Press Releases

Benyon speaks up for serving and past members of the Armed Forces

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Taking part in a short debate on the failure of the trials into members of the Parachute Regiment, who were tried with war crimes offences in Iraq, Richard Benyon widened the whole issue of the effect of this trial on morale in the Armed Services.  Referring to reports in Sundays media of the re-opening of cases, where members of the Armed Forces had killed suspected terrorists in Northern Ireland, at the same time as tribunals are offering amnesty to Irish terrorists on the run, Richard Benyon said  “I am sure that the Minister will take a serious and genuine look at why the prosecution was brought, but does he understand that there is a wider danger, which was articulated in some of the Sunday papers and which has given many of us who served in Northern Ireland cause for great concern? Does he understand the wider effect of that and the need for joined-up government? Will he exclude here in the House the implied threat in those articles that there will be a tribunal to look into cases where suspect terrorists were shot by members of the Armed Forces in Northern Ireland? Does he understand that that will damage recruitment, as my hon. Friends have said, which must be taken into account?”

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Benyon; keeping the pressure up

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Following the Prime Minister’s offer, during PM Question Time on Wednesday, to enter into correspondence with Newbury’s MP, Richard Benyon has sent a letter setting-out the difficulties facing West Berkshire’s Primary Care Trust (letter attached). Richard repeated these points on Sunday during BBC’s The Politics Show.

During the broadcast, Richard also set-out his belief that public service funding, in particular health, is being diverted away from areas like West Berkshire to Labour areas in the North. Richard said, “Because the Government’s formula on spending means that West Berkshire falls below the radar on indicators such as unemployment and deprivation, it is infinitely worse to be sick, mentally ill or disabled in West Berkshire than in many areas to the North.”

PDF Letter to The Rt Hon Tony Blair MP

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Charles Clore MacMillian Unit – Some good news at last.

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Following the announcement by the PCT of the transfer of services from the Charles Clore MacMillian Unit to West Berkshire Community Hospital, Newbury’s MP, Richard Benyon lobbied the Chief Executive of the NHS, Sir Nigel Crisp and Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt.

Richard asked that if the unit was to close any proceeds from the sale of the unit should remain in West Berkshire. Under NHS rules they would normally go into central NHS capital funds.

Today Richard received a letter from Sir Nigel which would appear to concede that the proceeds from the sale will indeed remain in West Berkshire. Richard said, “This is the first bit of good news we have had since this issue was first raised in the summer. Sums received from the sale of the unit can now kick start a fund to provide a new build palliative care unit in the hospital grounds.”

Richard concedes there is a long way to go before this becomes reality but it does give hope to those who value the CCMU for its distinctive independence from the hospital environment and also may provide the basis for greater up-take of palliative care services in the future

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Benyon's busy summer

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With Parliament in recess there is a popular misconception that MPs are on holiday. To counter this Richard Benyon is giving details of some of his activities over the weeks until Parliament returns in October.

"I think 80 days is too long for Parliament to be in recess but it has given me the opportunity to get around the constituency, to visit many organisations and individuals and to attend a great many events"

Activities in July and August include;

An all day visit to the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston.

A meeting to discuss the local economy with Barclays Bank

A meeting with Water Voice - the voice for Thames Water customers

A meeting to address concerns from low flying Police and Army Helicopters in the Downlands area.

Attending the Southby Allotments Open Day

Newbury Farmers Market

Meetings with Council Members and Officials

Attending a performance of the Newbury Young Stars production of "Summer Holiday"

Helping Newbury Show with their traffic management difficulties

Visiting Elm farm Research Centre, Hamstead Marshall

Visiting the Environment Agency to discuss the water shortage in the Thames Valley

-  and many more

In addition, Richard's mailbag has not eased up.  He has been representing constituents on a variety of issues every day.  Frequently recurring issues are (not in order): The Child Support Agency, Tax Credits (particularly overpayment), Thames Water, Housing matters, Planning (unlike his predecessor, Richard does get involved in planning matters), Licensing and Immigration. Richard is continuing to hold surgeries throughout the summer.

As a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee he is attending Parliament during the recess as the Committee will be sitting to interview the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke MP, The Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, Ian Blair and the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, among others.

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Benyon Campaigns for Veterans Medal

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Newbury MP, Richard Benyon, has called on the Government to recognise the sacrifice given by so many who fought in Bomber Command in the war. In a letter to Don Touhig MP, the Minister for Veterans at the Ministry of Defence, Richard raised the wish of many surviving veterans for a campaign medal to be issued to recognise the heroism of those who took part in the bombing campaigns in the last war.

Richard said, “Around half of those who took part in the campaign (56,000) died in action and it is shameful that this is the only major branch of Britain’s wartime armed forces not to have received such recognition.” Richard was moved to promote this campaign by a friendship he has struck up with Newbury resident and Bomber Command veteran, Les Weaver

Veterans Medal

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Twits

I like Twitter. It is a useful way or keeping in touch with local and national issues. I have around 12,400 followers. It is hard to imagine any other platform that would allow me the chance to communicate with a crowd of that size.

There is a big "but" here...

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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