Major things to debate in parliament
JOHN Redwood, former Secretary of State for Wales, and commentator on the economic situation came to Frampton-on-Severn to discuss the public deficit and measures to promote economic growth. The excellent September weather provided a contrasting backdrop to the central message that the massive deficit was still a drag on the economy.
At the same event, I was joined on a panel for questions by Vicky Atkins (candidate for the position of Police and Crime Commissioner), Julie Girling MEP and Ashley Fox MEP. We had a range of questions, covering the Armed Forces –especially those serving in Afghanistan, the future of Europe, economic policy, reform of the health service and crime.
The forthcoming election for a Police and Crime Commissioner has focussed minds on police accountability as the enormity and seriousness of the incompetence and subsequent cover up over events at Hillsborough in 1989 sink in. This sort of thing must never happen again and I hope the introduction of Police Commissioners will be a huge in the right direction in this regard.
The purpose of the Police Commissioner is to ensure local communities can influence the use of resources within police forces, ensuring, for example, that extra attention is given to local concerns. It is also designed to enhance the accountability of chief constables through democratic control. Between now and the elections in November will be a good time to debate law and order.
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Turning to other events in the House of Commons last week, the law of defamation was debated because the Coalition Government, wants to update the legislation, not least because existing measures were put in place in the 19th century. There are only two significant Acts of Parliament covering this important field of law so revisiting it makes sense.
This week sees an important debate on measures to encourage investment in infrastructure. More will be revealed next week. If you are interested these issues , contact me on 01453 751572 or visit my website – www.neilcarmichael. co.uk. Now, you can also follow me on twitter @neil_mp.