Andrea Leadsom: 'Don't leave rural communities behind'

  • 5 October 2016
  • From the section England

One in eight people work in farming and it is a bigger industry than the car and aerospace industry combined, Andrea Leadsom tells the Conservative Party Conference.

It's a point she made in the Northamptonshire MP's first speech as Secretary of State for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs.

She represents a rural constituency, which she praised: "I know from my own constituency of South Northamptonshire that the British countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world."

Mrs Leadsom also warned that rural communities should not be left behind: "I want people living in our market towns and villages to have the same life opportunities as those who live in our cities," she said.

Mrs Leadsom ended up in the job after this summer's bruising leadership contest and joked at her own expense that Jeremy Corbyn could have come to her for advice on how to ensure a short lived campaign.

Read full article Andrea Leadsom: 'Don't leave rural communities behind'

Should we pay more for the NHS?

  • 19 September 2016
  • From the section England
Surgeons Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption MP Norman Lamb believes people would be happy paying more to support the NHS

Should we pay a little more in taxes for the sake of the NHS?

It's a question increasingly being asked by mainstream politicians, with two of the East's MPs arguing that it's time we face facts and realise that the NHS needs more money.

Read full article Should we pay more for the NHS?

Boundary review: New constituencies for the East

  • 13 September 2016
  • From the section England
Polling station

The shape of nearly every constituency in the region is likely to change if the new proposals from the boundary commission are introduced. And Labour could also find it much harder to win here in the future.

Just one seat will disappear - Witham in Essex - but of 64 seats in the East of England and Northamptonshire, only six remain completely unchanged.

Read full article Boundary review: New constituencies for the East

Norman Lamb labels psychosis care "outrageous shambles"

  • 7 September 2016
  • From the section England
Norman Lamb Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Norman Lamb said some of the level of care was "scandalous"

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman and North Norfolk MP, has accused clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the East region of being "a disgusting and outrageous shambles" when it comes to organising the treatment of patients with psychosis.

Leading a Parliamentary debate into the national provision of treatment for the serious mental disorder, Mr Lamb said freedom of information requests had revealed that many CCGs were failing to implement new national guidelines on the early treatment of psychosis.

Read full article Norman Lamb labels psychosis care "outrageous shambles"

Abellio wins nine year rail franchise

  • 11 August 2016
  • From the section England
An Abellio Greater Anglia train
Image caption Abellio has won the franchise to continue delivering rail services in the East region for the next nine years

"For too long East Anglia has been unloved in rail terms - that's going to change."

Those are the comments of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, summing up the importance of his announcement that Abellio will continue to run the new Greater Anglia rail franchise.

Read full article Abellio wins nine year rail franchise

Lisa Duffy battles to lead UKIP

  • 8 August 2016
  • From the section England
Lisa Duffy
Image caption Cambridgeshire councillor Lisa Duffy is being backed as the next leader of UKIP

In the wake of the Brexit vote we're seeing the summer of leadership campaigns. A political realignment is key to UKIP, which to all intents and purposes has achieved its goal and could shut up shop and walk away.

Instead, along with Labour and the Green Party, UKIP is going through a leadership contest. For a party forged to force a referendum and pull us out of Europe, the challenges, now that has been achieved, are obvious. What next for the hundred plus councillors in this region, for its three MEPs and for the only UKIP MP?

Read full article Lisa Duffy battles to lead UKIP

Alternative East Anglian devolution deal proposed

The devolution agreement
Image caption The agreement recognises the importance of places like the Cambridge business sector, the Norwich Research Park and University Campus Suffolk

The battle for devolution in East Anglia has taken another turn, with council leaders in Cambridgeshire writing to the government to propose an alternative deal.

We understand that under the so-called "brother and sister" deal, local authorities in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk would agree to work more closely together. But instead of a combined authority and a mayor covering the three counties - there would be two: one for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and one for Norfolk and Suffolk.

Read full article Alternative East Anglian devolution deal proposed

Details of East Anglian devolution revealed

The devolution agreement
Image caption The agreement recognises the importance of places like the Cambridge business sector, the Norwich research park and University Campus Suffolk

We're starting to get an idea about what East Anglian devolution will look like.

The devolution agreement, published by the treasury and signed by 22 of the 23 council leaders in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, outlines how the new combined authority will work and the powers of the new directly elected mayor.

Read full article Details of East Anglian devolution revealed

Merger plans to create largest council

  • 16 March 2016
  • From the section Suffolk
Riverside Waveney District Council
Image caption Waveney and Suffolk Coastal district councils will elect a new set of councillors if they merge

There are big changes underway in local Government. In the week the first details of East Anglian devolution emerged, two of our councils took the first steps towards completely merging to create the largest district council in the country.

If Waveney and Suffolk Coastal district councils pull it off, the new East Suffolk Council will stretch from Felixstowe to Lowestoft, elect a new set of councillors and serve a quarter of a million people.

Read full article Merger plans to create largest council

Learner drivers should take first aid course, says Will Quince MP

  • 9 March 2016
  • From the section Essex
Driving instructor in 1935 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The first driving test in the UK was in 1935, when this photo of a learner driver was taken

It was 81 years ago when Ronald Beere, of Kensington Hall Gardens, London, became the first person to pass a driving test in the UK. Since then, almost 50 million tests have been taken, and over that time a lot has changed.

For a start there's the cost: Mr Beere paid just 7/6d, around £50 in today's money, but would-be motorists have to find £85 these days.

Read full article Learner drivers should take first aid course, says Will Quince MP