POLITICALLY SPEAKING: Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns on Remembrance Day and the EU

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First of all, let me take the opportunity as Remembrance Day approaches to pay tribute to everyone who has lost their lives in the line of duty.

It is always a special time of the year when we remember those who gave everything for us and our freedom. I will be laying wreaths throughout the constituency to show my appreciation for all of those armed forces personnel who sacrificed so much to ensure we are able to live our lives in liberty.

In Westminster this week it was fascinating to be able to attend the infection prevention and control clinical summit, hosted by the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS improvement. I took part in a table discussion involving a variety of medical professionals. We discussed the culture of hygiene compliance and the best way to tackle poor hand hygiene standards. We also debated anti-microbial resistance, the country’s success in tackling MRSA and the growing threat of new, deadly superbugs. The summit also gave me the opportunity to talk to Jeremy Hunt about the new challenges facing infection control and what I can do to raise awareness about this crucial issue. I will continue to campaign in and out of Parliament as I understand the severity of this issue and the need for a unified, coordinated approach in tackling E.Coli and Sepsis.

Also in Westminster it was exciting to visit the new Department for Exiting the European Union. I was taken on a tour of the department and I was able to ask civil servants about the challenges facing our exit from the EU. I was extremely disappointed about the news from the High Court regarding Parliament’s necessary approval of Article 50, however, I was comforted by the desire surrounding the committee to ensure the democratic will of the British people is respected. This desire was reflected in the election of Michael Gove, a fellow Brexiter, as Vice-Chair of the committee.

In Outwood I was delighted to take part in a ‘Your Bus Matters’ event alongside Arriva. I held a surgery alongside representatives from Arriva and First Bus UK, in order to discuss concerns about bus travel in and around the area. I have been contacted by many constituents who are concerned and frustrated about local transport and I wanted to give them a voice and a platform by which to raise their grievances. This surgery formed part of a wider strategy of mine to improve the constituency’s transport infrastructure, as we grow more and more as a commuter belt for those working in Manchester and Leeds.

Being a dog lover and having a mini schnauzer called Godiva, it was amazing to be able to visit the new off-lead outdoor play area recently opened by the RSPCA Leeds and Wakefield District Branch. The RSPCA does a fantastic job rehabilitating dogs, cats and other animals that have been poorly treated and that have not have the best start to their lives. The off-lead area offers toys and water bowls and will be hired out to the community. It will also be used by the rescue centre to let rescued dogs run around and enjoy the outdoor space.

As ever, if you would like to contact me please visit www.andreajenkyns.co.uk/contact-andrea