Work on the M4 shows how councils join forces

Swindon Advertiser:

11:42am Thursday 30th October 2014

This week we took the next step towards approving work to improve Junction 16, as the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Transport Body reviewed the outline business case. In many respects, this project demonstrates the benefits of collaboration that will bring significant economic benefits to Swindon, Royal Wootton Bassett and the surrounding areas.

They turned a major threat into an exciting business chance

Swindon Advertiser:

9:30am Wednesday 29th October 2014

ON Friday, I was delighted to be asked to open a new headquarters and manufacturing plant for a high-tech business which has decided to relocate to Swindon.

Eating food that might look a bit dodgy is my way of adding adventure to my middle age

Swindon Advertiser:

4:23pm Tuesday 28th October 2014

I am sorry to say this if you have just eaten your dinner, but this week I would like to talk to you about my stomach.

No child should ever feel they cannot be part of a team

Swindon Advertiser:

9:31am Friday 24th October 2014

One of the main enjoyable aspects of being an MP is being able to welcome Swindon residents to the House of Commons.

The present museum and gallery is not adequate for the task

Swindon Advertiser:

9:35am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Last Saturday I had the great pleasure of attending the Diwali celebration hosted by the Swindon Indian association. It was most enjoyable to share in this festival of lights and it made me reflect on the different communities we are lucky to have in the town with all the positive qualities diversity brings.

Many People quite like the idea of giving the public the power to sack their MP

Swindon Advertiser:

3:00pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

This week we heard some good news about Wiltshire’s Fire and Rescue Authority. The government announced the outcome of a bidding process by which £75 million will be distributed to authorities across the country. The good news is that Wiltshire’s bid was successful; the even better news is that we’re getting the second biggest grant of any authority – more than £5.5 million.

This was always meant to be a targeted rather than a universal service

Swindon Advertiser:

12:00pm Friday 17th October 2014

The Council continues to face two enormous pressures on its budgets. The biggest pressure comes entirely from the rise in the number of vulnerable people who require the Council’s support. At the same time, we have to operate in a wider environment where the Government is working to restore responsibility to the nation’s public finances. In order to meet these challenges, the Council must make radical changes to almost all its services.

I believe that we can help keep young people safe online

Swindon Advertiser:

11:57am Friday 17th October 2014

AFTER an action-packed recess spent meeting local businesses, charities and residents in North Swindon, this week I joined other MPs as we returned to Parliament.

New scheme helps the young make their mark on world

Swindon Advertiser:

4:13pm Friday 10th October 2014

Youth unemployment has always been one of the toughest sectors of the job market to tackle; for those aged 18-24 not in employment, education or training it can be hard to find the help that they need to get on in life.

We now, as part of our statutory duties focus more on caring

Swindon Advertiser:

9:32am Thursday 9th October 2014

OVER the past year, the council has taken on a larger role in public health, working with our partners in the various parts of the NHS.

I’m not really up on my Bible, but I’m pretty sure it says something in there about helping the needy

Swindon Advertiser:

11:48am Tuesday 7th October 2014

It’s usually sound advice to avoid talking about politics or religion, and if you are writing a column like this, it’s a golden rule.

The chance of a job, a home, a good start in life, whoever you are

Swindon Advertiser:

9:31am Friday 3rd October 2014

ON Wednesday, I was in Birmingham to see the 2014 Conservative Party Conference come to a close with a table-thumping, personal and determined speech delivered by the Prime Minister.

We know that we need economic growth to create wealth and jobs

Swindon Advertiser:

10:28am Thursday 2nd October 2014

On Monday, I was speaking on behalf of Swindon at a breakfast forum organised in Birmingham by the research unit Centre for Cities. It is a sign of our town’s economic importance that they rank us alongside some of Britain’s major cities. At the forum, I showed how Swindon is a business-driven town with four private sector jobs to each one in the public sector. This makes us the third highest of 63 cities and towns in the recent Centre for Cities Outlook 2014 in terms of the ratio of private to public sector workers.

That’s not to say they (we) aren’t mortified when an error occurs, but it happens to the best of us

Swindon Advertiser:

5:13pm Wednesday 1st October 2014

There is only one thing in life worse than missing out an apostrophe, and that’s putting one in when it’s not needed.

In Swindon we have an ongoing problem with capacity at our doctors’ surgeries

Swindon Advertiser:

9:19am Wednesday 1st October 2014

AS I write, I’m in Birmingham for the Conservative Party conference. What you see on TV – the big speeches from the main hall – is actually only a minor part of the whole event. Conferences are a huge opportunity to lobby cabinet ministers and decision-makers about some of the issues facing Swindon.

In 2011 I even had to cut short my honeymoon in order to return to Parliament to debate the phone hacking scandal

Swindon Advertiser:

9:24am Friday 26th September 2014

LIKE many MPs I enjoy Parliamentary recess. But be assured this is not because we get to put our feet up.

I certainly would not object to more funding

Swindon Advertiser:

9:56am Thursday 25th September 2014

THE recent Scottish referendum was a triumph for local democracy. However, the result now brings up several questions about the future of local government in England.

