With the conclusion of elections last week, attention will turn in earnest to the Referendum. Up until now it has been a bit of a phoney war. There has been some media jousting, a few speeches, and a bit of entertainment over differing opinions amongst my Conservative colleagues.

This is going to come to an end, because we are not having a school debate, nor an internal party political discussion. We are going to have on June 23rd perhaps the most important vote any of us are likely to cast in the next forty years. I predict the vast majority of us are going to vote, because by the time June 23rd comes around I think there will have been a realisation of what is a stake.

Read more: Burt on the Benches May 2016 - Referendum

When I first became an MP in 1983, I would occasionally meet parents at an advice centre who would say to me 'I think my child has something called autism, but the school does not know what it is'.

This is rather different now. There has been growing awareness and diagnosis over recent decades. It is estimated that there are some 700,000 people in the UK with autism, of which 120,000 are of school age.

Read more: Bulletin Magazine April 2016 - Autism

Can you remember, if you were around, where you were for the Referendum in 1975?

We don’t have many in this country. The UK Government has only held twelve, since the first in Northern Ireland in 1973, and to date only two, the 1975 one on the EU and the Alternative Vote proposition in 2011, have been countrywide. The rest have been in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on their particular constitutional positions, which I think emphasise how our country has more recently changed and adapted to new structures in governance, in accordance with the wishes of the people.

Read more: Villager Magazine April 2016 - Referendums, and all that

This week’s news that the preferred corridor for East West Rail will be the Sandy route, from Bedford eastwards, confirms that this area is at the heart of an extraordinary combination of infrastructure developments. The review of the A1 from the M25 up to Peterborough is likely to conclude that an upgrade will be necessary, with significant implications. The anticipated A428 work from Caxton Gibbet to the Black Cat roundabout will feed into the proposed Oxford Cambridge Expressway, as a road route parallels the new rail link. And there will be new housing schemes on the back of these, confirming Bedfordshire’s place as a fast growing, popular venue for work, living and recreation.

Read more: Burt on the Benches April 2016 - A busy Bedfordshire looks forward

In case you missed it, there will be a Referendum on June 23rd this year, in which you will decide whether or not the UK remains in the EU. Not David Cameron. Not Jeremy Corbyn. Not me, nor Richard Fuller. You.

This will be a very big deal, one of only three UK wide referendums ever, and the second on this topic since 1975.

I will be voting to stay in the EU, and I hope you will be too. I think we are stronger, safer and better off by staying in the EU, particularly with the additions to our status following the recent negotiations of the Prime Minister. The EU assists our economy, our jobs, our security and our engagement with such transnational issues as climate change, the environment and crime.

Read more: Bulletin Magazine March 2016 Make your mind up time