MP for North East Bedfordshire, Alistair Burt, is encouraging local schools to compete in the UK’s largest youth model rocket competition – The UK Youth Rocketry Challenge. 

This week in Parliament Alistair joined the winning UK secondary schools from 2015 and 2016 to find out how schools in North East Bedfordshire can become this year’s champions. 

The UK Youth Rocketry Challenge involves the design, build and launch of a model rocket with the aim of ensuring the passenger - one raw egg - remains intact throughout the launch and landing. The rocket must reach 775 feet with specific target flight duration of 41-43 seconds. Rules governing the competition are altered every year to ensure designs can’t be repeated. 

The national final champions win an all-expenses paid trip to Paris, to represent the UK in a fly off against teams from the USA, Japan and France at the Paris International Airshow in June 2017. The deadline to register is 28th February.

Alistair said:

The UK Youth Rocketry Challenge provides students with a unique opportunity to apply what they have learnt in science, technology, engineering and maths and gain highly valued skills.

The competition is a great chance for students to apply their skills creatively whilst also having a lot of fun. I hope that our region will be represented in the competition and encourage the local schools in NE Bedfordshire to take part.


Alistair Burt has welcomed new measures to transform the way we approach and deal with mental health in North East Bedfordshire, and across the country, so that more children and young people receive support and care.

There will be new support for every secondary school in North East Bedfordshire. Each school will be offered mental health first aid training to increase awareness around mental health, along with help to tackle the unacceptable stigma around the issue. To support this initiative, new proposals will outline how mental health services for schools, universities and families can be improved, so that everyone in the community is supported, at every stage of life.

The Government will also be reviewing children and adolescent mental health services. This will help to identify what is already working and what can be improved, so that more children and young people get the mental healthcare they need and deserve.

These proposals are part of a wide range of measures to improve mental health provision and make sure no one is left behind. There will be an expert review into how we can improve mental wellbeing in the workplace so that employees receive more care. There will be more support in the community, ensuring that everyone in need can access the best support for their needs. More online services will be provided and the system will be made fairer for people suffering from mental health problems.

Alistair said:

“As Minister for mental health, I worked with the Department for Education on improving young people’s mental health and I welcome these further steps.

These new proposals will ensure that children and young people in North East Bedfordshire receive the compassion, care and treatment they deserve. Mental healthcare will be improved in schools, workplaces and universities and those suffering from mental illness will be able to access the right care for their needs, whilst we also tackle the injustices people with mental health problems face.

But children and young people’s mental health services will only benefit if the resources given by central government are spent locally, and I will be watching this process very carefully to ensure that this happens”.

Alistair Burt has welcomed the news that more children are being taught in good or outstanding schools. New figures from Ofsted show that another 4 schools in Central Bedfordshire have been judged good or outstanding in their most recent inspection compared to 2015.

Across the East of England, 210 more schools have been rated as good or outstanding.

Across the country the proportion of all schools judged to be good or outstanding at their most recent inspection was 89 per. As a result almost 1.8 million more children are now in good schools compared to 2010.

Alistair said, “It is great news that the latest figures show that 118 schools in Central Bedfordshire are now rated good or outstanding. But we know there is more to do and the Government has set out plans to make more good school places available to more parents. We are making sure every child can access high quality education, so that they have the opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them.”

Alistair Burt, MP for North East Bedfordshire, attended a Parliamentary event to launch the Pathfinder 2016 Study by the charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

Pathfinder 2016 is the most-comprehensive study of its kind into the lives of people living and working with ovarian cancer in the UK. It surveyed women in the general population, women with ovarian cancer, GPs, nurses, friends and family to provide a comprehensive assessment of how lives can be saved and improvements made.

Alistair said, "I'm really pleased to be here to ensure that all women with ovarian cancer get the care, support and new treatments that are needed, so that women's lives are transformed, now and in future."

He met constituent and campaigner Amanda Cawthorn from Biggleswade at the event who said, “Today I'm in Parliament to call on Government and health bodies to invest in ovarian cancer care and support. I have been through the system and received surgery and chemotherapy after my diagnosis. It is so important that the 25,000 women living with ovarian cancer in the UK all feel counted, and receive the best care and access to new treatments."

Alistair Burt, MP for NE Bedfordshire, has signed the When We Will Learn pledge which has been launched by the Ambitious About Autism charity.

The charity believes that children with autism will get a fair deal if:

  • We get it right for children with autism from the start – by making sure their educational needs are assessed after they get a diagnosis.
  • We meet the needs of every child with autism – by having the right mix of services and support available.

  • We support schools to do a great job – by making sure everyone who works in schools receives training to support children with autism.

  • We protect the rights of children with autism – by preventing illegal exclusions and supporting school governors to fulfil their legal responsibilities to children with autism.

Alistair said:

"I am pleased to support those working to improve circumstances for all families affected by autism. The recognition of their need has steadily grown, but more could always be done, and I am grateful for the efforts of Ambitious about Autism which will impact positively on my constituents."

MP welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment to deliver economic stability and investment for NE Bedfordshire

Alistair Burt, MP for NE Bedfordshire, has welcomed the Chancellor’s statement today, putting economic and national security at the forefront of the Government’s financial plans.

Alistair said; ‘The Chancellor has set out a clear plan for investment, public spending and making improvements to the tax system as well as supporting millions of hardworking families with the cost of living.

Further investment on the strategic road network is very welcomed and the work being undertaken in relation to the A1 will significantly improve journeys for many of my constituent.

Many constituents have expressed concern over the lack of broadband across the constituency and I am delighted that the Chancellor has taken notice of these concerns and pledged a further £1 billion to improve our digital infrastructure.

By raising the tax-free personal allowances, 28 million ordinary working people will be better off, and 4 million will be taken out of income tax altogether. In addition to this, a rise in the National Living Wage to £7.50 an hour will benefit a 1.3 million people; to help reinforce the message that work always pays.

I am pleased that we have a very positive Autumn Statement from the Chancellor, and look forward to continuing economic growth in NE Bedfordshire.’

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt has welcomed the news that employment across the UK continues to run at a record high, the unemployment rate has fallen to an 11-year low, and that according to this week’s figures there are 297,000 more people back in work in the Eastern region since 2010.

In North East Bedfordshire, the number of people claiming the key out of work benefits has fallen by 779 - a 56% per cent drop – since 2010.

Mr Burt said: “I am pleased to note these latest figures, and pay tribute to all who are working so hard to encourage jobs here. NE Bedfordshire’s strategic position, fifty miles north of London and at a junction of major trade routes, is encouraging the inward investment of new business to combine with longer standing local enterprises. Good education and training, together with continued investment in the infrastructure needed to sustain comfortably the growth of new housing, will be essential for the future.”

As well as the employment rate continuing to run at a record high, today’s figures show that wages are continuing to rise strongly. Youth unemployment is down by almost 350,000 since 2010, the number of disabled people in work has increased by 590,000 in the past three years, and the proportion of women in work is at a joint record high. Over 70 per cent of the rise in employment since 2010 has been from full time work.