Your Local MP: January 2018

December 22 2017

I’d like to use this month’s column to congratulate all those who were involved in making the Hanham Christmas fair such a great success this year.

I’d like to use this month’s column to congratulate all those who were involved in making the Hanham Christmas fair such a great success this year. It was fantastic to see the fair return to the high street following the cancellation of the event last year and the organisers have estimated that up to 4,000 people attended on the day. I was delighted to be able to host Santa’s grotto in my office on the high street and I am well informed that Santa believed it to be the best grotto location and turnout he has seen in years! My special thanks goes to all of the Hanham traders for their hard work and to all of the volunteers who made the day possible.

With 2018 now underway, there are many projects and campaigns in the pipeline for the year ahead. Later this month I will be meeting with directors from the Homes and Communities Agency who will be regenerating the former Kleeneze site. I intend to press the case to ensure that adequate parking provision is included for any plans on the site as I believe that this is essential for the vitality of the high street and for local shoppers and residents.

Further to my 1,200 signature petition to South Gloucestershire Council regarding the preservation of Hanham Cricket Ground, I will continue working with the Hanham District Greenbelt Conservation Society as well as other stakeholders in order to ensure that we do everything we can in order to stop any attempt for the cricket ground at Abbotts road to be built on. Historically it was purchased for the people of Hanham and should remain a green space. As you may know, I recently met with the Housing and Planning Minister in order to press the case for sites such as this to be preserved and safeguarded from development when there is such strong public support for them to remain as they are.

In addition, as the Minister responsible for democratic engagement and elections, I also have a busy year ahead. Last year, I made it a priority of mine to ensure that any existing barriers to democratic participation for vulnerable groups were looked at again, making voting easier for those with sight impairment or blindness as well as survivors of domestic abuse, as well as publishing the Government’s first Democratic Engagement Plan in December. This year, I will be piloting the use of ID at polling stations in certain local authorities so that we can ensure that each individual vote is safeguarded. Furthermore, 2018 will mark the first National Democracy week, a UK-wide event that I have instigated as a Minister to help raise the profile of how important our democracy and taking part in elections is. 

As always, my office in Hanham remains open Monday-Friday and if you ever have any issues that you would like to raise with me please do not hesitate to either drop in or to call me on 0117 908 15 24. Alternatively you can email me at in order to book a place at one of my surgeries.


With all best wishes,