delighted to be able to enjoy a few days rest with the family at home. Our beautiful constituency is even more wonderful in the glorious sunshine we enjoyed over the Easter period.

However, as wonderful as the sunny warm weather has been, the climate change protests that have been going on across London reinforce the stark warnings that our actions are contributing to global warming which is harming our planet.

Whilst I’m with anybody who is passionate about solving the crisis of climate change, what I am really interested in is solutions and not tactics that are incredibly disruptive. What I say to the protesters is that we hear you loud and clear, there is no need to create mayhem for millions of people to get your message across.

We need to focus our efforts on the solutions that we need to deliver. That is why we have commissioned advice from the Committee on Climate Change on our long-term targets, including on the setting of a net zero target. I look forward to receiving a response from the Committee later this year. 

However, as well as my fascinating Ministerial role, I am first and foremost the Member for our lovely Constituency, and my inbox has been full over the last week with emails from residents in Ablington and Figheldean about the proposed sale by the Ministry of Defence of the beautiful woodland known as Ablington Amenity Woods.

Local residents are concerned that there has been no communication from the MoD about the proposed sale – and I was pleased therefore to raise this matter directly with my Ministerial colleague, the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, to request that the proposed sale of Ablington Amenity Woods by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation is reviewed as a matter of urgency.

Posted by Claire Perry at 2:08pm

March 2019 Update

28th March 2019

At the time of writing my last column it looked like this month’s column would be the last written whilst the UK was still a member of the EU.

However, at the EU Council summit last week it was agreed that, subject to the deal being passed soon, our departure can be extended.

Then, earlier this week, Parliament voted to hold indicative votes on possible ways forward.

I know that there are deeply held views for and against each of the outcomes we now face.

However, it is clearer to me than ever that the best way forward is to pass the Prime Minister’s deal as soon as possible so that we can end the uncertainty, fulfil the result of the referendum and allow the country to move on towards a new future outside EU.

But, of course, Brexit is not the only thing going on in Parliament, and last week we also had the Spring Statement, which delivered a positive economic update and some very welcome announcements.

The Statement showed that the economy is doing well, with employment at a new record high of 32.7 million people, unemployment down to a 44-year low and the number of women in work at a record high!

Additionally, wages are growing at the fastest rate in a decade and have been outstripping inflation for a full year, which means more money in people’s pockets.

All of this good economic news means that the Government has been able to launch our plans for a bright future for Britain – creating a digital economy, redoubling our commitment to skills and world-class infrastructure, staying at the cutting edge of clean growth and tackling the big issues like knife crime head on.

Posted by Claire Perry at 9:58am

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