A comment on Mims' activities through the week, and the latest news from Parliament.
It’s been a busy week both in Westminster and in the constituency.
The Government’s decision not to go forward with the controversial Class 4 National Insurance Contributions measures set out in the budget has been much publicised over the last few days. This change will be particularly meaningful to the 8,700 self-employed individuals who live in the constituency (according the Federation of Small Businesses), and who I have been in touch with over the last week. Following this public concern, I am now reassured that the Government is listening to the British people, and will be honouring both the spirit and the letter of our previous manifesto commitments through this change. I do think through the work that I have done on the Women and Equalities Select Committee and the changes that we have in the Digital Economy that we do need to look at how we value our employees, how we work in a more agile way and as a Government we best manage the flexibility we all need for our caring roles and the fact we are living and therefore working longer.
I’m also pleased the smooth process that has allowed the Article 50 Bill to receive Royal Assent, allowing the Prime Minister to trigger the necessary negotiations, as planned, by the end of March. This is an issue that provokes strong feeling all round, but I am glad that the Government can now get to work on developing an independent, self-governing, Global Britain that has a new and equal partnership with our friends and allies in the EU. The British people voted to leave, and the Government now has the necessary authorisation to deliver on this verdict. For local businesses, our economy, those with mortgages and trying to make plans for their families and their communities, it is really important that we come together to work positively so that people’s everyday lives are least affected and those companies and businesses can continue to thrive despite the tricky process ahead. I believe with humility and positivity we can get a great outcome for Global Britain.
Outside of the Chamber, I have also managed to spend some valuable time in Westminster supporting important charitable causes that are assisted by MyLotto24. I first became aware of the work that MyLotto24 does when I learned they fund SportsAid - a group that supports many of the UK’s finest sporting hopefuls, including Kyle Finch, one of my constituents from Fair Oak. Kyle is now training at the National Squash Academy and is definitely “one to watch”! As a keen runner and a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, I have a long standing interest in getting people involved in sport at a grass roots level.
Taking grass-roots and physical activity a little more literally, I spent Friday morning on a walk with the Woodland Trust around Stoke Park Woods. I then chaired the Chickenhall Link Road summit that I organised at Southampton Airport, bringing together key stakeholders and local agencies, including Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, to discuss a firm joint commitment to the delivery of this very much needed road scheme.
I’ll be rounding off the week with the Eastleigh 10k, before a good-night’s sleep and getting ready to start again on Monday!