Westminster Diary – End of term report

 

 

There have been twelve ground breaking weeks since the new Coalition Government was unveiled to the British public and as David Cameron promised throughout the General Election campaign, we have hit the ground running and started on the changes needed to get Britain working once again.  As might have been expected there have been teething problems, but let us not forget that this is Britain’s first peacetime coalition since the 1930’s. On the campaign trail throughout April, people told me that they wanted to see a spirit of collaboration and compromise, in which politicians would work together for the good of the country. In partnership with our colleagues from the Liberal Democrats we Conservatives have worked hard to deliver what the public told politicians they want.

The Government’s first major opportunity to change the direction in which the country was heading came in the form of what was described as the ‘most important Budget in a decade’. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered a Budget that I believe provided a sensible balance of policies to ensure that the burden is spread evenly and fairly. It was important that the new Government set an agenda to get Britain back to work and tackle head on the budget deficit and I believe the new Government has recognised the wish of the majority of the electorate to start paying back the debts of the past and begin to build the foundations for a brighter future.

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, has shown that our nation’s schools are at the heart of the new Government’s plans to equip our students with the skills they and indeed our country needs to succeed. The Academies Bill, which was voted through only this week, enables the Government to extend the Academies program which has in the past transformed many of schools. Several of our schools within Rugby have, since its announcement, shown interest in gaining the freedoms that will be attributed to those that achieve the Academy status. I believe gaining greater budgetary and curriculum freedoms will allow teachers not bureaucrats, to decide what is in the best interest of their pupils.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has also  shown the new Government’s commitment to handing power back to local communities by re-establishing a link between the police force and the public. Having spoken to a number of people with concerns about anti social behaviour throughout the election campaign, I was pleased to see our commitment to plans, set out in our election manifesto, to give people democratic control over policing priorities and we are now putting that to effect. We will people the information they need to challenge their neighbourhood police teams to cut crime and we are also committed to freeing the police from the levels of bureaucracy, which have forced them to focus on paperwork rather than police work. 

 

The new Government has started with great energy and zeal for reform and the recess now provides us with the opportunity to evaluate our position. The return of Parliament in September will enable us to continue our work to create a new kind of politics.