This all comes down to one word: fairness

Swindon Advertiser:

9:58am Wednesday 24th September 2014

LIKE many people, I’m delighted that the Scottish people voted so decisively to remain part of the United Kingdom.

How fitting that Swindon should be home to a new UTC

Swindon Advertiser:

9:39am Wednesday 17th September 2014

It’s been a proud day for Swindon to see the first group of young people begin their studies at our new University Technical College.

None of us were prepared for the mixture of emotions the parting would bring

Swindon Advertiser:

3:36pm Tuesday 16th September 2014

Mothers dread it and fathers aren’t particularly keen, either – and for our family it came and went last week.

I’m proud to have been voted the third most helpful out of 650 MPs

Swindon Advertiser:

10:20am Friday 12th September 2014

FACEBOOK has quickly become one of the mainstream methods of communication for people across the world.

Council must always back the horse that is most likely to deliver eventual success

Swindon Advertiser:

10:36am Thursday 11th September 2014

It’s not easy to get major building and regeneration projects up and running, as every part of the UK has found. Swindon is certainly no different.

The importance of fairer fares on the trains

Swindon Advertiser:

9:23am Wednesday 10th September 2014

SWINDON is a railway town. We owe a great deal to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Great Western Railway and the generations of Swindonians who worked there.

Some people are still adamant they will never vote again

Swindon Advertiser:

9:42am Friday 5th September 2014

Each and every election that passes we continue to see a worrying trend of increasing voter apathy. A 65 per cent turnout at the general election, just over 30 per cent for the local and European elections, and a shameful 10 per cent for some PCC elections.

Schools had running water, but only because the roofs were leaking

Swindon Advertiser:

10:40am Thursday 4th September 2014

As children start the academic year, I am pleased to see the ever-growing choice from the good schools that are available in this borough. This September we will see the new University Technical College join our existing secondary schools and colleges as it accepts its first pupils. We also have new primary classes opening in the town centre and north Swindon. Although it’s the Council’s role to ensure that there are sufficient school places, since 1988 the law and government policy has made parental choice a key part of the school allocation process. Over the next few weeks, we will be inviting parents to register for school places in September 2015. Since I am both a parent and a former Cabinet Member responsible for Children’s Services, I know how important these choices are.

Better Together – it’s more than just a slogan

Swindon Advertiser:

9:45am Wednesday 3rd September 2014

This week Parliament has returned after the summer recess. It’s been a busy few weeks and a very welcome opportunity to spend even more time in Swindon, talking to residents, meeting community groups and attending a large number of local events.

Our resolve must not waver in the face of such adversity

Swindon Advertiser:

10:13am Friday 22nd August 2014

Over the last few days we have witnessed the horrific and disturbing images of the brutal murder of American photojournalist James Foley at the hands of the barbaric terrorist organisation known as the Islamic State.

We wanted the fire put out and the polluter to pick up the bill

Swindon Advertiser:

5:52pm Thursday 21st August 2014

As work goes on to tackle the fire at the Averies waste site, I would like to explain the huge amount of work that has been going on, much of it requiring meetings with our partner agencies about operational matters. The Fire Brigade has responsibility for putting the fire out. The Environment Agency has responsibility for licensing such sites. The Council has no formal role, but as the smoke was affecting residents and businesses, we used our powers to help co-ordinate activities.

BARRIE HUDSON: Adults just don't know what they are talking about

Swindon Advertiser: BARRIE HUDSON COLUMN: Boot up for a car boot sale in real comfort

3:50pm Tuesday 19th August 2014

THERE were fewer A-Level passes this year, which is apparently seen as a good thing by people who like to witter on about falling standards.

GRAHAM CARTER: My dear wife feels as if she is playing second fiddle to a pushbike

Swindon Advertiser: This bus tour mystery will be just the ticket

3:52pm Monday 18th August 2014

“YOU love that bike more than you love me,” said my wife, pointing at my trusty steed in the garage.

JUSTIN TOMLINSON: Their confidence, work ethic and determination to put something back into their local community is amazing

Swindon Advertiser:

1:40pm Monday 18th August 2014

THIS summer, across Swindon, hundreds of young people aged 16-17 will have taken part in the National Citizen Service (NCS). NCS is a scheme that was the personal project of Prime Minister David Cameron.

BRIAN MATTOCK: We must provide care to those people in need

Swindon Advertiser: ElectionsModule Candidate photo

5:00pm Thursday 14th August 2014

FOR the next two weeks, I am covering for Councillor Renard, who is taking a short break. As well as being deputy leader of the council, I am also the cabinet member for health and adult social care.

ROBERT BUCKLAND: The actions of the militants have been brutal in the extreme and the effect has been awful to watch

Swindon Advertiser: Help to buy will make it easier town a home

10:30am Wednesday 13th August 2014

This summer our TV screens, newspapers and social media have been filled with international events that have struck a chord with so many people.

GRAHAM CARTER: I have a medical condition called bridge geekiness

Swindon Advertiser: This bus tour mystery will be just the ticket

1:43pm Monday 11th August 2014

SWINDON is not noted for its bridges, generally, but there is one that has a special place in my heart – and now that heart is breaking because they are going to pull it down.

