Comment: Out and about in Milton Keynes

Iain Stewart MP

Iain Stewart MP

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THIS month the House of Commons rose for its summer Recess giving me the opportunity to spend more time out and about in Milton Keynes.

I have been holding a number of street surgeries around the city, including at Shenley Wood Retirement Village. I am grateful to everyone who took the time to speak with me when I stood on the High Street in Stony Stratford and Woburn Sands, and also on Queensway in Bletchley.

In addition to my regular surgeries by appointment, street surgeries provide constituents with an opportunity to bend my ear on the issues that are most important to them. For me to be an effective representative for residents it is essential I hear people’s concerns and I am grateful to those who shared their views with me.

One of the privileges I enjoy as MP is meeting inspirational people. Recently, I met Andrew Lawless, a constituent who is a stroke survivor. Before the unfortunate incident, Mr Lawless had a successful career in the commercial sector. Rather than be deterred by the incident, he is putting his experience and skills to excellent use by setting up ‘In touch with stroke survival’ – a community interest company to help re-enable other survivors. His website, http://strokesurvival.co.uk/ gives a sense of his vision and aspirations for others who have been affected by stroke. For companies looking for a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project, I believe that ‘In touch with stroke survival’ is a worthwhile cause to consider sponsoring. Andrew is also fundraising for a new powered wheelchair, vital to help him to maintain his independence and to help re-enable other stroke survivors through his project. People can donate to Andrew’s cause by following the link: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/andrewlawlesschair/61812.

I also took some time to visit with the local Territorial Army branch in Bletchley and meet with the personnel of 1 Signal Squadron. The role of the TA will become increasingly important in the coming years as the Ministry of Defence aims to increase the volunteer reserve force to 30,000. I am pleased that the Government has committed an additional £1.8 billion over 10 years to the Reserves, ensures that Reservists, as this will enable them to receive the kit and the training they need to support the regular Army.

There is also good news for people looking to buy a home in Milton Keynes. This month I joined Jephson Homes Housing Association at the official unveiling of its Walton Grange scheme on Brickhill Street. This development includes 53 high-quality homes, which will help families in Milton Keynes to access local affordable housing.

I know from my post bag that there’s a huge appetite for quality affordable housing in Milton Keynes. This development is in a lovely part of Milton Keynes and I’m sure will be very welcome for local people. Redeveloping an existing site like this is also a great way to help protect green areas and make the most of brownfield land. Congratulations to Jephson on completing this development during tough economic times.

Milton Keynes also hosted the Energy and Climate Change minister, Greg Barker MP, as he visited the Lakes Estate in Bletchley. The Minister took part in discussions over the proposals to refurbish 480 council housing properties as part of the Green Deal. The proposed work will include external wall insulation and ‘warm roof’ improvements to flat roof terraced houses, helping residents to save money on their energy bills.

Finally, I was delighted to be able to present Calcutta Brassiere in Stony Stratford with its certificate and embroidered chef’s jacket for reaching the regional finals in this year’s Tiffin Cup. Calcutta Brassiere was marked on its location, food, ambience, decor and service and was highly commended by judges. I am glad that Calcutta Brasserie made it this so far in the competition. They gave a good showing of the excellent cuisine that is on offer in Milton Keynes and I hope they win next time round.

Email: iain.stewart.mp@parliament.uk

Tel: 01908 686830

Postal address: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA