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Westminster Hall debate on public consent for local plans


Yesterday in Parliament, I led a Westminster Hall debate on the issue of public consent for local plans. I introduced my remarks as follows, I begin by outlining two key problems. First, land for development is extremely scarce in Wycombe, and there is real public anger at the prospect of building on all of High Wycombe’s reserve sites, which would further burden the inadequate infrastructure, especially our roads. Secondly, there is an obvious, acute need for more homes, especially those […]

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Women and Equalities Parliamentary Question


A question on women in business: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): What recent progress she has made on encouraging women to set up their own businesses? The Minister for Women (Nicky Morgan): The Government offer a wide range of support to women entrepreneurs—for example, the new enterprise allowance, mentoring, business advice and start-up loans. I also recently announced a £1 million challenge fund specifically to support women to move their businesses online and take advantage of superfast broadband. We know these measures are making […]

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Motorcycle Action Group – defending riders’ rights since 1973


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I was concerned to learn from former MP Lembit Öpik that his new employer, Motorcycle Action Group, has been casually besmirched in passing during a court case. As a member of MAG and Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Motorcycling, I object. MAG is a serious, strategic and focussed riders’ rights body. Its appeal is built on many years of hard and often unrewarding work in political circles by dedicated experts. In my regular dealings with MAG’s senior staff, I […]

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Modern Slavery Bill Introduced to Parliament


Last week, the Home Secretary introduced a Modern Slavery Bill into Parliament.  The Bill sets out to ensure that the law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to stamp out this abhorrent practice. The Modern Slavery Bill contains significant new measures to ensure that victims are better supported and protected, not only to recovery from their terrible ordeal, but also to support effective investigations and prosecutions.  Specifically, the Bill will do this by: ensuring that victims are not prosecuted […]

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Increasing fine levels


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Following reporting of the changes to increase the maximum fines that can be imposed in the magistrates’ courts, an extract from a “Dear colleague” letter from the Ministry of Justice: The current fine levels were set over 20 years ago in 1991 and so were clearly in need of review. Parliament welcomed the move to increase these levels during the passage of the 2012 Act; so too did Magistrates. Once approved by Parliament, the Statutory Instruments will mean a fourfold […]

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