Welcome to my latest newsletter. Please forward it to anyone else who you think would like to receive it, and they can sign up at my website. If you would prefer not to receive it, please use the unsubscribe button below. And please get in touch if there are any issues you would like to discuss.
Today, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is visiting Devon, and I have taken the opportunity to write to him seeking assurances about flood defences in our area. I have been contacted by a number of residents with concerns that North Devon may be forgotten when it comes to future investment. We thankfully escaped the worst of the flooding this winter and were not the centre of media or political attention, so does that mean we could miss out? In particular, a business owner in Braunton has spoken to me about the need to ensure the village gets all the investment it needs to prevent a repeat of the flooding there two Christmases ago. Last autumn I toured Braunton with the Environment Agency to see the work they've been carrying out, and the Highways Department has also been making improvements. However I agree that we must look at what further measures are needed and I will be making that point clearly in my letter to Owen Paterson today.
Thank you to everyone who replied with your views about two big current issues: the increase in council tax and the consultation over the future of care homes. I will be writing to the leader of Devon County Council in due course and will put the text of the letter on my website and Facebook page.
The European elections are moving closer and the campaigning is moving up a gear. This weekend, Conservative MEP candidate Georgina Butler (pictured above with me on a recent visit to Devon)is joining me for a campaign session in Barnstaple. In future weeks, our two existing MEPs who are seeking re-election - Ashley Fox and Julie Girling - will be visiting, and I am hopeful that our star name James Cracknell will be returning too. We need a strong Conservative group in Europe to ensure Britain's interests are upheld. Remember, only the Conservatives are promising (or can deliver) an in /out referendum. David Cameron will renegotiate our terms of membership first, and his hand will be greatly strengthened by a strong Conservative presence in the European parliament. Election day is May 22, so before then we may well be knocking on your door in North Devon!
Until next week...
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate