Press Releases


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The ground-breaking work of West Berkshire Council’s Emotional Health Academy is attracting national interest based on the successful outcomes it is achieving in improving the mental health of children in West Berkshire. 

 EHA Summary

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Watch Richard’s question here

·         Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con)

I am proud that my party in government has ensured that in this country we fulfil our commitment to NATO to spend 2% of GDP on defence and our commitment to the UN to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid. Will my right hon. Friend please commit the future Conservative Government to do the same? [909688]

·         The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend is absolutely correct. Obviously we have committed to meet our NATO pledge of 2% of GDP being spent on defence every year of this decade. We are delivering on that. We have got a £36 billion defence budget that will rise to almost £40 billion by 2020-21—the biggest in Europe and second largest in NATO. We are meeting our UN commitment ​to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas development assistance. I can assure him that we remain committed, as a Conservative party, to ensuring the defence and security of this country and to working for a stronger world.

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Not in My Name: Local Community in West Berkshire Came Together to announces a Unity Walk

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By Newbury Mosque and Muslim Youth Group - March 31, 2017

Newbury, Berkshire – Newbury Mosque and Muslim Youth Group (MYG) announced today that as part of Community Cohesion Initiative we are bringing Local Community together on Wednesday 5/4/2017 at 2.40 pm near town hall in Newbury to show solidarity with the family and loved ones of victims of Appalling & Barbaric London Westminster attack committed by some insane individual on 22/3/2017.


Leader from Newbury Mosque, Muslim Youth Group (MYG), Representatives from Parish Church (Church of England Church), Glendale Church, West Berkshire Council, Local Councilors, Representative from local MP, Thames Valley Police and Mayor of Newbury met today to agree the next steps for organizing a Walk from Newbury Mosque (leaving at 2 pm) to Newbury Town Hall , where we will observe a 1 minute silence at 2.40 pm and laying of flower in remembrance of the victims. A Prayer with be Lead by Imam Mobasshir Mushtaq and Revd David McLeod from St Mary’s Church Greenham. This will be followed by short (5 minute) speeches by Local Muslim Leaders as well as MP Richard Benyon and Mayor of Newbury Julian Swift-Hook.

All religions and nationalities are welcome to join from West Berkshire and surrounding areas to show that we are all saddened by the tragic deaths and injuries of innocent people.

Our thought and prayers are with family of victims and their loved ones.

All participants of meeting agreed that we strongly condemn the attack in London Westminster and are coming together on the 5th of April 2017 to show unity and solidarity in response to this outrage by insane individual and will not allow terrorists to divide us.

About Newbury Mosque & Muslim Youth Group

Newbury Mosque was opened in 2000 as first mosque in Newbury and surrounding areas to fulfill needs of local Muslim community.

Muslim Youth Group was founded by Imam Mobasshir Mushtaq in 2012 and since has been bringing local Muslim community together on monthly basis as well as get together on local Muslim festivals. MYG also provides services to local Muslim youth to develop their character as per true Muslim values.

For further information please contact Mobasshir Mushtaq on 07540 916508 or Shamim Ahmed on  07470 150757

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Following the homelessness round table held at West Berkshire Council earlier this month, Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury, was present at the launch in Westminster last week of a new report on tackling homelessness. Housing First outlines an ambitious new approach to ending rough sleeping.

Produced by the independent think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, co-sponsored by Richard, it urges the Government to consider a major shake-up of its housing policy to end rough sleeping permanently. Based on the Finnish model, Housing First addresses the problem by providing individuals with a stable independent home, which is combined with personalised support to gain access to mental health services, drug and alcohol support, in addition to training for employment when and if they are ready.

Richard was one of many MPs who supported the launch. He commented, ‘Rough sleeping costs the Government £1bn every year in health, drug rehabilitation and criminal justice spending. The plan to introduce Housing First in the UK would cost the Government £110 million a year, but would pay for itself within three years.

‘As former rough sleeper, Wayne Craft, said at the launch, “You don’t start a house by building a roof. Having a home gave me a base…The best thing that ever happened to me was a post code.”

‘I am delighted that Sajid Javid, the Minister with responsibility for homelessness, has confirmed he is interested in adopting a Housing First programme in the UK. This tallies in many ways with the MEAM approach that we were discussing at the round table at West Berkshire Council and could see a similar model put in place for those people with multiple and complex needs here in Newbury.'

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Richard Benyon, Member of Parliament for Newbury, has welcomed the Chancellor’s budget as a budget that “builds on the economic success of the last seven years and delivers for business in Newbury.”

A key issue that it addressed was the business rates revaluation. Richard has long campaigned for reform to the ratings system and has been critical of the Valuations Office Agency and others for the way in which business rates valuations have been carried out and implemented.

Richard commented: “I am pleased how much this Government has done to support small business. When we came into Government in 2010 corporation tax was at 28% now it’s 20% and set to fall to 17% by 2020.

“But the latest business rate revaluation has exposed serious flaws in how the system works. That is why I am delighted by the Chancellor’s commitment to conduct a full review into the ratings system before the next round of valuations.

“It is also good news that the Chancellor has committed to much-needed transitional relief for those businesses affected now by the current revaluation. Businesses coming out of Small Business Relief will have their increases capped at £50 per month in 2017-18.”

In addition, pubs with a rateable value of under £100,000 – 90% of all pubs – will see a £1,000 discount on their 2017 business rates bill; and local authorities will receive a further £300 million to help businesses that are struggling due to the revaluation in their areas.

The Government had already committed to double Small Business Rate Relief, increase the threshold, give 100% relief to businesses with properties with rateable value of up to £12,000 and taper relief for businesses with properties with rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000. 

Richard said, “It is clear that the Conservatives in Government are the party that is supporting small business and these measures will go further towards helping businesses like those in Newbury and West Berkshire.” 

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Why NATO matters

After the momentous events in Parliament following the invocation of Article 50 last week, it was interesting being in Berlin at the weekend. I lead the UK delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. This is a gathering of parliamentarians from across the alliance who provide some democratic accountability for those running NATO. As someone brought up in the Cold War, Berlin has always had a fascination for me. I found time to walk the line of the old Berlin Wall and to try and get a feel for how life was in the scary days when West and East faced off against each other over the iron curtain...

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Richard Benyon was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Newbury on 7 May 2015, with an increased majority of 26,368. Richard won 61 per cent of the vote share.



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