Busy week posting questions in Parliament for Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin
THE first hour of every day the House of Commons begins with questions to one Minister or another.
You either get called to ask a question by being down on the order paper or by "bobbing" and being called by the Speaker.
Unusually I found myself asking a question every day last week, starting with one to the Education Secretary about whether local authorities were ready to take on the responsibility for funding students with additional needs in colleges like John Leggott and North Lindsey. I asked the Foreign Secretary about what we are doing to ensure Argentina will respect the outcome of the Falkland Islanders' referendum about their future and I asked the Environment Secretary when he was bringing forward legislation to deal with dangerous dogs.
But the most difficult question to ask was to the Prime Minister where I was first questioner on the day when the PM had just delivered his long-awaited speech about the EU.
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The Commons was at its most charged and partisan with the PM understandably wanting to appear Prime Ministerial and on top of his brief and our side wanting to draw attention to the dangers of what he was doing for the economy and jobs.
My question drew attention to the difference between what the PM says and what he does by pointing out that on Monday he cited the terrorist threat as the challenge for our generation and on Tuesday he decided to sack 5,600 soldiers. How did that add up? The PM struggled to answer effectively and so – from our point of view – Prime Minister's Questions was off to a good start.
Later in the week I was on the end of rapid fire questions myself when I visited Brumby Junior School. The school council had so many questions that after 40 minutes they were still coming thick and fast when the head teacher called time so that he could show me round the school. I was impressed to see the children focused and on task in every classroom and pleased to hear that funding has been secured to replace the old buildings with a spanking new school fit for these fantastic children, their hard- working teachers and support staff.
One of the best questions asked was what my main priority for the area is. To which the answer is easy – jobs. So I was delighted to join fellow Lincolnshire MPs Andrew Percy, Martin Vickers and Austin Mitchell to be updated on Able UK's plans for the South Humber Bank. There is still much to be done but things continue to move forward in the right direction. I have secured a meeting for the four of us to meet with the Energy Minister in a few weeks time which provides one opportunity to push things forward.
It was also good to hear Siemens saying very similar things at the Hull and Humber Chamber annual dinner about the huge potential for their investment in green port, Hull to bring benefits to both sides of the Humber.