As the election campaign kicked off, it was fascinating to watch the seven main party leaders set out their positions in the leaders’ debates. For those of us living in England, it demonstrated a clear choice between the coherent economic competence of the Conservatives on the one hand, and the chaos of the other parties.
It was clear throughout that Conservatives have a plan to get rid of the deficit, by bearing down on departmental spending and further reducing welfare, so that work really pays.
Yes, we are still spending more than we can afford as a country, but thanks to tough decisions taken by Conservatives in Government, the deficit has been cut by half in percentage terms in this parliament, and will be eliminated in the next. Conservatives believe it’s morally wrong to leave huge debts behind for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to pay off.
The MP for Windsor, Adam Afriyie was behind a recent Parliamentary Question, asking how many homes would be protected by new flooding defences.
The Minister who replied, Dan Rogerson, said that the Government’s plans would protect 400 homes in Windsor and Maidenhead and up to 3,000 in total around the Thames Valley.
Mr Afriyie commented:
“Phase one of The River Thames Scheme is underway and it’s great to have the funding in place from Government for the whole scheme, which will protect 15,000 homes between Datchet and Teddington.
“But I want to keep flooding on the political agenda as the election approaches and that’s why I continue to raise the issue in Parliament and work with our local councillors and campaign groups.
Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, led a debate in Parliament this week on the Thames Valley technology sector, raising several key issues facing the industry including bureaucracy, broadband access, technology clusters and online competition.
The Thames Valley is the largest tech cluster in Europe and was described during the debate as the “Silicon Valley” of the UK. In 2013, almost 200 new technology businesses registered themselves in Windsor.
Mr Afriyie is currently Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and of the Parliamentary Space Committee. Before entering Parliament, he was a successful IT entrepreneur.
The Minister for Digital Industries, Ed Vaizey, said during the debate:
“We always listen with great care to what my hon. Friend [Adam Afriyie] says.
Following sustained pressure from Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, Heathrow finally admitted changes to flight paths that have inflicted more flights and greater noise on residents in Ascot, Binfield, Bracknell Forest, Cheapside, Sunninghill, Warfield and other nearby areas.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow wrote in a letter to Mr Afriyie “I recognise that as an airport community we have let you down in this instance. We need to do better to be a good neighbour and I would like to unequivocally apologise to you and your constituents.”
Commenting on the letter from Heathrow, Mr Afriyie said:
“I am deeply concerned on behalf of the residents who have suffered from extra aircraft noise without so much as a warning.
“What beggars belief is Heathrow’s insulting accusation that residents were imagining the extra noise!
The Chancellor, George Osborne has announced his 2015 budget, outlining the economic landscape and his plans for the country.
In the Budget, Mr Osborne explained that the UK had grown the fastest of all the major advanced economies in the world, had the best employment figures in British history and had seen an improvement in living standards by an average of £900 for each household since 2010.
The Chancellor announced plans including a freeze of fuel duty, an increase in the income tax threshold for the lowest earners and investment in scientific research and developments.
Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, welcomed the Budget saying:
“On the same day that we see the number of people in Windsor on out-of-work benefits at an all-time low, it’s encouraging that the national economy is set to grow even more.
“The Conservatives sensible economic management has helped to create 2 million jobs in the private sector and drive down unemployment by 40% since 2010, and left us as the fastest-growing major economy in the world.