The Queen’s speech signalled the start of the last session of Parliament before next year’s general election. With only 11 months to go there is still a lot to do.
Over the coming weeks and months MPs will be debating, scrutinising and voting on important Bills like a new state-funded childcare subsidy worth up to £2,000 a year; reforming pensions so that people have much more control over the money they have put aside for their retirement; extra legal protection for people being sued for negligence if they act heroically or in the public interest; and tougher penalties for employers who fail to pay the minimum wage and a crackdown on abuse of zero-hour contracts.
The UK is on the move again but, we must stick to the plan and Bills like these are key to our success.
I took part in the annual Lords vs Commons Tug of War. It was the third year I have taken part and we managed to raise almost £150,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Stony Stratford Business Association and I welcomed Brandon Lewis MP, Minister for High Streets and visited businesses in Stony Stratford Town Centre. Both the Minister and I took a lot away from the visits. Although the local economy is doing very well, there is still more to do and we were able to discuss some positive ideas the Government has to rejuvenate traditional High Streets.
I also had the pleasure of shadowing the clinical and administrative staff at Stony Stratford Medical Centre and it was good to have an open and honest discussion about the long term challenges that the NHS faces.
I was hugely impressed by the dedication of the staff and I shall certainly be feeding back my experiences to Ministers.
Finally, on Sunday I was at MK Dons Stadium for the end of season awards ceremony for the Milton Keynes and Border Counties Youth Football League. I had the honour of presenting the U12s and U13s footballers with their awards for hard work over the season.
All were excited for the World Cup and I am sure there will be England flags flying across MK come Saturday night! I should add that, although I am a Scotsman, I will be cheering for England!