Richard’s Blog

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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A34 to South Sandwich Island

On Wednesday last week I met with neighbouring MPs, the A34 Action Group, Highways England and others as part of our campaign to get improvements to the A34 between the Newbury junction of the M4 and the M40. We discussed the keenly awaited safety review that came...

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Incoherent nonsense

In a scene from Harry Potter he visits Gringotts Bank. It is staffed by strange creatures, devoid of humour and who live in a separate world from other people. I imagine the Boundary Commission is rather like that. They exist to adjust constituency boundaries in a way...

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