We are all sorry that Polly has resigned. At the Executive Council meeting last Friday I thanked her for her work. I updated members fully on the Brexit negotiations and voting.
without a deal has never been the government’s policy. It was not the
Leave Campaign’s policy: they made clear there would have to be a transitional
period rather than a cliff-edge. We must do everything possible to avoid
the damage of new tariffs, however temporary, and to minimise any possible
disruption to our businesses here in Kent.
I remain committed to implementing the result of the referendum but I could not support the original Withdrawal Agreement. I support the Prime Minister’s efforts to get a better deal.
Sir Michael has joined a group of MPs in demanding more transparency from Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, on 4G coverage in rural areas.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Rural Business published a report last autumn which set out a series of recommendations to improve rural coverage, including more transparency and accountability of mobile operators.
The APPG has written to Ofcom’s Chief Executive Sharon White, outlining their concerns that Ofcom’s commitment to fulfilling those recommendations will only come at the end of their period of obligations – and not throughout.
Sir Michael said: “Improving rural coverage is vital for many SMEs in my constituency. Ofcom must hold operators to account more strongly.”
Apprenticeships are a vital in giving experience and jobs for our young people – so I was delighted to meet those providing, and benefiting from, those opportunities in Parliament.
National Apprenticeship Week is 4-8 March this year, and I would encourage you to attend an event local to you to understand more about the various post-education opportunities you have. You can access more information here: https://nawevents.co.uk/
World Cancer Day helps to raise awareness of the scale of the challenge and the role we can all play in the fight against the disease. Greater awareness is key and we must do more to tackle preventable risk factors. I was pleased to meet Cancer Research UK to hear more about the work being done in Sevenoaks, and I will continue to work with our local NHS staff to drive down waiting times for treatment.
On Friday, I was delighted to join parents and pupils to officially open our new grammar school, the Weald of Kent Grammar School Sevenoaks Annexe.
Thanks to all the hard work of the parents, campaigners, district and county councillors, and the Sevenoaks Chronicle, Sevenoaks has finally got the grammar it has been due for nearly a century.
So it’s about time.
Parents in my constituency needed more choice. With substantial pressure on local places causing unnecessary disappointment and stress, they wanted high-quality education to be accessible and affordable for their family.
Pupils in my constituency wanted more time. Travelling up to Dartford or Wilmington or down to Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells every morning and evening is time-consuming. It never made sense that bright minds in Sevenoaks needed to travel miles outside my constituency in order to get the education that’s right for them.
Now the girls attending the new annexe will have more time in the day to pursue hobbies and sports, develop friendships in the local area, and be with their families.
History is being made. It all started in 2011 when a group of parents launched a campaign to get a grammar school to Sevenoaks. They delivered a petition that stunned Kent County Council by achieving thousands of signatures in a matter of days.
The law was stacked against us. But what the opening of the Weald of Kent Grammar School Sevenoaks Annexe demonstrates is the winning power of parents.
With sustained local and national media coverage over many years, we forced the issue onto the agenda and reignited the debate. My constituents now have a proper choice of good local schools. But our work is only half done. There is strong local demand for a boys’ grammar too. That’s the next campaign.
On Friday 29th November Michael Fallon MP was unanimously re-selected by Sevenoaks Conservatives to be the party’s candidate at the next General Election in 2015.
Commenting on his reselection, Michael said:
“I am delighted to have been re-selected as the Conservative Party candidate at the next general election. It has been an honour to represent the people of Sevenoaks and Swanley since 1997 and I look forward to having the opportunity to continue to represent their views in Parliament.”
Chairman of Sevenoaks Conservatives, Councillor Richard Parry, said
“We are delighted to have reselected Michael to be our candidate at the next General Election. Michael has always been a diligent and popular MP and is especially regarded for his ability to resolve his constituents’ problems. Additionally Michael has combined his ministerial work load and constituency duties seamlessly and has continued to deliver for the people of Sevenoaks and Swanley.”