As well as looking after constituents in NE Bedfordshire, I am honoured to be a Minister of State for Community & Social Care. My brief covers a wide range of topics, from GPs, CCGs and mental health, to care homes, dentists, podiatrists, pharmacists and more – so never a dull moment.

As part of my role, I recently spoke at a conference for the Shared Lives network.

Read more: Bulletin Magazine Jan 2016 - Shared Lives

The UN Day of Disability was marked in Parliament in December with an event launched by a leading disability charity Papworth Trust.

I joined Papworth Trust CEO Vicky McDermott to show my support for disabled people in NE Bedfordshire, and across the UK.

The Trust produces industry-leading facts and figures about disabled people and the challenges they face and will launch their 2016 figures in early this month.

Read more: Village Magazine Jan 2016 UN Day of Disability

A crystal ball is not much use in politics. It might have predicted David Cameron’s win in the General Election last year, but it would have been brave to do so. It certainly would not have predicted that Jeremy Corbyn would be Labour leader, nor that Leicester City would top the Premier League table this Christmas.

So guesses for this year are just those. But it’s always interesting to speculate, nationally, locally and internationally.

Read more: Burt on the Benches Jan 16 - Crystal ball

“I am running the Marathon this year and hope to raise £10,000 to split between Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger, a place that I know is very close to the hearts of many in NE Bedfordshire and beyond, and with Combat Stresswho I have got to know through my Ministerial work in the mental health field, who do fantastic work with our veterans.

I know many people will already have charities that they support both individually and corporately, but I am spreading the word as far as I can through NE Bedfordshire and beyond and if anyone could possibly consider sponsoring me in support of these two great causes, or suggesting it to any of your contacts, I would be most grateful.

You can sponsor me online at:  

Or by contacting my office on 02017 219 8132  or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The online giving enables the reclaim of Gift Aid on your donation if you're a UK tax payer. Virgin Money Giving will pass this on in full to the charity, making your donation go even further.” 




It is true that the decision of war or peace is the most important vote an MP can cast, and MPs recognise the responsibility they must exercise.

It is essential that they exercise it without fear or favour.

Last week’s decision on Syria demonstrated a through democratic process. MPs heard a lot from their constituents, spoke to others who had not emailed or written letters, and gathered information from Government or other sources as they wished.

Read more: Burt on the Benches December 2015 - Difficult choices