Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017.
Richard Fuller MP
During January, Richard made contributions in the House of Commons on counter-terrorism and the UK’s support for the Nigerian Army in seeking to defeat Boko Haram terrorists and a comprehensive speech on the UK’s policy on trade, export and innovation. Richard has also tabled questions on a broad range of subjects including NHS Continuing Healthcare, compensation for Equitable Life policy holders, delays by the Home Office in processing visas and government policy on access to taxis for wheelchair users.
As a member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, Richard has taken evidence from key witnesses on the digital economy, the productivity plan and access to Higher Education. The Committee has also published its first report on the UK Steel Industry. The work of the BIS Committee can be followed here.
If you would like to follow what Richard is doing in Parliament, enter your postcode on the independent website theyworkforyou.com. On this site you can also sign up for an email alert every time Richard speaks in Parliament or asks a parliamentary question.
December was the wettest month on record and many parts of the country were devastated by flooding. Whilst Bedford was not affected, Richard has contacted the Environment Agency to ensure that they are as well prepared as possible in the event of flooding on the River Great Ouse in Bedford and Kempston.
Richard commented: “Over Christmas, we all witnessed the devastating scenes, which affected so many communities. I wrote to the Environment Agency to ensure that they had taken all possible measures to protect our towns in the event of high water levels on the Great Ouse. I was pleased to read that the Environment Agency has acted to ensure that they are maintaining flood defences and taking steps to manage river levels.”
You can see the full response from the Environment Agency here.
Richard has welcomed the news that the Housing and Planning Bill has completed its first stages through the House of Commons on its passage to being made into law. The Government is delivering on its manifesto commitment to extend the Right to Buy scheme to Housing Association tenants, which is on course to being implemented later this year.
Richard is a strong supporter of this initiative so if you are a Housing Association tenant who is interested in the Right to Buy scheme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
MP for Bedford and Kempston, Richard Fuller, visited the local office of Age UK earlier this month. Age UK provides help and independent advice on a range of issues affecting local residents over the age of 50.
Richard said, “I was delighted to meet the staff and volunteers at Age UK Bedfordshire to see first hand the important work they do in the community. From services like Home Help, gardening and DIY to giving advice on a range of issues such as benefit entitlements and housing, it is clear that Age UK has a crucial role to play in supporting the over 50s in Bedford and Kempston.”
If you are over 50 and need any help or advice, or you are interested in volunteering, please contact Age UK Bedfordshire on 01234 360510 or by visiting their offices at 78-82 Bromham Road Bedford or their website.
Bedford and Kempston MP, Richard Fuller has been elected to the Select Committee which will scrutinise the Government’s policies towards businesses and Colleges of Further Education such as Bedford College. The Select Committee is a cross party Committee chaired by the Labour MP for Hartlepool, Iain Wright.
Commenting on his election, Richard said that he wanted to be a voice for the small, family owned businesses that are so important to our town and other towns like Bedford across the country. He also focussed on the importance of the Living Wage and ending the era of ‘corporate welfare’ where some companies keep pay low because they know taxpayers will make up the difference through in-work benefits.
“I am delighted to be able to work with MPs from all parties to ensure that this government pursues policies that support working people and encourage people to start their own business so our economy can continue the solid progress it is making.”
You can follow the work of the Committee on Parliament’s website.
MP for Bedford and Kempston, Richard Fuller, has long called for employers to pay a ‘living wage’ to employees. Today, the Chancellor took a major step to achieving that goal by announcing the introduction of a National Living Wage. A National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour for the over 25s will be introduced in April 2016, and this will rise to over £9 an hour by 2020.
Richard said, “Working people in Bedford and Kempston need a pay rise and George Osborne has committed to doing just that for people who earn modest incomes from their hard work. The Budget is a major step forward to a higher wage, lower welfare and lower tax society, putting our economy on a surer foundation for the future.”
