Richard’s Blog

Give a shift

Oxfam is running a campaign to get more people volunteering in their charity shops asking people to ‘give a shift’ during the week to help sort donations and man the tills. On my visit I met Doreen who has given more shifts than most. She has worked at Oxfam Newbury...

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Moving to electric

It is early days but there is a transport revolution going on. The number of electric vehicles bought in the UK was up nearly 30% last year and the Government has stated its commitment to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. MPs...

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Some pain then more trains

Last week I held a meeting in my office at Westminster with representatives from Great Western Railway (GWR) and Network Rail. The upshot is good news and bad news. The good news is that in about a year we will have more trains providing a better service to Newbury...

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Friday catch-up

Constituency Fridays are a high point of my week. They keep you grounded. You find a reality often missing at Westminster. Last Friday started with a meeting with a locally based scientist who wanted to share with me some brilliant work she was doing at the National...

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Looking back at my year of mental health

As Berkshire’s year of mental health draws to a close this month, Brighter Berkshire asked me for a review of what the year has meant to me. This is just some of the highlights. JANUARY My involvement with Brighter Berkshire began with the planning session at...

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A little New Year’s cheer

One of our national newspapers has an editorial policy that every article should make its reader angry or scared, preferably both. It’s not just national newspapers which make the world look bleak. Look at the first five items on any news programme and you will be...

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State of West Berkshire

Headlines saying that West Berkshire is the worst for anything always concern me but the latest one was worrying. This area was identified in a report by the Social Mobility Commission as a ‘coldspot’ for social mobility when it comes to the percentage of early years...

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View from the gallery

On my way to the Chamber on Budget Day I passed the Shadow Cabinet room full of Labour researchers and analysts hunched over their screens, poised to feed the Leader of the Opposition pithy amendments to his speech in reply to the Chancellor’s Budget. I like sitting...

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Emotional health

Last week was a good week for a mini recess with rumour and counter-rumour swirling around Westminster. It allowed me some time to get around the constituency. The high point of my week was a visit to the Emotional Health Academy in Newbury. This is a scheme...

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Ending “lawfare”

Last week I used a Parliamentary ruse to raise an issue that has been troubling me for a long time. “Lawfare” is the nickname given to actions by lawyers who seek to bring members of the armed forces to court for actions they took, often decades ago, in the thick of...

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