Since Parliament’s return form the summer recess I have used my new role as a backbencher to ask a number of questions and hold debates in the chamber.
On national issues, during Home Office questions I asked if the department were working on recruiting to ensure they have the skills needed to police cybercrime. I also questioned the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union about the creative industries after Brexit, and the new Justice Secretary on how the arts can provide new opportunities to those in the justice system. I also attended the debate on the BBC Charter and asked about diversity.
On constituency issues, I used Transport Questions to secure a meeting with the Minister responsible for highways, John Hayes, to discuss issues with safety on the A34. This meeting is to be held next month, and I am looking forward to discussing some ideas on how safety of the A34 can be improved.
I also hosted a debate on funding in the arts, where I called on the Government to increase funding and support to the arts and heritage. During the Second Reading of the Digital Economy Bill I made a number of contributions during the debate, including on the reforms to planning for digital infrastructure, upgrading the offence of copyright infringement, and the broadband Universal Service Obligation which is of great importance to rural areas such as Wantage and Didcot. I was pleased to highlight the success of broadband roll out in Oxfordshire, in particular.
Thames Water have contacted me to let me know about their new public awareness campaign that you will made aware of in the coming weeks. Their ‘Bin it don’t block it’ campaign, is aimed at alerting the public of the problems created when fat, oil and grease is poured down drains and when wet wipes are flushed down toilets. This can create nasty ‘fatbergs’ in the sewer system that block pipes and cause the sewers to back up onto roads, gardens and even into people’s homes. The consequences of this are unpleasant, inconvenient and expensive. Over the last year there were 3025 blockages in my constituency. Over the next 6 weeks, Thames Water will be contacting residents to encourage them to change their behaviour, and prevent these blockages and their consequences from occurring.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any pressing issues that you would like help with. Either myself or one of my team will get back to you as soon as possible and do what we can to assist. You can contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, email@example.com or 020 7219 6350. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly. Details of my activities in Parliament can be read on my website, https://www.vaizey.com. I also send out occasional general interest emails about developments in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please complete the online form at https://bit.ly/EdVaizeyMP.