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Michael Tomlinson MP January Newsletter
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Statement from Michael on Brexit and Article 50.




After two days of debate, Members of Parliament yesterday voted decisively to support the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. Following the Supreme Court ruling, this represents an important step for the Government towards gaining parliamentary approval to begin Brexit negotiations.
 
It has been estimated that at the referendum 57% of residents in Mid Dorset and North Poole voted to leave the EU. I was delighted to be able to support this bill and vote in favour of the UK beginning Brexit negotiations. Over the coming weeks, there will be further debate on our withdrawal from the European Union, but it is clear from this vote that the Prime Minister’s plan for our exit from the EU commands significant support in the House of Commons.
 
Despite the uncertainty and hesitation of the opposition, Conservative MPs were nearly unanimous in their support for starting negotiations for the UK to leave the EU. The decision by over 100 Liberal Democrat, Labour and Scottish Nationalist MPs to ignore the referendum result and vote against this bill was disappointing.  After all the result at the ballot box on the 23rd June could not have been clearer. Britain voted to leave the European Union. All politicians, regardless of their personal preferences, should respect the democratic will of the people and now focus on making a success of Brexit. 
 
Once Parliament has passed this particular piece of legislation, the real process of negotiating our exit from the EU can begin. Our Prime Minister has made it clear that she will formally invoke Article 50 by the end of March this year. This means that that in fewer than 60 days’ time Britain will begin the process of taking back control from Brussels and reclaiming our sovereignty. Brexit will happen, but I am determined to ensure we get the best deal for everyone and continue to be an outward looking and positive nation.

 

Update on Fair School Funding Consultation



Michael is pleased that progress has been made to implement the new National Funding Formula. The Education Secretary recently announced that the new funding formula will be in place by 2018-19 and revealed the detail of the new formula and the corresponding funding levels for all schools in Dorset and Poole.

Fairer funding for local schools has been a key campaign for Michael and is an issue that he has been campaigning on before becoming an MP. The current formula significantly disadvantages schools in Dorset and Poole and Michael has taken every opportunity to urge the Government to alter the formula.  Michael has recently met with the Secretary of State to discuss fair funding and is leading a delegation of MPs about the effect on Grammar Schools later this month.

Under new proposals, schools in Mid Dorset and North Poole are set to gain an extra million pounds and schools in Dorset look to gain five million pounds on per pupil funding from the new formula.
However not every school is gaining from the changes, and as ever, the devil is in the detail. A further period of public consultation has been announced looking at the technical detail of the new formula and the resulting funding levels. The deadline is the 22nd of March. Michael is urging residents to have a look at the consultation document and have their say.

Have your say on the consultation before the deadline on 22nd March 2017 
 

Homelessness Reduction Bill Passes Second Reading


Michael was delighted to support Bob Blackman MP with his Private Members Bill.


The Homelessness Reduction Bill has taken a key step towards legislation as Parliament voted in favour of the Bill as it passed the final stages in the Commons. The Bill will now proceed to the House of Lords and pending any further amendments, it should receive Royal Ascent in 2017. 

Michael has been playing a key part in Bob Blackman’s Private members Bill, which seeks to ensure greater support for every homeless person and for people threatened by homelessness. As a member of the Bill Committee, Michael has been scrutinising the proposals in fine detail.

Michael said “I am proud to support the Homelessness Reduction Bill as I firmly believe that it is a well-intentioned Bill that seeks to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It is not the complete solution but it is a very welcome Bill.”


Michael with BCHA Chief Executive Martin Hancock

In preparation for the debate, Michael met up with Martin Hancock, Chief Executive of Bournemouth Church Housing Association to discuss the Bill and the wider issues affecting homeless people and to hear about the terrific work that organisations such as BCHA are doing to help.

Click here to see Michael's contribution to the Homelessness Reduction Bill debate.
 

Michael Continues Campaign for Road Improvements 




Improvements to Dorset roads has been a longstanding campaign for Michael. Key travel routes across the County, such as the A31 and the A350 need improvements to ease congestion and ensure that they are safer and more reliable.

Michael joined fellow Dorset MP, Simon Hoare, to raise this matter with the Roads Minister Andrew Jones MP.  Michael said “I am determined to continue working with colleagues to get the improvements that our roads need. “

Alongside key strategic improvements, Michael also welcomes the news that roads in Dorset are set for improvements as part of new funding to tackle and repair potholes. Over 20,000 potholes will be repaired thanks to over £1million funding for local highway maintenance.

The Pothole Fund will also see Poole receive £124,000 and Bournemouth receive £113,000. The funds are allocated based on the length of roads that the Local Authority has to maintain. Funding is part of a £1.3 billion investment program that aims to maintain and improve local road networks and cut congestion over the life of the parliament.
 
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Ways to contact Michael

By Phone: 
01202 624216
0207 219 5844

By Post: 
House of Commons, 
London, 
SW1A 0AA

By Email:
michael.tomlinson.mp @parliament.uk
Surgeries 

To book in at one of my surgeries then please do phone the office on 01202 624216 or email me at michael.tomlinson.mp @parliament.uk
News in Brief



Michael joined the Mayor and Councillors at the opening of the excellent new viewing platform at Lytchett Bay View in Upton.




The steering group of the Dorset Young Chamber met at St Aldhelm's Academy. Michael, who is the Chairman of the Steering Group, is pleased to support the work of this excellent initiative that seeks to be the bridge between education and the workplace. 

 Click for more information about the Young Chamber Program




Michael joined Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns in a recent meeting with members of the Youth Parliament in Poole.  Youth Parliament Member (MYP) Lili Donlon-Mansbridge and Deputy MYP Lowri Bradley met with the MPs to discuss vote at 16.




Michael is backing a campaign by Business Debtline, part of the Money Advice Trust that offers free advice and guidance to struggling local businesses.  

Any small business owner in Mid Dorset and Poole who is struggling to cope can seek free advice from Business Debtline at www.businessdebtline.org or by calling 0800 197 6026.




Michael recently visited HMP Wandsworth for a special behind the scenes tour. Michael joined fellow MP Guy Opperman to hear about the innovative work at Wandsworth to rehabilitate prisoners and better prepare them for productive lives upon release.

Michael met with Ian Bickers, Governor of HMP Wandsworth and Pamela Dow, Development Director and was thoroughly impressed by the drive and passion of the staff working within the prison.

Michael has been a keen advocate of prison reform to ensure that the system works better for both prisoners and the taxpayer. Michael said “Reoffending rates are too high, they cost the taxpayers millions each year not to mention the human cost of reoffending. I was pleased to see the work at HMP Wandsworth as a prison leading the reform agenda.”
 
Final Month of Clinical Services Review Consultation



The Clinical Services Review (CSR) Consultation continues until the end of February. The review is looking at the future of health provision across Dorset. Michael has been contacted about this issue by many local residents and is urging everyone to participate in the consultation process. It is important to note that no decisions have been made and that there is still time to have your say.

To have your say on the consultation please click here
 
Michael in the media

MP Moves to Allay Fears Over School Funding

Michael Urges Swift Brexit Legislation 

MPs Demand Anti Strike Laws 

Michael Attends the Opening of Purbeck Citizens Advice 

Brexit will be Good for Dorset
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