Archives for June 2015

BROADBAND FIASCO?

The struggle to bring high-speed broadband to remote parts of Somerset - Exmoor is a good case in point - has been slowed down by last week's surprise decision of the partner councils to reject BT's bid to do the work. Tens of millions of pounds of public money are at stake, but BT is the only …
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Nuclear Industry Conference

Hinkley C is on everyone's lips in London today as Britain's nuclear new-build experts get their heads together for a special conference organised by the Nuclear Industry Association. There will be progress reports from the companies picked to undertake the huge construction work,  top level updates …
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EU Referendum – what do YOU think?

This week I resume my place in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe -  an organisation that predates the EU, yet harbours some of the most extraordinary bodies within it - like the Europoean Court of Human Rights, much criticised for its decisions and accountability.  I am here as a member of the UK …
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Helping to get better broadband

I am ashamed to tell you that in some parts of the constituency it is almost quicker to send a letter by post than expect an email to arrive safely. High speed broadband remains a pipe dream if you live out in the sticks. This dismal state of affairs has got to change. I have joined together with …
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Academic excellence!

Last night the Association of Colleges held its annual reception at Westminster - in part to celebrate the success of Bridgwater College, which (once again) secured a prestigious Beacon award - this time for its excellent work for young people with learning difficulties. Beacon Awards are not handed …
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Save our Cider

This is great cider country. Somerset boasts some of the best in Britain. Hitherto small producers have been exempt from one of the taxes - but now, thanks to the European Union, they could be hit hard. This week a hefty petition was handed in to Downing Street. I intend to do whatever I can to …
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Digging for victory

I have just been elected joint Chair of the All-Party Group that specialises in gardening and horticulture. It is a an important subject within the constituency for individual residents, professional growers and educationalists alike. I am no stranger to the dibber and a good mulch, but in …
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Exmoor’s Hill Farmers

The views may be to die for, but the living is far from easy if you rely upon farm income on the uplands and hills. It is, in short, a hard life. The people who do it also love what they do and are following a proud tradition. Many families have looked after land up here for six generations. I want …
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