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On The House
Crossing options miss the wider issue

5 June 2013

AS reported in the Gazette, the Government is now consulting on three options for a new Lower Thames Crossing. As predicted, all three options under consideration will run through Thurrock.

I have long argued we don’t need new crossings in Thurrock, but we do need new crossings between Blackwall and Dartford. More crossings in East London would encourage regeneration and reduce demand at the overcrowded Dartford crossing.

Read more... [Crossing options miss the wider issue]
Our referendum pledge and my reasoning

22 May 2013

I WANT to make it perfectly clear – the Conservative Party will hold a referendum on Europe during the next Parliament if we achieve a majority at the next general election.

For those who wish to have it sooner, the principle reason why we can’t is because we simply haven’t got the votes to get a Bill through Parliament. We are in coalition with the Liberal Democrats and we can’t get anything through without them.

Read more... [Our referendum pledge and my reasoning]
What we need to do to win back voters' faith

8 May 2013

SO the electorate has spoken and given the main political parties a big raspberry. I can understand why. Politicians of all colours are perceived as arrogant and out of touch.

In my conversations with you on the doorsteps the message is clear. Politicians aren’t talking about the things that bother you, we are all the same and you don’t believe a word we say.

Read more... [What we need to do to win back voters' faith]
Holding the hospital to account

24 April 2013

AS the performance of Basildon Hospital comes under scrutiny following the review at Mid Staffordshire, the media is full of stories where the performance of the Trust has been less than it should be.

As a Member of Parliament, it is my role to challenge our public services when they are falling down on the job. It is fair to say I have spent much of the past three years doing exactly that when it comes to Basildon.

Read more... [Holding the hospital to account]
Thatcher fought for her beliefs

10 April 2013

MARGARET Thatcher was one of the towering figures of the 20th century. She saved our country by liberating it from union militancy and state control. She ended the Cold War and the threat of nuclear conflict. Her impact on British politics and society has been transformational.

Becoming the first woman Prime Minister was no mean achievement at a time when women in Parliament were low in number, especially in the Conservative Party. But for me it is the values she championed which were inspirational.

Read more... [Thatcher fought for her beliefs]
Budget was one for the workers

27 March 2013

LAST week’s Budget rewards those who aspire to work hard and get on.

The amount people can earn before paying income tax – the personal allowance – will rise to £10,000 in April 2014. Income tax has been reduced for 24 million taxpayers up and down the country. Almost three million more of the lowest paid will pay no income tax at all.

Read more... [Budget was one for the workers]
Leadership needed to save town

13 March 2013

THE future of central Grays has long been a feature of my postbag. It is now high time that we put the future of Grays higher up the agenda and put some real effort into making the town the best it can be.

On the plus side there are few empty shop units, which is positive. The main High Street banks are all there, which bring people to the town regularly.

But there is a need to expand the appeal and bring a new vibrancy to our town centre.

Read more... [Leadership needed to save town]
I'll fight until things improve at hospital

IT IS no secret that Basildon Hospital has had a troublesome recent history.

It is also no secret I have not pulled any punches in highlighting when it has been deficient.

I welcome the fact that Sir Bruce Keogh will be undertaking an inquiry into Basildon after the completion of the Mid Staffordshire review.

I do so because I want residents to have the best health services available and, as a public figure, I can call those responsible for failure to account.

Read more... [I'll fight until things improve at hospital]
I'm not happy with union of councils

29th October 2012


IS Thurrock in London or Essex? A silly question you may think, but given the strengthening of Thurrock Council’s management arrangements with the authority in Barking and Dagenham, I think it is time to have a proper debate about the future of Thurrock.


It is a question I find easy to answer. So far as I am concerned, Thurrock is the powerhouse of south Essex.

Read more... [I'm not happy with union of councils]
Training and apprenticeships are the key to our success

10th October 2012


IT WAS with some pride that I visited the new National Skills Academy for creative and cultural skills in Purfleet.


The academy will teach students all the disciplines required for staging and theatrical performance.

Read more... [Training and apprenticeships are the key to our success]

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