I would like to convey that a Government’s first duty is to protect and provide security for its citizens. Having served in three conflicts myself and experienced first hand the difficulties of war, I hope you will appreciate that voting to extend our military action to Syria from Iraq is not a decision that I have taken lightly, but I remain convinced it is the right decision in the interest of our nation.
Now in its third year, Small Business Saturday is the UK’s most successful small business campaign. Falling on 5th December, it coincides with the busiest shopping day of the year and is designed to encourage people to shop locally and celebrate our fantastic independent stores.
This is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the individuality and level of personal service our local traders’ offer. So I made a point of popping by to see Jean at Wardrobe Wizard and Ana at The Wool Shop, both small but well respected businesses adding to the vibrancy of the high street in Newport Pagnell. I’m backing Small Business Saturday and I hope you’ll do the same. Go to www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com
Prestigious Birthday Celebrations in 2016
“Would you like to take a ride in a pre-war Aston Martin?” Who’d turn down an offer like that?
What a privilege it was to meet the Olney based team at Ecurie Bertelli, who lead the world in preserving pre-war Aston Martin’s.
Ecurie Bertelli celebrate their 40th birthday next year but their knowledge and experience stretches much further than that. They’re the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of spare parts, holding the rights to some 4000 original drawings dating back to the 1920’s and they’re dedicated to preserving the integrity and heritage of these amazing vehicles.
They’re constantly looking to engage with a younger audience of enthusiasts to ensure their technical expertise is continued for future generations.
Two members of the team are Technical Director, Andy Bell, whose knowledge and expertise is known worldwide and Robert Blakemore, Managing Director, who’s been living and breathing these incredible cars since the age of seven. Robert is a massive racing enthusiast and a member of the Ecurie Bertelli race support team, who also provide specialist racing drivers for events across the world.
Their enthusiasm and passion was clearly evident and this iconic British heritage must be preserved. I wish them well and I’ll do all I can to support them as they go into their celebratory year. Visit their website at http://www.ecuriebertelli.com/
The Camphill Experience!
Founded in 1981 and based in Willen Park, Camphill MK is an inspirational charity providing homes and support for MK citizens with learning disabilities and those within the autistic spectrum. At Camphill they focus on a person centred and holistic approach for 53 residents in 10 houses.
The thriving community boasts the Chrysalis Theatre, workshops, café, organic gardens and a well-stocked shop, selling their own freshly baked organic bread. Alongside art, craft and creative day care, the skills gained give residents an opportunity to work within their own community and create a flourishing environment in which to live.
I had the fortune to meet Tim Davies, CEO and chat to residents who were working hard in the very busy café. Tim said, “We aim to be a resource to our wider community of Milton Keynes and we’re really pleased to talk with Mark about how we can better engage with our politicians and leaders in supporting this aim.”
I commend the residents and team at Camphill for creating such a vibrant and sustainable community. So much so, volunteers travel across the world to make a meaningful contribution and I for one am delighted that I had another opportunity to visit and I can certainly endorse the homemade, home-grown, butternut squash soup! I’m happy to support the team now and in the future to continue providing inclusive communities in MK.
Oh, Yes It Is!
MK Theatre are hosting a “relaxed performance” of Aladdin on Wednesday, 6th January at 2.30pm. So what’s a relaxed performance?
The show is less formal than a regular performance and is suitable for both adults and children who’d benefit from a more relaxed setting. The afternoon can be enjoyed by people on the autisc spectrum, those with learning disabilities and people living with dementia or just anyone who prefers a less formal environment when coming to see a show.
It’s the opposite of the ‘quiet carriage’ on the train – there’s a relaxed attitude to noise, movement and small changes to the sound and lighting effects. Visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes
Back to School
I always enjoy my constituency days in MK and last week was no exception.
Quizzed by Law students at Ousedale School, in Newport Pagnell, I then took part in a video interview, chatted to 4-7 year olds at Oldbrook School about what its like being an MP, with a final question from a pupil at Olney Middle School, “Would I like to be in I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here?” An invitatin to be guest speaker later that evening for MK Equality Council was a breeze!