Some weeks feel like little progress is being made, and then a number of announcements come all at once.
Royal Mail confirmed the Chatteris sorting office will remain open for the foreseeable future, announcing a U-turn from their previous plans. Thanks go to all the residents who signed the petition, Chatteris Town Council and the Communications Workers Union who all worked together to fight the closure.
The Government also confirmed that the new Cambridge Science Park railway station will go ahead. This will improve access from North East Cambridgeshire to the 4,500 skilled jobs at the Science Park, and help boost growth in the county.
A third success this week was securing funding for the medieval stained glass window at Wisbech Castle which was at risk due to a lack of maintenance work. Having visited last week to see this for myself, I am delighted that the County Council accepted the urgency of action to protect a window from the old Bishop of Ely’s palace.
Plenty of work remains outstanding in other areas and I have held a number of meetings both collectively, such as with a group of March councillors, and individually, as in Wisbech. More information can be found at my website – www.stevebarclay.net
In Parliament I spoke on the Financial Services Bill to question why banks profit from the wrongdoing of other banks, through a reduction in the levy paid to the regulator. I have written to the Chancellor asking that fines instead go to good causes.
I have also raised with the House of Lords the lack of accountability of senior civil servants to Parliament, which goes to the heart of the frequent failure to secure value for money for the taxpayer.
The Health reforms have triggered much debate in Parliament this month. Locally I was delighted to present the Quality Practice Award (the highest attainable award from the Royal College of GPs) to the North Brink Practice in Wisbech. This places them in the top 1% nationwide and congratulations go to all the staff involved.
Health improvements are also going ahead in Littleport with a new outreach service for minor operations. This saves people the 50 mile round trip to hospital.
My work on the Public Accounts Committee, constituency surgeries, not to mention unpacking following my recent house move have all kept me busy.
For those wondering – like a few friends who texted me that evening – I can reassure you that I was not anywhere near the House of Commons bar when an altercation occurred between a number of MPs.