Confidence in our export performance
THE Valleys and Vale are always beautiful but, as the autumn colours start to show, the exceptional topography, flora and woodlands should be spectacular, notwithstanding the possible weather conditions. Driving, cycling or, my preferred mode, walking around the constituency often reveals a new special place. We are very fortunate to live in this area.
Autumn brings changes in other ways too. Once Parliament returns after the conference recess, we will have a succession of Bills to consider – including my Antarctic Bill – and a focus on economics, leading up to the Autumn Statement.
I will be pressing the case for further investment in and support for manufacturing and engineering. There is evidence of increased confidence in these sectors with export performance showing signs of sustained improvement.
My two Select Committees have been busy and will remain so during the autumn. The Education Select Committee met last week for an 'away day' to review process and plans. One subject I have been keen to get on the agenda is school governance and my success in doing so means we will have a full scale inquiry later from November.
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Many readers will know I have a longstanding interest in governance and I believe its relevance has been further strengthened through the programme to convert schools to academies.
The Environmental Audit Committee published our substantial report on the Arctic. This report develops some themes relevant to my Antarctic Bill but its central point, and one subject to considerable media interest, is that drilling for oil in the region is highly risky and should be stopped unless or until safety concerns are properly addressed. The report gained attention as it was released at the same time as details of recent and significant loss of Arctic ice was confirmed.
Next week, I will be focussing on the wider economic issues affecting our local interests and prospects. If you are interested in the issues raised above, contact me on 01453 751572 or visit my website – www.neilcarmichael.co.uk. Now, you can also follow me on twitter @neil_mp.