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Richard’s Blog

Local elections

Last week’s local elections were hard for West Berkshire Conservatives. We lost many good Councillors and whilst maintaining control of West Berkshire Council we lost control of Newbury and Thatcham Town Councils. I congratulate all candidates who stood in these...

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Brexit perspective

Over the past few weeks I have received correspondence from people expressing many different points of views. I have been asked to vote to leave with no deal and vote not to leave with no deal. I’ve been asked to vote for the existing Withdrawal Agreement and to vote...

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Last week in Parliament we got the chance to debate the most crucial issue – and I choose my words carefully – facing us today: the issue of climate change. This issue puts Brexit in perspective. Tackling climate change is about our ability to survive and thrive on...

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My reaction to the new independent grouping of MPs

To pretend that the new grouping of MPs is all down to Brexit in the Conservative Party, or anti-Semitism and the actions of Momentum activists in the Labour Party, is to miss the point. Those issues might be the catalyst that saw this happen but it is about deeper...

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Building connections

How many of you have visited Fair Close Centre in Newbury? When that question was asked last week at the conference I hosted on Loneliness and Isolation, only a fraction of the eighty people attending raised their hands. Which, surprisingly, was a result for Fair...

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Brexit update

It is a fast moving picture as we near the vote on the Government’s withdrawal agreement and it is a good time to let you know where I stand. I supported the decision to hold a referendum on whether or not Britain should be a member of the EU. Following that...

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Combatting loneliness

Loneliness and isolation affect a shocking number of people across the UK. It does not discriminate by age, geography or status and at no time of the year does it become more acute than at Christmas. When Community Christmas was set up in 2011 by the legendary...

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Brexit update

The Prime Minister is off to Brussels to see if she can secure some changes to the so-called backstop in the hope that more people will feel able vote for her deal. As things stand it has no chance of passing in the House of Commons and therefore it is right to go the...

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Inspiring the engineers of tomorrow

How do you work out a system to transport a bottle of water across the space between two posts using a couple of ropes and a random collection of plastic components, nuts and bolts? And you have to work as a team and you only have 20 minutes to do it? This challenge...

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Provision for rough sleepers this winter

Although it is year-round issue for anyone facing the devastating consequences of homelessness, rough sleeping inevitably becomes more high profile as we move into the colder months of the year. All of us, as concerned individuals, ask the same questions: why are...

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