COLUMN: MP Matt Western talks early signs of spring and the Budget - The Leamington Observer

COLUMN: MP Matt Western talks early signs of spring and the Budget

AS I am writing this, it feels as though we’re seeing the early days of spring with some slightly warmer weather, bluer skies and longer evenings. I know how welcome some longer and warmer days will be for many people after yet another difficult winter with the cost-of-living crisis.

It has been a busy start to March, both in Parliament and in the constituency. I started the month by staying in Parliament on a rare sitting Friday for an incredibly important bill: the Conversion Practices (Prohibition) Bill. It is a piece of legislation, led by my colleague Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, aiming to ban conversion therapy. A desperately needed and long overdue piece of legislation.

Despite cross party support for the bill and huge efforts behind the scenes by Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP to explain the utter importance of this bill, it did not progress. It is deeply disappointing given the urgency surrounding this issue. The longer we go without banning this outdated and traumatising practice, the more people are subjected to it. We cannot afford for this to happen. We must and will continue to push for much-needed action.

I am writing this before this week’s Budget from the Chancellor, a big date in the parliamentary calendar. It is widely expected that this will be the last fiscal event before a possible General Election in May so it is likely the Chancellor will use this Budget to try and boost the Conservatives’ chances in an upcoming election.

The question we should all ask ourselves, both amidst the various inevitable shiny announcements from the Government and ahead of the General Election, is do we feel better off? Do you, your family, your friends feel better off after 14 years of this Government? When you look at your community, your household, your colleagues unable to get a GP appointment, struggling to access NHS dental care with some forced to pull out their own teeth, kids out of school for weeks because the buildings are literally falling down, the state of our roads, riddled with potholes….do you feel better off?

The reality is that so many people will not. And understandably so. We have seen five Prime Ministers in just over a decade, one serving for less than two months yet inflicting so much damage on our country. We deserve better.

The country needs stability, and we deserve leaders focused on delivering for communities up and down the country, not trying to save their own skin or making sure their mates benefit financially during times of utter crisis for our country.

I’m out talking to residents in our towns and villages as often as I can, most weekends in a wide array of weathers. The common theme, no matter where in the constituency I am, is that people are struggling. I repeatedly have raised this point in Parliament as ministers continue to tell us that we’ve never had it better. It is simply not the reality on the ground. I will continue to make sure the concerns of people across our towns and villages are raised in Parliament.

Finally, I would like to wish all those in our communities celebrating the start of Ramadan this weekend, Ramadan Mubarak. I hope this next month is one of many blessings and good health.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any issues or concerns you would like to raise with me. I can be reached on [email protected] or on 01926 882006.

Matt Western

MP for Warwick and Leamington



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