In this month’s column, Sherwood MP Mark Spencer MP discusses the mini-budget, reflects on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and shares what he has been up to in Sherwood.
Death of The Queen
Last month has of course seen the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, after a lifetime of service and dedication to our Country. I had the privilege of meeting the Queen on many occasions, and her wicked sense of humour and attention to detail up until the very end will stay with me forever. I signed a book of condolence on behalf of Sherwood in the DEFRA office and witnessing the outpouring of affection for her Majesty, with the number of tributes around Sherwood at our churches in particular amazing to see.
I attended the Accession Council at St. James’ Palace to witness the proclamation of our new King, Charles III. This was a moving experience to see the King coping with his grief as well as starting his role as our new Monarch. God Save the King.
It seems a lifetime ago now, but we have a new Prime Minister and Government. I was honoured to accept the appointment as a Minister of State in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). As a Farmer and MP for a rural area, I know how important food production and the environment are. I will champion the whole rural sector in Sherwood and across the UK.
I was delighted by the new Government’s intervention on Energy bills, and the pledge to freeze the price cap. Putin’s illegal war and his attempts to blackmail the rest of the world with energy are driving up price across the UK and Europe, therefore the intervention by the government is most welcomed by me and I am sure everyone in Sherwood.
I am aware the mini-budget has divided opinion across Sherwood. I welcome the drop in the basic rate of income tax which will see over 31 million people in the UK paying less tax. The decision to reverse the National Insurance increase will again see you keep more of your take home pay. For the first time buyers out there, you will now not pay stamp duty on your first home as long as the house price is less than £425,000.
We are also stepping up support to get more people into work and off benefits and people now could see benefits cut if they are able to work more and choose not to. The lowering of tax for the top earners I know is controversial, however the Chancellor believes this will encourage more investment and growth which will benefit everyone.
Out and about in Sherwood
Calverton Surgery: It was great to be in Calverton again recently to hold another of my Resident Surgeries. I met with residents and Councillor Boyd Elliot to discuss a wide range of issues and concerns they raised and I have been taking these up on their behalf. If you need my assistance please get in touch with my office on the details listed below.
Calverton Polling Stations: Earlier this month, I wrote to Gedling Borough Council following requests from residents in Calverton to change the Polling Station back to the Methodist Church on Collyer Road from the Village Hall on Park Road. I have received a reply to say that a review of all polling stations will now be undertaken across Gedling, starting in December. I have been told all residents will be given the chance to comment.
Robert Woodhead Limited: I recently wrote to RSM who have been appointed as the liquidators for Robert Woodhead Limited. I have been alarmed by reports that workers who have been made redundant, have not received the final pay they are owed. I have had a response to say this is being looked into and I will chase for a reply.
Flooding in Walesby: I recently met with officers from VIA, Severn Trent, the Environment Agency, Councillor Tim Wildgust and residents to discuss the flooding issues affecting Brackendale Drive in Walesby. The current drainage in place cannot cope in times of heavy rain, which is threatening homes. Residents have asked for flood protection measures which I am writing to Nottinghamshire County Council to ask for.
Whyburn Farm: I am glad that the Ashfield Independent run Ashfield District Council have taken Whyburn Farm out of its local plan. I campaigned from the start with residents and Councillors Chris Baron, Phil and Kevin Rostance to save Whyburn Farm. What the Council now need to do is create a proper plan, allocating houses in a way to minimise impact on the local community.
Southwell Ploughing Match and Show: It was brilliant to attend the Southwell Ploughing Match and Show, held this year in Farnsfield. The show is really important to the farming community which is a big part of our local economy. I was also there in a personal capacity as our farm shop picked up a couple of awards, which I of course take full credit for! Congratulations to all the award winners and everyone who participated and organised the show.