ON March 20 I was honoured to be present in Westminster Hall to hear the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Address to both Houses of Parliament.
Sixty years of service to the country is a remarkable feat. The only other monarch in history to reign as long was Queen Victoria in 1897. Many of her comments resonated with me, in particular the British virtues of “resilience, ingenuity and tolerance”, which I constantly feel are reflected so strongly in Milton Keynes.
In keeping with the Royal theme, Milton Keynes also welcomed His Royal Highness the Duke of York this month. The Duke took the time to visit Bletchley Park on his tour of the area. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to discuss how business can interact with Bletchley Park Trust further. The discussions also focused round how His Royal Highness can support the Trust’s aspirations, helping to maintain a unique tourist attraction and an important part of our national history.
This month I also continued my programme of shadowing public sector workers by joining teachers from The Hazeley to see the work they do on a daily basis. I find these opportunities of visiting staff on the frontline invaluable to help keep me informed of the need of my constituents, enabling me to make more effective representations.
I was highly impressed with the level of dedication shown by the teaching staff at The Hazeley. I would like to take the opportunity to thank both teachers and pupils who welcomed me into their classrooms for the day.
There was also some good news for our two of our sports clubs this month as I was invited by Sport England to hand over £50,000 and £45,400 respectively of National Lottery investment to MK Springers and Stony Stratford Cricket Club.
The investment is part of Places People Play, Sport England’s Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme which aims to bring the inspiration of the 2012 Games to every community in England. These donations will provide a huge boost to sports provisions and I am delighted to support them.
Also this month I held a number of ‘Street Surgeries’ firstly on the high street in Woburn Sands and also at the newly opened Shenley Wood Retirement Village. I will be holding more in the coming months and as the weather improves I hope more constituents will take the opportunity to bend my ear on issues of concern to them.
Finally, this year’s Budget is one that will be good for growth in the economy.
The announcements are designed to help business across the UK and help the smallest firms grow and prosper. I believe it is a pro-growth budget that rewards work and unashamedly backs business.
An important measure to boost investment and jobs that has been particularly welcomed by business is the additional one per cent cut in corporation tax. By April 2014 we will have a 22 per cent corporation tax rate – the lowest rate in the G7. It is vital for growth that we attract investment and jobs to this country and, by reducing corporation tax, business can afford to do just that.
The Government is also introducing measures to support struggling small businesses. This includes £100m to increase the supply of capital for our small and medium sized firms through non-bank lending channels.
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