Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017.
Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford and Kempston, used the last Prime Minister’s Question time before Christmas to ask the PM what the Government can do to help young people in Bedford and Kempston on to the housing ladder.
You can watch Richard’s question and the Prime Minister’s answer by clicking the image above.
Afterwards, Richard commented,
“Right to Buy has been really popular locally, reducing the deposit required by first time buyers to purchase their own home. It was great to hear that the Government has now launched the Starter Homes Initiative offering 20% discounts on new affordable homes to buyers aged under 40.”
Bedford MP Richard Fuller stressed the need to address the issue of gender inequality within the Houses of Parliament, when speaking to Bedford Girls’ School students on Friday.
In a wide-ranging talk to the school’s Politics Society, Mr Fuller stressed how significant barriers remain to be tackled whilst low proportions of women in senior positions in business and politics persist.
Mr Fuller said: “I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a clear shortage of female MPs in the Houses of Parliament. When I look at Parliament it’s still a male dominated world.
“Unless you start at the top and appoint women in respected positions such as a large corporate company CEOs – nothing will change.”
Reflecting on his political career and an MP’s role in both Parliament and their constituency, Mr Fuller went on to highlight the importance of political figures having ‘life experience’ outside of politics.
“We live at a time when too many MPs have only ever been involved in politics, which leads to intellectually narrow world views,” said the Bedford MP, who worked overseas in the business sector before returning to the town in 2004.
“Being leaders in professions ranging from charity work to science to teaching gives someone that all-important life experience that can make for a more effective, better grounded, representative in Parliament.”
In his contribution to the debate on the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, Bedford MP Richard Fuller spoke of his admiration for small business owners, calling them ‘heroes’. He said that entrepreneurs look to the Government for inspiration and assistance, but that sometimes the Government can be too keen for intervention and regulation.
Richard highlighted a number of local business owners, he commended Maria at Pensieri for battling unfair business rates; Amy at Bedazzled for building a successful business straight from school; Beth and Mahmood at Chiff Chaff Café for succeeding with their café where previous efforts had failed; and Zak at Jagged Edge for inspiring others to start their own businesses while successfully building his own.
A full transcript of Richard’s speech is available here or click the image above to watch a video.
During the debate on the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford, called on the Business Secretary to change proposed regulations that will harm family brewers.
He said, “It was never the intention that family-owned breweries would be impacted by the regulations, yet the Bill has measures that will do so. That should not happen in a Bill that is supposed to support small businesses. It also provides for an adjudicator whose role is flawed, and for a publican code that, as many hon. Members have already said, lacks some of the necessary details to be able to support small businesses.
“The Government’s own impact assessment states that there are additional costs on a brewing and pub industry that is already reeling from the cost competition provided by supermarkets and other places where people can buy alcoholic beverages. Those things should be looked at by the Minister and given a Conservative slant, to make sure that we support not only our publicans who want a fair deal, but our family brewers who also deserve a fair deal.”
Richard Fuller, has pledged his support for My Voice, My Vote – a new, independent all-party campaign to support young first time voters to take social action in their community as a way to encourage their involvement in the democratic process.
Richard commented: “I’m pleased to be lending my support to the My Voice, My Vote campaign to increase young people’s engagement in politics and the democratic process through taking social action. It benefits all of us if young people are more engaged in politics and exercise their democratic rights more actively.”
My Voice, My Vote is a programme of UpRising, a new charity that has Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband as its three founding Patrons. Richard is a local Ambassador for the UpRising programme which has been running in Bedford for the past three years.
Following on from his own energy advice events in December, local MP Richard Fuller has this week shown his support for Big Energy Saving Week, which will help people in Bedford and Kempston to cut hundreds of pounds from their energy bills.
The campaign, which runs from 27-31 January 2014, gives practical advice to consumers on how to save money by checking, switching and insulating their homes. Citizens Advice Bureaux are running over 500 events to help consumers get advice on how to cut their bills during the week.
Big Energy Saving Week is run by Citizens Advice and supported by charities, the Government and the energy industry. By following the advice, consumers could save:
- – £100 average saving paying by direct debit rather than cash or cheque
– Up to £200 saving for switching tariff or supplier if you have never switched before
– £320 average saving from insulation and other energy saving measures
“Big Energy Saving Week is a great opportunity to take action and cut your energy costs. I encourage everyone to see what they could do to reduce their bills and make sure they aren’t paying more than they need to.”
Consumers can visit the Big Energy Saving Week stall in the Harpur Centre in Bedford today (Wednesday) or they can drop in to the CAB on St Paul’s Square on Thursday.
People can also get help and advice online at www.bigenergysavingweek.org.uk, or can join in a CAB twitter chat on Thursday 30 January. You can see a full list of events at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/besw_events.htm.
On Tuesday, Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford and Kempston, introduced a Bill to Parliament to require taxis to install CCTV.
The latest in a three year campaign by the MP, the Bill aims to ensure safety for drivers and passengers by requiring taxis to have secure, encrypted CCTV installed.
In his speech to introduce the Bill, Richard spoke of his concern over the number of assaults and attacks that occur in taxis. He also recalled the terrible murder of local taxi driver, Mehar Dhariwal, which he said had spurred him to take action.
Commenting afterwards, Richard said “It is time to stop treating taxi drivers like second class citizens. Workers in other forms of public transport are protected by CCTV and it is time this protection was extended to taxi drivers and their passengers.”
Small businesses are the bedrock of our economy and vital to our economic recovery. Last year the Government presided over the largest number of business start-ups in a 12-month period in recorded history. Richard Fuller, is working hard to ensure that this trend continues, creating jobs and opportunities in Bedford and Kempston.
The MP has already launched a £400,000 local business fund which is now actively looking for local early stage businesses to support. In July, Richard has arranged a jobs event in Bedford targeted at giving young people a start, or re-start, to their working careers.
Now Richard is being the voice for small businesses and entrepreneurs at the highest levels of government.
So said Bedford and Kempston MP, Richard Fuller, in Prime Minister’s Questions today, with the Prime Minister agreeing about Bedford’s “leadership in all things”.
Richard had raised the issue of encouraging new businesses and securing employment. He spoke of the example Bedford is setting by being the first area in the country to set up a Local Enterprise Fund, in which people who care about Bedford and Kempston have raised £400,000 to invest in businesses locally.
The Prime Minister showed support for the fund that Richard has spearheaded and said that we need to see more enterprise and more businesses starting.
Bedford and Kempston MP, Richard Fuller, has joined calls for a freeze in beer duty in the March Budget by sending a special ‘message in a barrel’ to the Chancellor at an event in Parliament.
The hand-crafted oak barrel, an iconic symbol of Britain’s world-renowned brewing and pub industry, is a reminder of how important brewing and pubs are to the Bedford and Kempston constituency, says Richard.
The barrel, with its calls for a freeze in beer duty, was later delivered to the Treasury by MPs and representatives of the British Beer & Pub Association, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers).
“I strongly support calls for a duty freeze, and I hope the Chancellor will listen. The brewing and pub industries are incredibly important to our town. The Charles Wells brewery was founded in 1876 in Bedford and is still going strong nearly 140 years later. Nearly 2,000 local people are employed by the industry and I do not want any further increases in duty to put any of these jobs in jeopardy.”
Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, which organised the event, added:
“I want to thank Richard for championing beer and pubs in Bedford. Beer tax hikes are not raising more revenues for the Government, and with a duty freeze we can create many more local jobs.”