Last week was UK Parliament Week. This is all about helping young people to know more about the work that I do as the local Member of Parliament – and about the importance of democracy in general.
As part of Parliament Week, I visited Deal’s Sandown School on Friday. It was great to chat with young students who had a real interest in what goes on.
What’s more, it was great fun to field questions on all manner of topics from the students. From cost of living to problems getting healthcare treatment. And from why be an MP, the worst things about being an MP to have I met the Prime Minister.
It was Sandown School and their interest in the goings on in Westminster that has fuelled my campaign to make it easier for students from our community to visit Parliament. Bizarrely, no school in Dover or Deal gets travel support to visit Parliament. But other parts of the country do. It’s completely wrong.
I have written to the Speaker on this, and I am pressing for all schools in Dover and Deal to get funding support for these visits. It matters because it is what Parliament Week is all about – democracy and enabling everyone to see our democratic values up close.
Nothing embodies the spirit of our democratic system more than the State Opening of Parliament. This took place last Tuesday and was the first by King Charles. It was a fine thing to see our constitutional monarchy in action.
There was full pomp and circumstance. Pageantry and regalia. The slamming of the door of the House of Commons in the face of the Black Rod. From the cap of maintenance to the gold stick in waiting amid a sea of tricorn hats and red gowns, it was all there and unchanged for over 500 years.
It reminded me what a special country our United Kingdom is. The State Opening is overflowing with history. Yet, it is not all just pageantry. The King’s Speech sets out the Government’s agenda for the upcoming Parliamentary session. For me, I care deeply about a Britain that is fair – that works for everyone. So, I was particularly pleased to see the Renters Reform Bill continue into the new session, as well as a plan for leasehold reform. It’s so important to stop people being evicted from their homes for no good reason.
Parliament links our past to our present and shapes our future. We are so privileged to live in a democracy. It’s so important to teach young people about the civil society we have built. That is what Parliament Week is all about. As we now enter a new session of Parliament, it is so great to see young people educating themselves and engaging in our democracy.
Parliament Travel Subsidy : https://learning.parliament.uk/en/travel-subsidy/
Travel Subsidy Bands List : https://assets-learning.parliament.uk/uploads/2020/08/Transport-subsidy-bands-listed-by-constituency.pdf