NE Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt, in whose constituency Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre is located, has expressed his ‘anger and deep concern’ at the comments made by individual employees of Serco on the Channel 4 News bulletins last night.

Mr Burt who has been visiting Yarl’s Wood since before it was opened, and has successfully pressed for a variety of changes at the Centre in that time, spoke in the House of Commons this morning.

Read more: YARL’S WOOD - WHY ARE WE HERE AGAIN? ASKS MP

MP PRAISES UKPOWER NETWORKS (UKPN) FOR FAST RESPONSE TO CONSTITUENT PROBLEM

When NE Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt received a worried email from a business on the Stratton Park Industrial estate, off Dunton Lane in Biggleswade recently, he feared the worst.

The email told him that, due to UK Power Networks work, power was going to be shut off from the estate with just a handful of days’ notice, and no chance to make alternative arrangements. Fifteen businesses would find themselves in a difficult position quite suddenly.

Read more: A GOOD NEWS STORY FROM AN ENERGY COMPANY!

NE Beds MP Alistair Burt has welcomed the Home Secretary’s announcement of an inquiry into the health and welfare of detainees. (Feb 10th)

Mr Burt said ‘I know Stephen Shaw, having been involved in the circumstances of his previous inquiry into the fire at Yarl’s Wood in 2002. He will do an honest and thorough job.

Read more: Alistair Burt welcomes new Inquiry

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt has praised Sandy Upper School, named last week by the DFE as England’s ‘most improved school’.

Sandy Upper, which Mr Burt has been visiting regularly in recent months, achieved the award for its performance in improving passes at A*- C grade GCSE by 27% in a year, the country’s best. The school achieved an 81% pass rate at that level, well outstripping the national rate of 53%.

Mr Burt said ‘Those who may not know the school cannot imagine the background to this past year, and just what an achievement this is.

Coming from special measures, then falling an innocent victim to the failings of the Barnfield Academy, the school was placed in a situation of limbo for far too long by indecision about its future from the DFE, which now seems to appreciate just what a success it has on its hands.

In all that time Principal Balraj Hare, the Chair of Governors, the staff and students turned around the school producing not just fine exam results but a degree of confidence amongst the students which has been excellent to observe.

This is an all-round achievement. I was very proud to attend the awards night recently and pay a tribute to the school, and appreciate that everyone there is determined to keep the improvement going.’

Mr Burt has now submitted a parliamentary question asking for a visit from Secretary of State Nicky Morgan, to see for herself.

‘Let’s see more designated as Assets of Community Value’

 

NE Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt met with Government Ministers Brandon Lewis and Kris Hopkins, to make the case for better protection for pubs in the planning process. As a result of a number of MPs pressure, the Government is to change the rules regarding panning permission for pubs designated as Assets of Community Value.

Read more: MP PUTS ON PRESSURE TO SAVE PUBS

As unemployment figures for NE Bedfordshire show another welcome monthly fall in January, MP Alistair Burt has looked back five years to illustrate the development of the local economy. Figures show encouraging and steep drops for all age groups.

Mr Burt said:-

‘Total JSA count in the constituency this month is 684, an unemployment rate of just 1.2%. Over the last year unemployment for both the 18-24 years olds and those over fifty has dropped by around 35%.

Read more: UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES FOR N.E. BEDFORDSHIRE SHOW DRAMATIC CHANGE OVER FIVE YEARS. CLAIMANT COUNT...

NE Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt is keeping up the pressure on train company Govia, which took over responsibility for Thameslink and Great Northern lines in the autumn. Concerns about performance since then, and especially over the Christmas period, has prompted a series of meetings with MPs.

 

Mr Burt took part in a meeting including the Secretary of State for Transport and there will be a further meeting with rail Minister Clare Perry within the next couple of weeks.

Read more: MP KEEPS UP PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT AND TRAIN COMPANY