Dr Phillip Lee MP: I wish every success to Thames Valley Police CommisionerBy Dr Phillip Lee MP
November 21, 2012
It's been a busy couple of weeks in politics, both on the national and international fronts.
In Britain, unelected and unknown police authorities were replaced by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). PCCs now have the power to hire and fire chief constables, set budgetary priorities, and add an element of local accountability that has been missing from law enforcement management.
The turnout in this first election may not have been great, but this is a step forward in restoring the community’s trust in their police force. I hope, come the next elections in May 2016, that people will be able to look back on four years of community engagement and stable, effective, and efficient leadership from our new Commissioners. I wish our Thames Valley Police Commissioner, Anthony Stansfeld, every success and I look forward to working with him.
Other important stories over the past two weeks include three parliamentary by-elections, a Member of Parliament confusing public service with celebrity status, and an ongoing and increasingly worrying child abuse scandal at the BBC.
Internationally, President Barack Obama was returned to the White House for another four years, tensions have flared in the Middle East as the Israeli and Palestinian conflict has, once again, brought the world’s focus on to that troubled region, and, as ever, our brave servicemen and women continue to work hard in Afghanistan to protect our nation’s interests.
My own activities as your Member of Parliament have been particularly varied over the past few weeks. I have asked a number of parliamentary questions in the House of Commons, raising the question of Government support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the constituency; I am particularly keen to ensure that small construction companies can compete for public sector contracts.
As a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, I asked the Secretary of State for his assurance that nuclear power, which is the only credible option to ensure our ability to meet future energy needs, remains a key aspect of the Government’s energy policy.
Furthermore, I appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight on Thursday, November 15, to debate the merits of onshore wind power.
While I wholeheartedly support the aim of encouraging the market to provide as much energy as possible from renewable sources, I do not think the public should have to subsidise these systems, and neither should local communities be forced to live in the shadow of an onshore wind farm if it is against their wishes. All in all, a busy couple of weeks.
l If you would like to hear more about my views on national issues, or if you want to ask me a question about my activities in the constituency, please come along to my next public question and answer session.
I look forward to seeing as many of my constituents as possible at the Morgan Centre in Wellington Road, Crowthorne, at 7.30pm on Thursday, November 22.