The man who can stem tide of rising cost of insurance identified by Barton MP Martin Vickers
THE big political event of the last couple of weeks was David Cameron's speech about our future relationship with the EU and, at long last we are to have an In/Out referendum but ...
The but is that it will only happen if we elect a Conservative government at the 2015 General Election.
From my Conservative point of view that's good news since obviously I want both a Conservative government and an In/Out vote and for all those that desperately want the opportunity of a vote on this big issue it gives a clear indication of how to vote.
I'm also pleased, and amazed, that Ed Miliband has stated clearly that a future Labour government will not give a referendum. How could he so mis-read public opinion?
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Certainly I have no doubt that most of those I represent will welcome the opportunity of a vote.
Had previous governments given a vote on each of the major treaty changes, the European issue would not be as divisive as it is.
Irrespective of the In/Out referendum, the Europe Act introduced by the coalition and passed by parliament will give us a referendum when there is any passing of further powers to the EU but first the country must decide on its direction of travel for the next generation or two – will it be in the EU or out?
As well as the usual routine at Westminster with debates, questions and the like I took the opportunity last Monday of attending a Holocaust Memorial Day event at which survivors of both the Holocaust and more recent massacres in Serbia and Rwanda told of their appalling experiences.
Among them an elderly lady who recounted her experiences in Auschwitz. Hearing first-hand makes it even more horrific.
On the same day the Defence Secretary updated the House of Commons about the deployment of some of our Forces to assist the French in Mali.
As with our intervention in Libya I'm very nervous about our involvement for all the same reasons. Why us? Will there be mission creep? Have we the necessary resources?
But what if we had taken the same attitude in 1939?
Sometimes it's right to intervene in faraway places of which we know little. But if it's sometimes right it follows logically that in can sometimes be wrong. Into which category does Mali fit?
On Thursday a major event was held in Barton-upon-Humber to commemorate those who died in the great East Coast Flood 60 years ago.
It began with prayers and reflection followed by an address by Environment Minister Richard Benyon. His areas of responsibilities include fishing and floods so is very important to this area.
The ministers and other speakers outlined how much is being spent to continue the work of improving our flood defences and the vast difference between forecasting and reacting to floods – we've certainly come a long way though nature will always win through and, at sometime in the future, there will be another flood.
This certainty means, of course, that affordable insurance must be available.
The Environment Agency mapping now allows the insurance companies to calculate their charges according to the actual risks almost street by street.
Unfortunately many of my constituents find the insurers still operate on a post code basis meaning those living in streets that have not flooded for decades are being penalised.
It is Richard Benyon who is in charge of negotiations between the Government and the insurance industry. Hopefully he will soon be able to announce a successful outcome.