3rd May 2018

Cirencester Steering Group

Last week I chaired the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Cirencester Steering Group with representatives from the Town, District and County councils and the Gloucestershire LEP.

There was unanimous agreement between all present of the important role that this group possesses to ensure that all levels of administration are involved in long-term planning in all aspects of the future of Cirencester and its interaction with the rest of the Cotswolds as opposed to dealing with the day-to-day administration.

It was also agreed that in order to make this group more effective a part time coordinator would be required and it was noted that a similar steering group in Cheltenham has such an arrangement. We agreed to next meet in June to review progress on this.

Cirencester Business Club

I was delighted that our recent breakfast meeting had a record attendance with standing room only to hear from Martin Lane, Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, about the Cotswolds becoming a National Park and the environmental impact of the A417 ‘missing link’ solution.

There was a great deal of interest on the subject of the Cotswolds becoming a National Park, the process for bringing this about and in particular Martin Lane’s and my exploratory visit to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) earlier this year. Martin explained that the SDNPA produces a development plan which all 15 local authorities are signed up to and a National Park Authority devolves planning back to all of the larger local authorities and manages that relationship with a very light touch and pays them for doing so.

One of the advantages of becoming a National Park is that currently the AONB receives about £1 million in funding from all sources, whereas the similar size SDNPA receives about £10 million just from Defra. Another advantage of a National Park is that they possess the resources to present a very high quality case at planning  appeal which means that they win a high proportion. Although a National Park status means there won’t be excessive development of housing or business, it does not stifle all development. The example provided by the SDNPA was that of the Nytimber Vineyard where a very large application for a winery, education centre and shop was received and discussion, primarily about an improved design, this was approved, which would not necessarily have been the case under the old planning structure.

Meeting with Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner

Richard Graham MP and I met with Chief Constable Rod Hansen and Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl in Quedgeley. We had a very constructive  meeting reviewing crime trends in Gloucestershire and some time was spent focussing on rural crime and the excellent work that PC Ashley Weller is doing in liaising in some of our most remote areas.

An important subject also raised was whether we could persuade the Government to pay for a new Crown and Magistrates Court on the Waterwell site next to the Gloucestershire Constabulary Headquarters. This site has many distinct advantages, namely being one of the most accessible sites for the whole of Gloucestershire and the proximity of police and custody suites.

Prime Minister’s Questions

I was pleased to ask an important question during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on the importance of the City of London and the effects that Brexit will have on our position as financial services capital of the world. The Prime Minister rightly assured me that any trade agreements with the EU must include financial services and that if the EU decides to punish the City, these vital services will not relocate to Paris or Frankfurt, but to the rest of the world. You can read my full question here.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown at PMQs
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown at PMQs


Student Nurses

I held a very interesting meeting with a student nurse who is a constituent of mine, Grace Paige, to discuss the NHS Bursary for postgraduate nursing courses.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown with Grace Paige

Grace Paige and Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

Ms Paige presented a series of thought provoking of arguments to me to protect this bursary and how important it is for those wishing to pursue a nursing career. I have always worked hard to protect the interests of the valuable employees of our NHS and I will continue to make representations on this matter to Ministers.

The Government has already confirmed that an extra 1,500 doctors a year and an additional 5,000 nurse training places will be introduced by 2020 to deal with the ever increasing demand in our National Health Service.



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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