Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017.
Richard opened the Diwali Festival of Light recently, welcoming a large crowd of people to Harpur Square in Bedford town centre. The event, which was organised by the Bedford Council of Faiths, celebrated the multicultural success of the town.
The day started with a procession through town and was followed by music and dance performances from the town’s cultural groups, as well as food tasting and a competition among local restaurants to find the best dish in town.
A new, local initiative aimed at invigorating the economic recovery by investing in a new generation of start up and early stage businesses is planned for Bedford. One hundred local business leaders from Bedford attended the launch by MP, Richard Fuller at the University of Bedfordshire.
The proposed Fund, which will be advised by local business leaders and managed by South East Fund Managers Limited, an FSA regulated entity, will seek to raise an initial fund of £500,000 in units of £10,000.
This will be boosted by co-investment from Finance South East and national government schemes, with a potential total of £2 million. Investments will be made on a purely commercial basis, with the goal of maximizing financial returns to investors.
Richard presented awards to two local schools at Tesco on Riverfield Drive, Bedford, as part of the 10th anniversary of the ‘Tesco for Schools and Clubs’ initiative.
The Hills Lower School and Hazeldene Lower School – where Richard was a formal pupil – were represented by children and teachers from the schools, who were awarded goodies by Richard, on behalf of Tesco, to take back to the classroom. Vouchers were collected by the schools, parents and children and then exchanged for equipment, such as digital cameras, to be used across the school curriculum.
Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford and Kempston, has welcomed the news of improved GCSE results from Bedford Borough’s Upper schools.
“I congratulate the improved performance of schools in Bedford and Kempston at GCSE on the key standard of 5+ GSCEs at grades A* to C, including Maths and English, and in particular the strong double digit improvements at Hastingsbury, Mark Rutherford and Wootton and the strong improvement at Bedford Academy, continuing its progress for four consecutive years.
“I also congratulate the students for all their achievements and hard work over the last two years and wish them all the best for their futures.”
Bedford MP Richard Fuller has praised local company, Carillion Energy Services for its commitment to training and apprenticeships.
The MP was keen to see how the company was creating sustainable jobs in Bedford and the impact that this was having upon skills in the area.
Mr Fuller met senior managers and also had the opportunity to speak first hand with renewable installation engineer, Jake Marsden who gained vital training on the installation of solar photovoltaic panels at the Academy and qualified fully in October 2010.
Richard said: “I was really pleased to see first hand the scale of the Training Academy and I am particularly proud that Carillion Energy Services have chosen to use Bedford as the location for their UK Training Academy. Green Skills and employment are vital to the development of both the local and wider economy and here in Bedford, we are actively involved in developing these.”
Last month, Richard invited one of the very few organisers of an Olympic Torch Relay, Brendan Harris, the Chief Operating Officer of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, to Bedford where they visited two local schools, Balliol Lower and Queens Park Academy. Brendan recounted the story of how he spent three months on the road with the Olympic flame, travelling 16,000 miles through 43 of the 50 States in the USA. As students listened, two real Olympic torches were passed around– one from the Atlanta Games, and the other from the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
The students learned that the torch relay is the largest spectator sporting event; that over 15,000 people carried the torch in 1996 and that the torch could be carried as you ran, as you walked, on a wheelchair, on a train, on a plane, in a canoe – just about any method of transport.
Brendan said that Bedford was a perfect destination for the 2012 London Olympic Games torch and urged the Council, and all of us, to contact the regional organising committee to say the torch must pass through our town on the 8th July when it wakes up in Cambridge and goes to bed in Luton.
Please join Richard in his efforts to get the torch to pass through Bedford by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Housing Minister, Grant Shapps MP, has outlined new plans by the Government to make it easier to evict problem tenants from social housing.
The plans, which are now out for consultation, propose to allow previous convictions for anti-social behaviour to be taken into account, so where the situation has not improved, landlords can act swiftly to evict problem tenants. This will shorten the often long and expensive process which requires landlords to prove again the antisocial actions of their tenants.
Richard welcomed the news. Since becoming MP, he has heard from a number of local residents who suffer from anti-social neighbours. These proposals will help to shift the balance back in favour of the law-abiding victims of nightmare neighbours.
Screenetics, Prolite and Cabair – all based at the Technology Park’s Innovation Centre – gave tours of their offices and explanations of their latest innovations to the MP, who also took part in a flight simulation provided by Cabair. The three businesses exemplify the type of organisation that is attracted to Cranfield University, which aims to encourage and facilitate the development of knowledge-based businesses.
Richard was impressed with what he saw, commenting:
“The businesses I visited compete in very different sectors but they share the same passion for entrepreneurship. We need to nurture that passion to create the next generation of businesses and jobs, and Cranfield University Technology Park has a critical role to play in making that happen.”
In his speech to the students, teachers and sponsors, he said:-
“Today, we commit ourselves, not only to the education of every student, but to each year of schooling. We recognise that each child only gets one chance at each year of their education.
We commit ourselves that the quest for higher standards is not only a long term discussion, but an urgent priority for today, where failure to perform demands leadership and action so that not one single year of any child’s education is wasted.”
The school thanked Richard by baking a delicious cake (pictured above)!
Richard recently became a Scout Leader for the day as 28 Cub Scouts, from across the UK – including members of our own Brickhill Cub Scouts – held the first ever Pack meeting at the Palace of Westminster. The event was part of The Scout Association’s drive to promote the benefits of volunteering to adults.
A collection of MPs worked with 12 adult leaders from around the UK for Volunteers’ Week. They helped the Cubs enjoy a number of activities including setting up a camp and going on an indoor expedition. (See below for video)
The benefits that volunteering has had on the lives of the adult leaders present was clear to all the MPs. Many of the leaders at the meeting only joined Scouting in the last two years.