Welcome to my August email newsletter. It has been an eventful few weeks in British politics, with the resignation of Boris Johnson launching a leadership contest in which we are now in the final stage. Conservative Party members up and down the country will now decide whether Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will become the next Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister.
In this newsletter, you will find updates on: the Conservative Party leadership contest, local bus services, my work with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, local community action projects, and my annual summer survey to hear what you think.
Leadership contest – and online poll:
As you will be aware, Boris Johnson resigned as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister on the 7th July.
During his time in office, Boris Johnson achieved much, getting Brexit done; organising one of the fastest Covid-19 vaccination programs in the world; and supporting Ukraine against the unprovoked aggression of Russia.
There is now a process that must be followed to select the next Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister. This process involves the Parliamentary Conservative Party selecting two final candidates through a series of votes. These two candidates are now put to a vote with all members of the Conservative Party up and down the country, and the winner of this vote becomes the leader of the party and Prime Minister. Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have been selected as the final two candidates to enter the vote with Conservative Party members.
At the beginning of this leadership campaign, I created a poll to better understand your views on the candidates and your favourite to become leader and Prime Minister. We had a fantastic response to that poll, and I would like to thank those of you who took the time to complete it.
Now that we are in the final stage of the leadership election, with Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss selected as the final two candidates, I have created another poll for you to share your views about these two candidates. Like the previous poll, it should only take a minute or two to complete and I would be very interested to learn what you think about the final candidates.
You can find the poll here.
Transpeak bus service:
I am pleased to inform residents that the Transpeak bus connecting Derby and Buxton, through Belper and Ambergate, will continue. The service was due to be reduced to just one bus a day in each direction from Sunday, 10th July onwards. However, thanks to a funding boost from Derbyshire County Council the bus will continue to run at the same level of service as before – once an hour from Monday to Saturday, and once every two hours on Sunday.
The bus is set to be subsidised for up to 6 months to allow time for passenger numbers to recover, as they are yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. I have been calling for Government funding to be used by Derbyshire County Council to maintain existing services for some time, so I thoroughly welcome this decision.
I know residents have also raised the issue of the 1A bus service through Waingroves with me, so I’ve also been raising this issue with the County Council.
The Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe:
From the 2nd-6th July, I attended the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) annual session in Birmingham, in which over 300 delegates from 56 parliaments met to discuss the future of international security in Europe. In the face of Russia’s barbaric and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the current state of security and co-operation in Europe is at its most precarious since the end of the cold war. Summits like these are, therefore, absolutely vital for maintaining cooperation and order throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
I attended as a member of a cross-party delegation of 10 MPs and Peers led by John Whittingdale MP. During the session, the Parliamentary Assembly strongly denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Agreeing upon a resolution that “calls upon the Russian Federation to establish an immediate ceasefire and withdraw Russian troops from the whole of Ukraine.”
Further committee sessions discussed human rights, victims of terror attacks, the role of non-governmental organisations, economic growth following Covid-19, sustainable energy, and recent increases in migration. The OSCE stands for lasting security in Eurasia through justice, problem-solving and development. The Parliamentary Assembly enables the strengthening of common values between the countries involved, particularly in times of international crisis. It is, therefore, a great privilege to be involved and to support this vial work.
National Citizen Service visit:
On the 8th July I met with a group of young people from the National Citizen Service (NCS) in Alfreton. The National Citizen Service is a voluntary program for 15–17 year-olds offering real world experience as well as opportunities for personal development. The program normally runs in the summer and consists of a week staying away from home working on social action projects that benefit the community. It is a great way for young people to make new friends and accomplish something to be proud of.
It was a real pleasure to meet the NCS group in Alfreton and hear about their projects that are actively improving local communities, and to discuss a range of interesting questions they’d prepared. The group had been organising a fund-raising event at the Miners Arms to raise money for Ashgate Hospice, which turned out to be a brilliant success.
If you would like to learn more about NCS and how to get involved, click here.
Summer survey & visits:
Recess is a break during the Parliamentary calendar in which neither the House of Commons nor the House of Lords sits. It allows time for MPs to focus on their constituencies away from Westminster. The House of Commons rose this year on the 21st July and will return on the 5th of September, also the date in which we will learn the winner of the Conservative leadership contest and the next Prime Minister.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been out and about in Amber Valley delivering my annual summer survey. The purpose of this survey is to get your views on some of the biggest issues facing our constituency and the nation. This helps inform my decisions on how best to represent you in Westminster, and which local issues my team and I should focus on in our area. If you see me out and about, please feel free to come and have a chat, even if it is not about politics. If you’d like to do the summer survey online, you can also complete it here.
In addition to delivering surveys, I have also been using my time in recess so far to visit local farms and industry. On the 25th July I visited Crowfields Farm in Langley Mill where, among other things, we discussed food security, sustainable food production and the volatile markets created by the energy price spikes and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Other local news – and don’t forget to vote for Shipley Country Park!
Historic England has announced a grant of nearly £10,000 for MSDS Heritage to realise a project which will explore the old working-class communities and cottage industry that once existed within Holbrook. The project is called ‘Holbrook’s Hidden Heritage’ and will involve archaeologists working with local schools and volunteers to create workshops, events, web content, open days, and pop-up events.
Holbrook in 1845 contained 54 stocking-frame workshops, with 152 stocking frames operated by workers with materials supplied by the mills at Milford and Belper. Learning more about our past can inspire pride and a sense of community in the present, so I hope this project gets the attention it deserves.
In other local news, as some of you will have seen from my social media, Shipley County Park has been nominated for Fields in Trust UK’s Favourite Parks award 2022. Voting is now open to decide the nations favourite park and will close at noon on the 18th August. If a park finishes within the top 20% of votes, it will receive recognition as a ‘Local Favourite’. The four Home Nation winners will then be shortlisted before the UK’s favourite park is announced.
Shipley Country Park is an exceptionally valuable local space. And when local parks have acted as a sanctuary for so many over the past few years, now is our chance to celebrate the spaces where we could get outdoors, move, relax, and meet with loved ones.
Please show your support by voting online before Thursday 18th August: www.fieldsintrust.org/favourite-parks/nominations
Derby Telegraph column:
My latest column for the Derby Telegraph, focusing on the cost of living crisis and some of the issues that will be facing our new Prime Minister, is available to catch up on here.
Street Watch – report it:
As always, if there are any street repairs in your area, such as potholes, pavement repairs or broken street lights, you can report these issues and concerns to me quickly and easily here so I can ask for the repairs to be investigated and addressed.
GDPR and privacy notice:
Get in Touch!
As always, you can contact me by hitting the ‘reply’ button on this email, or you can ring my office on 01773 744341.
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Promoted by Nigel Mills MP, of Unicorn House, Wellington Street, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3EH.