Last week was very Westminster heavy!! A lot of questions, votes, speeches and process! Ugh! But some success. First success was getting the Transport Secretary to commit to using British Steel for HS2. Indeed he seemed to suggest in answer to my questions that 95% of steel used in the construction of this project will be UK steel.
It's fantastic that the Scunthorpe Telegraph is following this up with a campaign to make sure that it happens and that HS2 is built with British Steel. To sign the petition follow this link –
Second success was getting the Early Years Minister to commit to meeting local nursery providers to hear directly from them about their concerns about the impact of Government policy on local provision. Hopefully she will come and visit us here and see some of the great early years work that is going on locally. If not we will go to see her!!
Third success was the overwhelming majority to get into Committee the Private Members' Bill to stop the government's gerrymandering of boundaries. There's a long way to go with this but it may mean that the Government has to do something to make sure the millions of voters added in the last two years are taken into account when new boundaries are drawn up.
I also asked ministers about doing something to improve the woeful funding of 16-19 education and spoke in the debate on the new Technical and FE Bill pointing out the great work that John Leggott and North Lindsey do locally and the need for that to be properly supported.
Continuing the education theme I asked the International Development Secretary how she can use the UK's Aid budget to support improvements in the number of girls completing their secondary education in sub-saharan Africa. Currently whilst 85% start primary school only 8% finish secondary school - not a good story.
I've spent a lot of time in the Criminal Finances Bill Committee where we are going through, cross-party, line by line to do everything we can to ensure that the law is sharpened up to deal with people who try to evade their duty to pay taxes.
I also had a useful meeting with DONG energy where their head of procurement talked me through how they are intending to source the steel for use in building North Sea wind farms. Finally I had a very useful meeting being briefed about the Buses Bill and the opportunities and challenges for local bus service providers like Hornsbys.