ROBERT BUCKLAND: Royal Mail is investing to cope with changing demands

Swindon Advertiser: Help to buy will make it easier town a home

4:06pm Wednesday 6th August 2014

AS I mentioned last week, the Parliamentary recess is a great opportunity to get out and about even more in South Swindon, meeting local residents, community groups and major employers.

BARRIE HUDSON: Let the fracking begin

Swindon Advertiser: BARRIE HUDSON COLUMN: Boot up for a car boot sale in real comfort

11:43am Tuesday 5th August 2014

FRACKING – harvesting oil and gas by using water jets to break rocks deep underground – could be coming to Swindon.

GRAHAM CARTER: Today is a day for being proud of what our ancestors did for us

Swindon Advertiser: This bus tour mystery will be just the ticket

11:10am Monday 4th August 2014

YOU can never tell what this column is going to be about each Monday, and until I start writing it, sometimes I don’t know, myself. But this week there is no contest.

JUSTIN TOMLINSON: Think of those who left our growing town in 1914 to defend our freedoms

Swindon Advertiser:

1:07pm Friday 1st August 2014

MONDAY marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. In the four years that followed, more than 20 million people were injured and 16 million men, women and children lost their lives; including more than a million British casualties who made the ultimate sacrifice.

DAVID RENARD: There will be people who now feel inspired to take up new sports

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Council Leader David Renard

12:12pm Thursday 31st July 2014

AlLONG with many residents, for the past week I have been enjoying the Commonwealth Games. It was so great see Jazz Carlin, a Swindon-born and educated athlete, win a gold medal.

ROBERT BUCKLAND: Children deserve the best schools so they can gain the skills to get on in life

Swindon Advertiser: Help to buy will make it easier town a home

1:56pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

THE school summer holidays are now underway, but just before the end of term Swindon received some excellent news about an increase in spending on our children’s education.

BARRIE HUDSON: Pin all the blame on that nasty Mr Putin

Swindon Advertiser:

12:02pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

THIS week, some handy hints on securing a public inquiry into a cause dear to your heart.

GRAHAM CARTER: Locals can’t do enough to welcome you to the party

Swindon Advertiser: This bus tour mystery will be just the ticket

1:54pm Monday 28th July 2014

I DON'T want to make a song about it, but we have taken the high road to Scotland (35,000 feet, according to the pilot), and I’m writing this on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

JUSTIN TOMLINSON: This is a fantastic opportunity, in an area I have been very active in Parliament

Swindon Advertiser: Justin Tomlinson MP for Swindon North

1:23pm Friday 25th July 2014

Parliament is a very interesting place during reshuffles. Deep down, I suspect most MPs are keen to advance; some are openly ambitious, whilst others dismiss any potential opportunities with bravado.

DAVID RENARD: We are keeping centres in areas where children are most in need

Swindon Advertiser:

11:25am Thursday 24th July 2014

ON Wednesday night, Cabinet started the consultation process on changing the focus of our services for children to make sure that we spend more on reaching the most vulnerable.

ROBERT BUCKLAND: Part of my role will be to review sentences which may be unduly lenient

Swindon Advertiser: Help to buy will make it easier town a home

11:27am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

AS I write, it’s exactly a week since David Cameron asked me to join the Government as Solicitor General as part of his reshuffle. It’s an honour and privilege to have been appointed to this historic position, records for which date back to the 14th century.

BARRIE HUDSON: Problem with rats? Send for the '70s...

Swindon Advertiser: Rats invade homes in flood-hit areas

11:25am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

RESILIENT rats are plaguing Old Town.

GRAHAM CARTER: It takes colonial cousins to remind us how lucky we are

Swindon Advertiser: This bus tour mystery will be just the ticket

11:20am Monday 21st July 2014

THIS week’s column has been made possible by a twist of fate that happened in 1882. It’s all to do with my great great grandfather, who was born in 1831, lived in Upper Stratton and went by the impressive name of Adolphus Adams (not many people can say they have an Adolphus in their family).

People have the right to strike but I believe the recent action was not warranted

Swindon Advertiser:

4:37pm Thursday 17th July 2014

Last week we had an unwelcome example of something that has thankfully become much rarer these days – a national strike by some trade unions about national issues, which had a disproportionate effect on some local residents.

BARRIE HUDSON: I wish someone would open a Lapp-dancing club featuring a knees-up with a fully dressed person from Finland

Swindon Advertiser:

12:18pm Tuesday 8th July 2014

THE Swindon licensing committee plans to consult the public on the regulation of ‘sexual entertainment venues.’ “Sexual entertainment venues’ is apparently the official term for strip joints, lap-dancing places and those shops with the blacked-out windows where mucky books and terrifying pieces of equipment are sold.

GRAHAM CARTER: If only they would trust teachers to treat kids like kids again

Swindon Advertiser: This bus tour mystery will be just the ticket

11:50am Monday 7th July 2014

WELCOME to The Twilight Zone. In our house we’ve crossed over into another dimension between parenthood and grandchildren – and pretty weird it is, too.



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