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9:53am Thursday 17th April 2014
5:30am Wednesday 16th April 2014
11:37am Tuesday 15th April 2014
3:07pm Monday 14th April 2014
It drives me up the wall when I think about wallpaper. At precisely 8.35pm last Tuesday, I removed the steamer from the wall of our front room and aimed my scraper at the chimney breast. Half a second later, the last little scrap of wallpaper in our house came away and fell on the floor.
11:58am Wednesday 9th April 2014
11:08am Tuesday 8th April 2014
11:35am Monday 7th April 2014
11:46am Friday 4th April 2014
ALL MPs aspire to progress up the Ministerial ranks so imagine my pride when I took a call from the Department of Media, Culture & Sport to ask whether I would step into the shoes of Sports Minister Helen Grant MP and speak at the national Street Games conference.
9:24am Thursday 3rd April 2014
RECENTLY, an audience of local business people asked me what makes the present council administration distinctive? This ended with general agreement that the Central Area Action Plan, which the council adopted in 2009, and the Town Centre Masterplan that flows from it, provide a coherent vision for Swindon for which there is support across the political spectrum.
11:05am Wednesday 2nd April 2014
THIS week we've heard the welcome news that the government is considering introducing a new law to protect children against so-called emotional neglect. The proposed change would see those parents or carers who inflict significant harm on their children by emotional or psychological abuse, face prosecution for the first time. It follows a campaign for a “Cinderella Law” by the charity Action for Children, which I have been supporting for some time. Throughout my working life in the legal system I’ve seen countless cases where current laws have failed to protect children.
11:02am Wednesday 2nd April 2014
10:55am Monday 31st March 2014
11:58am Friday 28th March 2014
10:23am Thursday 27th March 2014
THERE is no room for complacency when people talk of economic recovery and business growth. This is a slow and precarious process, as we have sadly been reminded of this week with the announcement that Honda is scaling back its production in Swindon resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.
3:54pm Wednesday 26th March 2014
This week marks the third anniversary of the terrible events which led to the discovery of the murders of two Swindon women, and sparked a huge campaign for a change in the law. Three years on, it’s hard to miss the posters calling for ‘Justice for Becky’ or the petition on social media.
10:01am Monday 24th March 2014
10:16am Monday 24th March 2014
3:50pm Monday 24th March 2014
3:34pm Monday 24th March 2014
ON February 26, I wrote the following in this column: “When it comes to fairer funding for schools in Swindon, Justin Tomlinson and I continue to make headway… and we are working with other MPs and councils in a similar position to achieve a result that will see greater fairness for Swindon.”
11:38am Tuesday 18th March 2014
THE GRAHAM CARTER COLUMN: I no longer build dens in the garden, but I do have a loft that I officially call an office
11:58am Monday 17th March 2014
I don’t know where they stand in those silly league tables or how they got on with their latest Ofsted, but if I was young enough to still have kids at primary school, then St Francis at Taw Hill is where I’d like to send them. In fact, I wouldn’t mind going there myself.
3:34pm Thursday 13th March 2014
2:57pm Tuesday 11th March 2014
3:01pm Monday 10th March 2014
9:03am Friday 7th March 2014
THIS week we are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and it rightly is a real celebration; it is a credit to the Swindon Advertiser for promoting the opportunities and benefits on offer throughout the week. Apprenticeships offer a vocational route into work, a chance to earn, learn and, crucially, to get your foot on your career ladder.
11:20am Thursday 6th March 2014
4:41pm Wednesday 5th March 2014
AS our economy recovers, it is more important than ever that young people in Swindon have the opportunity to get into the workplace and develop their skills, so on Monday, I was happy to visit the Apprenticeship Bus at Wharf Green as part of National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March 2014) to find out more about how Swindon businesses can play their part in offering future apprenticeships to young people across our town.
11:00am Tuesday 4th March 2014
12:01pm Monday 3rd March 2014
IF there’s one thing that annoys me – apart from those damned people who hog the middle lane of the motorway – it’s losing my keys. Or my pen. Or my glasses. Or my temper – which often happens when I can’t find something.
12:19pm Friday 28th February 2014
5:38pm Thursday 27th February 2014
8:48am Wednesday 26th February 2014
As local MPs and residents, Justin Tomlinson and I are always keen to work with our local service providers to ensure a fair deal for Swindon residents. On Monday, Conservative-controlled Swindon Borough Council agreed a council tax freeze for the fourth year in a row.
5:30am Tuesday 25th February 2014
10:09am Monday 24th February 2014
5:30am Saturday 22nd February 2014
11:01am Friday 21st February 2014
10:12am Thursday 20th February 2014
WHILE Swindon continues to face huge challenges because of changes in government funding and a growing, ageing population, at the same time we will continue to look for ways to improve services. That means we will have to invest, a word which some think of simply as meaning more debt. This would be a simplistic view that does not give the true picture.
11:05am Wednesday 19th February 2014
THIS week Parliament is on its half-term recess which gives me an opportunity to spend plenty of time in Swindon visiting many different organisations and meeting local residents. One of the highlights was on Monday, when I attended an event organised by the Swindon Children’s Cancer And Leukaemia Movement.
5:30am Tuesday 18th February 2014
12:04pm Monday 17th February 2014
I CAN be a sentimental old fool sometimes, and just lately I have been high on nostalgia. You may have noticed that Prince Andrew was treated to a tour of the University Technical College (UTC) in part of the old Railway Works last week – and so have I.
5:18pm Friday 14th February 2014
THIS week the CBI announced record high confidence for businesses who export, with 72 per cent expecting an increase in turnover in the next quarter. This is crucial to the long-term economic plan as we seek to rebalance the economy and continue to provide new jobs in the growing economy.
12:22pm Thursday 13th February 2014
I WOULD like to add my congratulations to a local charity LEAVES – Local Enterprise and Vocational Employment Schemes – which received a Big Society Award from the Prime Minister (Advertiser, February6 ).
10:02am Wednesday 12th February 2014
5:57pm Monday 10th February 2014
3:32pm Friday 7th February 2014
THREE and a half years ago this week, I first spoke in Parliament on the subject of our much loved community libraries in a Westminster Hall debate on their future. As the former lead member for leisure, recreation & culture, which included libraries, on Swindon Borough Council, it was with exceptional pride that the first debate I called in Parliament should be on libraries.
10:25am Thursday 6th February 2014
IN recent years, the council’s regeneration programme has focused on the town centre, and as an example, the new cinema on the former college site is quite literally starting to take shape. Alongside this, we’ve also made sure that we have invested in local communities.
1:14pm Wednesday 5th February 2014
ON MONDAY I was delighted to help cut the ribbon and open Swindon's newest major superstore – Morrisons in Eldene (pictured above). This supermarket represents an investment of £15 million, which is a huge vote of confidence in our town by one of the country's leading retail groups.
1:00pm Tuesday 4th February 2014
5:52pm Monday 3rd February 2014
12:52pm Friday 31st January 2014
THIS week we have Sky Sports News presenter Charlie Webster embark on her very own Big Challenge. She is running 250 miles, visiting 40 football clubs in seven days, to raise money for the charity Women’s Aid and highlight domestic abuse. That is staggeringly more than seven marathons in seven days, I’ll certainly never complain again if I feel tired in a mere football match!