In My View - 13th December 2018

Great news this week as our excellent Avon and Somerset Police have made further progress in tackling the ‘County Lines’ drug problems that have affected Yeovil as they have many other towns across the country. Over a two and a half year investigation, ten people have now been convicted of related offences and the organisation of the gang dismantled. Local Police have stressed that much of what they have achieved has been made possible by information they have been given by vigilant members of the public so well done to everyone involved. There is something very reassuring about the community coming together to support the Police for the good of the area.

Mugshots of the people convicted have been published and are the general unsettling images of people who have been lost to addiction. It is striking that they come from different backgrounds, areas and races and yet all have the same haunted expression. It is hard not to feel some sympathy for the families of those affected.

However, tough measures are the best deterrent. The Offensive Weapons Bill has passed through the House of Commons at the end of November and is now with the House of Lords. I played a part in broadening the scope for which threatening with a knife is an offence and I am looking forward to this coming into effect and hopefully helping the Crown Prosecution Service. Along with the news that Yeovil Police Station is to remain open at its current central location, these arrests represent a good end to the year for our Police. There is plenty to do next year and I will be fighting hard in Westminster to ease some of the financial pressure they are under. I would like to take this opportunity though to wish all of our emergency services a Happy Christmas. I am looking forward to my Christmas visits to our hospitals too to see some of the very best examples of kindness.

The Season of Goodwill is off to a mixed start in Westminster as MPs continue to grapple with some complex constitutional and procedural issues as well as the details of the proposed Withdrawal Agreement and our future relationship with the EU. I have to say, the deal doesn’t get any better on closer inspection and it is disappointing that EU officials are parroting that it is the only deal available. It’s great for them; they would say that. The concerns I have raised about EU state aid for European rivals making things very difficult for our Defence manufacturers are now shared by colleagues and being investigated by the MoD. It’s a very serious issue but I fear just one of the problems that need to be addressed together with the so-called ‘backstop’. Despite the usual media portrayal of MPs bickering, there are a great many people in Westminster working hard to get this right.

As always, if you would like to get in touch about these issues or anything else that I may be able to help with, or if you would like to book an appointment at one of my regular advice surgeries across the constituency, please do call 01935314321 or email