Comment: MP Iain on the Conservative Conference

Iain Stewart MP
Iain Stewart MP

As many readers will know I try and visit as many of the schools in the constituency as possible and this month I met with teachers and pupils of Bow Brickhill Primary School.

The trip coincided with World School Milk Day, which is organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and celebrated in over 30 countries. 

The goal of World School Milk Day is to celebrate children drinking milk in school. In the UK, around 1.5 million children receive free milk every day. For children under five their free milk is funded by the Department of Health.

While at the school I was delighted to help with handing out milk to the children as well as judging a picture competition.

I was also very pleased to be invited to open the new LogNEC Competency Centre, located at Turing House in Wavendon Business Park.

LogNEC is a delivery partnership between the Ministry of Defence and Boeing Defence UK. I am really pleased Turing House will be the second Competency Centre to be opened as part of this partnership. This will see the migration of over 250 workers from four sites in Bicester, Worthy Down, Stanbridge & Witton, to this one central location in Milton Keynes. Many of the workers are re-locating to the area and I hope they will see what a great place Milton Keynes is to live. 

Once the centre is fully up and running it will be employing some 400 people and there are current vacancies and numerous jobs being advertised locally. This will provide a great boost to the local economy as well as add to our growing reputation for high tech research and development.

The last month has also been the Party Conference season, with the Conservative Party Conference running from October 7-10 in Birmingham. This is always a busy time for MPs and this year was no exception. I was invited to take part in a number of discussions and events, including the main transport event of conference; the Transport Hub ‘Big Interview’. I was part of a panel interviewed on all elements of transport policy.

I was also able to take part in discussions with the Association of Train Operating Companies and Virgin Trains, much of which focused on the recent announcements around the West Cost Mainline Franchise process. As many readers will know, this is an issue I am taking a close interest in as a Member of the Transport Select Committee. The committee will also be calling the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, to give evidence on the cancellation of the West Coast Main Line franchise competition on Wednesday, October 31.

There have also been a number of announcements made by the Prime Minister which I hope will offer some much needed support to rail commuters, particularly the cap of inflation plus one per cent on rail fare increases. I was also pleased that the Prime Minister announced a council tax freeze for the third year running.

Finally, I was delighted by the announcement made by the Foreign Secretary that he will be visiting Bletchley Park to announce the Government will be unlocking funding for the restoration of the Park. I fully support the comments that it is right we preserve the memory of some of the greatest intelligence achievements in our history. I am also pleased the Foreign Secretary will also be taking this opportunity to launch a new scheme to recruit the brightest mathematicians of the future.

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