Aberconwy MP Robin Millar's Column: Changes and a new start

  Posted: 16.07.21 at 14:10 by The Editor

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Robin Millar is the MP for Aberconwy. Robin writes a fortnightly column for Conwy Nub News.

Parliament rises for the summer recess on 22 July, and there’s a feeling of “end of term” in the air in London with a sense of “needing” to get administrative tasks and projects completed and apprehension and excitement about the new term of Parliament that starts in September.

It also comes with some endings, changes and new starts for me and my team! In terms of endings, I have finished my year in the RAF with the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme. Serving in the RAF cohort has been an immense privilege and pleasure. The professional staff working on this scheme have put exceptional care and thought into the experiences that they provided for my cohort. It is fair to say that there are things I simply would never have known had it not been for the course. I hope that I will be a better MP for the interaction and engagement with RAF personnel that has been facilitated and the knowledge and understanding that has come from it.

I hope to be able to stay in the scheme next year in a different service but more news of that later this summer!

During the summer my Westminster office will be moving from its current location to a different part of the parliamentary estate. The area in which my current single office – which I share with my London staff – is being refurbished as part of the restoration of the Parliamentary estate. I viewed the new accommodation earlier this week. It consists of a small office for me adjacent to an extremely large office which will be shared by the London team with another MP’s staff. The House team are very experienced at organising these moves, and next week we will say goodbye to our old room and all our equipment will be there in our new offices in September along with all our IT. All we have to do is pack files and effects in boxes and label them!

In London, it will be all change in September, but we will certainly have more space and flexibility which will accommodate us more efficiently.

Part of the “all change” in September is that the House will be returning to its “normal” procedures; no more hybrid proceedings, screens or remote contributions. So, there will be slightly different ways of doing things – both in personal appearances in the House and administratively. You will understand why it feels a bit like a “new start” in September, in some ways even starting again.

The legislative programme continues with the current business of the house next week being the 2nd reading of the Nationality and Borders Bill and also the Building Safety Bill. And many of you have written on the subject of the Nationality and Borders Bill; your primary concerns are about the impact on asylum seekers. I have also had quite a large “electronic” postbag on the Police and Crime Bill which is currently in the Lords. A number of you are anticipating the budget already! I have also had a considerable amount of emails on the subject of beer duty, but this is part of a wider campaign called “Save our Local” which I am familiar with. I have a busy schedule of summer visits, community engagement and surgeries for July and August.

Community surgeries have not been possible so far due to restrictions and a number of traditional venues are working with us to try and make these events as comfortable as we can. But remember, you can always make an appointment to see me in our offices in Conwy if you want to talk at a longer length than a surgery appointment allows.

If you have a community group that would like some extra volunteer help this summer, or you would like to tell me about the work that you do, please make contact. The launch of the community asset fund was this week. The UK government are making funds available to help sports groups, clubs, charities etc who want to buy their premises, a local sports field or even community shops. If you think your community could benefit from this, or just want to know a bit more, please, again, phone or email my office on 01492 583094, or email [email protected] I would be pleased to help you.

I am also taking a short holiday myself! Mrs. Millar has organised a “staycation cottage” for us and after the pace of the last few months, I think some peaceful walking in the countryside will be most welcome. I know many of you are doing similar things with your families and I hope you enjoy your breaks (and hopefully good weather) as much as I hope to.

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