Our relationship with Europe

Last week the Prime Minister’s speech on Europe provoked much debate in the media. Did it define a historic turning point – or was it just a distraction from the misery of recession? As a student at Oxford, back in 1975, I campaigned for a ‘Yes’ vote in Harold Wilson’s referendum on the Common Market. In a world of trade blocks this represented the best chance for Britain to be part of a large, free trade area. I was, however, along with a great many others, guilty of not reading the small print. In fact, hardly anyone took that bit about ‘ever closer union’ seriously – but it was there in the Treaty of Rome all along.

Canterbury prison

So Canterbury prison is to going to be closed, we learned last week – an announcement which I heard with mixed emotions. On the one hand, the news has come as a sad shock for staff at the prison, who have done sterling work there – some of them for many years – and I have already had a discussion with the Minister about their future. The main priority is to ensure that they are offered wherever possible, alternative employment in one of the other prisons in Kent or, if no suitable job can be found, that they are given terms which properly reflect the long service they have given.

Canterbury Sea Cadets ‘Over the Moon’ as they reach target funding

Canterbury Sea Cadets can announce today that they have been awarded £50,000 of National Lottery money by Sport England as part of their Inspired Facilities Programme. Since their last announcement they have also received a further £20,000 from Viridor Credits, following two earlier tranches totalling £62,000, and their builder, Provian (part of the Brett Group) have given up their profit margin and reduced their quote by £12,000. Together these mean that the Sea Cadets have raised around £290,000 – just enough to commence Phase 1 of the project: the (whole) exterior and ground floor of the building.

End political correctness to increase adoption rates

Political correctness in the adoption process must end to increase the number of children in new families, Canterbury MP Julian Brazier said yesterday. During questions to the Minister for Children and Families in the Commons, Mr Brazier called for an end to decisions which make it difficult for white parents to adopt children from other ethnic groups.

Security changes needed for a safer Britain

Terror suspects who threaten the UK need to be deported more easily, Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier said yesterday. Mr Brazier asked the Prime Minister about enforceable deportation in Britain, following Mr Cameron’s statement on the terrorist attacks in Algeria.

Julian Brazier welcomes transport services in local post offices

It is excellent news that the Post Office will continue to offer DVLA services, MP for Canterbury and Whitstable Julian Brazier said today. Mr Brazier attended an event in Westminster yesterday to show support for the win after extensively lobbying the Transport Secretary to award the contract to the Post Office.

Big Lottery funds a big help in Canterbury and Whitstable

Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier has welcomed announcements by the Big Lottery Fund of grant funding to local community groups. £265,375 has been awarded to the Canterbury and Herne Bay Volunteer Centre to provide a garden and building maintenance service to help the elderly remain independent in their own homes.

Julian writes to Minister on Flooding and Flood Insurance

Canterbury has more than 4,000 properties at risk of flooding, many of whose owners will find it difficult to get insurance after 2013, when the current agreement between the Government and the insurance industry comes to an end in June 2013.