View from the House is Christopher's monthly roundup of happenings from Westminster. The articles appear in the Tamworth Herald and other local newspapers including Lichfield Mercury and Sutton Coldfield Observer. 

12 OCT 2016

View from the House: September 2016

Although the long summer Parliamentary recess means that nothing happens in Parliament, it doesn't mean that nothing goes on in Tamworth. Like most MPs, I used the summer recess and September to get around Tamworth, meeting people, visiting local businesses and charities, and attending local events. When Parliament is sitting I can really only do these things on some Fridays and at weekends, so the recess was a good time to catch up. As we head towards the Party Conference season and a busy period at Westminster culminating in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement later in the year, I thought this a good time to send you an update of my activities. As always if you have any questions or concerns about any particular issues that are not mentioned here then please contact me at,uk or call my office on 01827 312 778. If you would prefer not to receive further email updates then please email and my team will take you off the email list which is generated from everyone that has contacted me since my last newsletter.

Best regards,


Events Around Tamworth

I very much enjoyed meeting the Creative Choices team at the Carnegie Centre. They do valuable work helping adults with significant support needs and are campaigning for a proper and fully equipped disabled bathroom in the town which we currently lack. I agree that this is an important service that Tamworth needs to have.

Visiting Elford and its scarecrow festival over the bank holiday weekend was, as usual, great fun. There were some fantastic and very creative dummies all around the village. "The Red Barrows" was especially good and I think it scooped the overall prize; but I particularly liked "Boris on a zipwire" – and I think our new Foreign Secretary quite enjoyed seeing a photograph of it too! The only downside is that it only comes around every other year.

Earlier this month I was invited to launch 'Herta', a hand-made canoe built by Kurt Kovach and the Shuttington 'Old Boys', raising money during a 32-mile charity canoe from Tamworth Castle to Alvecote Marina. They aimed to raise over £3000 for three charities including St Giles' Hospice and Macmillan. Well done chaps!

A big thanks to our Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold for hosting a fundraiser in support of Staffordshire's Police Cadets. The Cadet scheme is a great way to get more young people to experience life in our blue light services and to build their knowledge and confidence and it was very good of Sue to open up her garden for the event. I think the cadets enjoyed it too!

This summer British athletes did us proud in both the Olympics and the Paralympics. We won more golds than at any time in the modern Games. I think ITV also made a good point in switching off for a couple of hours one Saturday to encourage parents and kids to go out and enjoy some sport. For those of us old enough to remember, it reminded me of the message of the 1970s teenagers' programme "Why Don't You?". Councillor Tina Clements, Councillor Roy Rogers and the Wilnecote team organised one such IAMTEAMGB event in the local sports hall. It went very well with a lot of families coming along to take part in friendly competition – and flag holding!

Community Minibus Fund

The Government has announced a new £2m fund available to all community groups to bid for community transport initiatives.

The money, part of a £25m funding pot, will improve the everyday lives of people in rural communities by providing vital links to medical services, shops, and social events.

If you think that your organisation is in need of a new minibus then please look at the Department for Transport's website or get in touch with my office either by calling 01827 312 778 or by reply to this update. The deadline for applications is 2nd December.

Business Boom in Tamworth

This month saw some promising job numbers for Tamworth. The figures show the number of people in work in the West Midlands has risen by 184,000 since 2010.

The figures also showed more locally that the number of people claiming the key out of work benefit in Tamworth has fallen by 1,561 - a 73 per cent drop – since 2010.

This news was echoed nationally where the number of people in work across the United Kingdom is now at a record level of 74.5 per cent – the highest since comparable records began in 1971. The rate of women in work is also at its highest level since comparable records began.

Backing Causes in Westminster

Over September I had the privilege of being able to help a number of notable causes, such as pledging support for World Sepsis Day and wearing pink for breast cancer!

It's estimated that 14 women a year in the Tamworth area lose their lives because of breast cancer, so supporting vital research in to this devastating disease is important.

Meanwhile Sepsis is a significant, yet relatively unknown killer. It can strike anyone and the symptoms are not widely understood. So raising awareness is as important as raising money to combat its threat.

Weekly Video Updates

Now that we have returned to Parliament, each week I plan to post a Facebook video covering the week in the House. We have a number of important items coming up in the run up until Christmas notably the first post-Brexit Autumn Statement, legislation on planning and housing, and a Higher Education Bill. Tune in to hear my thoughts.

You can view these videos by clicking 'like' on my Facebook page via the following link.


Upcoming in the Constituency

1st October - 10.00am-12.00pm – Sacred Heart Church, Glascote: Promoting the Starfish Project

21st October - 9.30am-3.00pm – Elford Village Hall: Breast cancer awareness coffee morning

11th November - 12.00pm-1.00pm – Hall of Memory, Hospital Street, Tamworth: Armistice Day

12th November - 7.30pm-9.30pm – St Edithas, Tamworth: World War One Remembrance

If you have any questions or comments then please do get in touch with me on or by ringing 01827 312778.

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