Evennett backs early action on FOBTs

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Speaking in the Budget debate (© Parliamentary Recording Unit)

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has supported amendments to the Finance Bill to bring forward the reduction of the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

The current maximum stake is £100, and the Government currently plan to reduce this to £2 in October 2019. However, the amendment backed by Sir David would see this being brought forward to April 2019.

The changes follow a 12 week public consultation in which the respondents overwhelmingly supported a significant reduction in FOBT stakes. Sir David has long campaigned for the reduction, and worked on the issue during his time as the Acting Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage. During the recent debate on the Budget, he highlighted his disappointment that the reduction in the maximum stake wasn’t due to come into force sooner.

Sir David commented: “We have a duty to protect the most vulnerable who are exposed to significant losses, which can cause harm to both the individual and their families. I therefore fully support these amendments and believe leaving the maximum stake at £100 until next October is unacceptable.”

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Club Hosts Armistice Commemoration Lunch

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Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP was the guest of honour and speaker at an Armistice and Remembrance Commemoration Luncheon held at the Bexleyheath Conservative Club on Sunday (11 November).

Sir David spoke about his Grandfathers who both served their country during World War 1, and about how important it was to commemorate and remember the sacrifice, bravery and suffering of those who served and gave their lives to safeguard our freedom and independence.

He spoke about his time as the Minister responsible for the Jutland and Somme commemorations in the summer of 2016, and the moving ceremonies that had taken place at Thiepval and in the Orkneys.

Sir David commented: “we must never forget our heroes, and at the centenary of the end of World War 1 we must also remember those who served in all the other 20th century wars and those still serving in our armed forces today”.

Among the other guests at the Lunch were the Mayor and Mayoress of Bexley, Cllr Brian Bishop and Cllr Christine Bishop, Bexley Council Leader, Cllr Teresa O’Neill, Bexleyheath BID Manager, Tony Garratt, Christchurch Vicar Rev Trevor Wyatt, and Deputy Lieutenant, Major David Hewer OBE. There were also many members of the British Legion and Veterans representatives, as well as community leaders present. The event was organised by the Club’s Secretary, Cdr Keith Manchanda OBE.

Evennett opens new Adventure Trim Trail

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Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, officially opened a new Adventure Trim Trail at Pelham Primary School in Bexleyheath on Friday (2 November).

Children on the School Council were consulted on the new equipment for the Adventure Trim Trail, and held discussions and votes on what they wanted included. Following the cutting of the ribbon by Sir David, the children wasted no time in putting the new trail to the test.

Sir David commented: “physical exercise is so important, and it is great to see Pelham Primary School investing in this equipment to encourage their children to keep active. We must do all we can to encourage children to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. The children have done a brilliant job in choosing the equipment and were very excited to finally be able use the facilities.”

Evennett joins over 500 MPs in planting trees for the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy

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Pictured at St Paulinus Church of England Primary School, Crayford, with Headteacher, Sarah Young

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, paid a visit to St Paulinus Church of England Primary School in Crayford last Friday morning (2 November), to plant trees from the Woodland Trust as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC), a network of forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. Over 500 MPs have signed up to take part.

In total there were five trees – two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel – which were all sourced in the UK and will grow to approximately 8-10m in height.

Sir David commented: “I am delighted to take part in this campaign with the Woodland Trust as part of the Queens Commonwealth Canopy, and to help raise awareness of the importance of the UK’s woods and trees. Bexley is fortunate to have so many green and open spaces across the Borough, and it is great to be able to add to our natural environment by planting these trees in support of this initiative.”

Woodland Trust Chief Executive Beccy Speight said: “we are delighted so many MPs have decided to join us in our bid to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.  We all need trees. They are a cornerstone of our landscape and countryside, forming an essential and cherished part of our cultural identity. They are crucial in improving soil health and water quality, reducing carbon, trapping pollutants, slowing the flow of flood water, sheltering livestock, providing a home for wildlife or a space for us to breathe.”

Pragmatic Budget for Brexit Britain

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© Parliamentary Recording Unit

Yesterday afternoon (29 October) the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, delivered his Budget Statement. Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was among MPs in the House of Commons Chamber listening to the Statement.

The Chancellor reported that:

  • Economic growth has been revised up from 1.3% to 1.6%
  • Employment has been revised up, with 800,000 more jobs in 2023 than previously forecast
  • Wages are set to rise above inflation in each of the next five years
  • We have met our borrowing target three years early
  • We have also met our debt target three years early

Sir David spoke during the debate on the Budget Resolutions to highlight his support for the previous announcement of £20.5 billion more in real terms for the NHS by 2023-24 as well as the additional £2billion for mental health funding, the increase of the Personal Allowance to £12,500 and to £50,000 for the Higher Rate Threshold one year ahead of schedule, and more money for roads and repairing potholes.

Sir David commented: “The Treasury team have done a good job of putting together a Budget that is constructive, positive and looking forward. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has put forward an interesting Budget. It comes at an important time for our country, because on 29 March next year we will leave the European Union. We need him to be upbeat and confident about our future; I certainly am. I believe that Britain will thrive post Brexit. The dynamism and innovative people we have in our country should allow us a great future. I welcome the Chancellor’s upbeat analysis and believe passionately that the measures in the Budget will help us to make Britain a great country post Brexit.”

Whilst generally pleased with the measures in the Budget, Sir David did express that he was somewhat disappointed that “we are not looking to have an extension of Crossrail to Ebbsfleet”, as he remains a strong supporter of the C2E campaign.

Dedication of Memorial Bench

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St Paulinus Church in Crayford has dedicated a new bench in the churchyard to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1 and also to remember the service of the men and women who lost their lives in the two world wars.

The dedication was held on Saturday morning (27 October) and officiated by the Rector, Rev Paul Prentice. Among those attending the ceremony were Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP, the Mayor and Mayoress of Bexley Cllr Brian Bishop and Cllr Christine Bishop, and Bexley and Bromley Archdeacon the Ven Dr Paul Wright.

After the service the guests and members of the church and local community enjoyed tea, coffee and cake in the historic church.

Assos Refurbishment Celebrated

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Bexley Mayor, Cllr. Brian Bishop and Mayoress, Cllr. Christine Bishop, and the Rt. Hon. Sir David Evennett MP and Lady Evennett attended a dinner on Thursday evening (25 October) at ASSOS to celebrate the refurbishment of the Crayford restaurant. Joining them to sample the new menu were Crayford Councillor Geraldene Lucia-Hennis and her husband Peter. The restaurant owner and head chef, Mahmut Budak, decided to close in August for a revamp, and the decor and furnishings have been replaced with the bar relocated in the centre of the room.                                                                         

Evennett welcomes Rail Review

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The Department for Transport announced a root and branch review of the rail industry, and it has today (15 October) published the review’s Terms of Reference. They are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/rail-review

The review will consider all parts of the rail industry, from the current franchising system and industry structures, to accountability and value for money for passengers and taxpayers.

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has welcomed the Review. He commented: “the Review is certainly necessary, especially as we have experienced such a poor service in our area. I appreciate there has been an increase in rail users, particularly commuters, but rail companies need to be more accountable for the service they provide.”