8th January 2018

Now that the Christmas festivities are over, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a happy and successful new year.

For me, that started in a big way – by becoming a grandfather for the first time and for being simultaneously recognised in the New Year’s Honours list and being awarded a knighthood. I am absolutely delighted to receive this honour in recognition of the very many people I have helped over the years.


Before Christmas, I sent out a household survey to around 12,000 premises in and around Cirencester. I am pleased that this has resulted in many hundreds of responses which are all currently being individually collated. It is very clear, however, from preliminary analysis that there is widespread concern about the future direction of the town.

If the large-scale Chesterton development of 2,350 homes is granted planning permission by Cotswold District Council, this will considerably exacerbate existing problems in the town by potentially increasing the population by 7,000 to 8,000 people who between them will require several thousand cars.


As a result, I have established a strategic steering group with the leaders of the County, District and Town councils and the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership to ensure that all authorities and utilities cooperate in the closest possible way. This group will examine housing, local businesses and open spaces and the consequential transport infrastructure, education and health needs necessary to make the town function properly.


During the Christmas recess, I visited the South Downs National Park Authority in Midhurst, West Sussex. The Cotswolds AONB and the South Downs National Park share a number of very obvious similarities, for example size, both have a National Trail running through them and both cover 15 local authorities. The Cotswolds is in the very nascent stages of any debate on the possibility of National Park status. In my view, there is a clear case for at least considering if the Cotswolds could be conserved and enhanced further by designating the area as a National Park by the Secretary of State.


In Westminster, the Government is also seeking to refresh its image with the Prime Minister’s reshuffle currently in full flow at the time of writing.

Unfortunately, due to the temporary indisposition of the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Meg Hillier MP, I have been busily chairing several of the committee’s important sessions. These hearings require 110% attention to detail.

The Public Accounts Committee holds two public hearings a week on a range of government expenditure matters – such as HS2, Hinckley Point C and new aircraft carriers. Over 80% of the committee’s recommendations are accepted by the Government, making it one of the most powerful Select Committees in Parliament.


Please contact or 020 7219 5043 to make an appointment.

Cirencester Survey

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How to raise an issue

Call 020 7219 5043 or email if you wish to raise an important matter with me - but please check "What can an MP do for me?" in the section before making contact.

In some cases a face-to-face appointment/pre-arranged telephone call may be necessary in order to discuss and pursue matters personally.

However, I ask that all cases must first be raised with me in writing by letter or email.

Once initial enquiries have been made on your behalf then I will consider the best and most appropriate way forward in order to help you.


Many people think that their MP exists to solve all their problems for them: this is not the case.

MPs are there to legislate and help only with those matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible.

For many matters, the appropriate first step would be to contact your local Cotswold District or Gloucestershire County Councillor.

Stow GP Public Meeting

Verbatim Minutes of the Stow-on-the-Wold Public Meeting to discuss the provision of a new GP surgery – 30 June 2017.


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