Richard also welcomed a number of other measures announced in the Summer Budget, including a further increase in the amount people can earn before paying income tax – a rise to £11,000 in April 2016; reforms to welfare to make it fairer for taxpayers who pay for it, while protecting the vulnerable; taking the family home out of inheritance tax; a further cut in the National Insurance bill for small businesses; increased spending every year on the NHS; and a commitment to protect spending on defence at 2% of national income.
Richard added, “This Budget gives working people lower taxes and higher wages. It makes the welfare system fairer and more affordable, and it ensures our economic security.”
For full details of measures announced in the Summer Budget, click here.
The Government’s Minister for Growth, Greg Clark MP was in Bedford on Friday (9th January) with local MP, Richard Fuller and Conservative Mayoral Candidate, Jas Parmar to discuss Bedford’s economic future.
The Minister was in the region to sign officially the Local Growth Deal that gave Bedford the final piece of funding for the Western bypass.
Richard and Jas took the Minister to the sites of some of the ambitious projects they have proposed to drive Bedford and Kempston’s economic growth, including a new road bridge over the River Great Ouse at Batt’s Ford.
Richard commented, “I have been delighted over recent months that the Government has committed funding to several vitally important infrastructure projects in and around Bedford, including the Bedford-Oxford railway, a flyover for the Black Cat junction of the A1 and the completion of the western bypass.”
“Having the Growth Minister here in Bedford gave us a great opportunity to show him the plans we have for other projects that will bring about new jobs and economic prosperity for Bedford and Kempston.”
Jas added, “A new road bridge in Bedford has been talked about for decades and would make a real difference to traffic in Bedford. It was great to have the opportunity to tell the Minister more about the projects that matter to Bedford Borough.”
Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford and Kempston, today met with local ‘mumpreneur’ Jemma Hough and husband and business partner, Jon.
Jemma and Jon started their business, A Class Kitchens of Bedford, with the help of a Start Up Loan from the government-backed Start Up Loan Company. After becoming a mother, Jemma felt the best way to combine spending time with her daughter and working was to start her own business. After testing the market, Jemma and her husband Jon, who was working for a kitchen company, received lots of local support and decided to go it alone.
The business is going from strength to strength and is now approaching 50 kitchen installations with bookings mounting up into the spring of 2015.
They are looking to expand the business and are currently beginning a recruitment drive to recruit an installations manager to coordinate the installation process and build a larger fitting team, which will mean that in 2015 they will be able to provide more customers with an A Class Kitchen.
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.”
After taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS), Ben Handysides from Kempston was selected as one of just 100 young people across the country, from more than 40,000, to become a national ambassador for NCS.
Established in 2011 to create a more responsible, cohesive and engaged society, NCS is a three week programme that brings 16 & 17 year olds from a range of backgrounds together to face outdoor challenges, learn skills for life and work, extend their social networks and make their mark on their community – spending 30 hours delivering a volunteer project of their choice.
Ben Handysides, a pupil at Hastingsbury Business and Enterprise College, spent his half term taking part in an intensive, week-long leadership programme at a London College– designed to provide top teens with the opportunity to fully realise their potential and develop a national network whilst giving them the skills, insight and ability to help encourage other teens to deliver positive change in the community through the power of social action.
As part of the prestigious leadership programme, Ben took part in a number of workshops focusing on personal and social development, including presenting, debating and problem solving skills delivered by partners including Sky Skills Academy, Barclays Life Skills, Mozilla Digital Champions and EY (formerly Ernst and Young).
As part of the week, Ben also had the opportunity to meet his MP, Richard Fuller, at the House of Commons.
Richard said, “I was delighted to meet Ben at the reception in Parliament and recognise what a tremendous achievement it is for him to become an NCS Leader.”
NCS ambassadors are selected not only for their ability and enthusiasm, but for demonstrating development during the programme and overcoming personal challenges or supporting others to do the same.