One of the aims of this Government is to have greater transparency on information so the public are better able to have their say. A great new tool is the National Crime Maps which has received 45 million visits so far. Visit www.police.uk and type in your postcode to find out more.
Also on law and order, this month saw the launch of the new national non-emergency telephone number in England and Wales – 101. Three quarters of calls to the Police on the 999 number turn out not to be emergencies and use of this new number will help prioritise the really urgent cases.
I am continuing to campaign on transport issues. One such campaign is to address the unfairness in the treatment of UK hauliers compared to European competitors and after meeting Roads Minister Mike Penning, I am delighted that the Government is planning to introduce a “vignette” card which will address the current unfairness.
A particularly interesting hearing this month on the Public Accounts Committee was the Care Quality Commission which regulates the NHS. Sadly it is a classic case story on all that went wrong with regulation under the last Government. For example, in its first two years it did not carry out a single major investigation. It is important we reform this quickly to help improve patients’ care.
My usual constituency programme continued this month with two notable highlights being opening the Citizens Advice Bureau’s new premises in Wisbech and presenting certificates at Sir Harry Smith’s Community College to last year’s leavers. It really is uplifting to be able to join in the recognition of the hard work put in by students supported by parents and teachers.
A real highlight of my month was meeting Mrs Dorothy Morley, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. It is not every day that you meet a constituent whose father fought in the Boer War in the 19th century and whose husband served in the Navy in the First World War.
I am also in discussions with Anglia Water regarding the appalling situation faced by constituents as a result of yet another incident of flooding. It simply is not good enough and my heart goes out to residents who face the distress of watching sewage float across their lawn and in their home.
As a local MP, I always try to offer constructive proposals for my constituency. This month I set out five positive proposals for the redevelopment of Wisbech, taking advantage of its unique position as the only port in Cambridgeshire. For more details on this and my other work in Parliament and locally, please visit my website at www.stevebarclay.net or follow me on Twitter: @stevebarclaymp