Evennett backs Constituencies Bill

PHOTO-2020-06-03-14-16-06 (© Parliamentary Recording Unit)
© Parliamentary Recording Unit

Yesterday (2 June), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was back in Parliament to participate in the debate on the Parliamentary Constituencies Bill.

The Bill would see the last Parliamentary Boundary Review based on reducing the number of MPs to 600 scrapped, with a new review on the basis of a House of Commons with 650 seats.

The new legislation would also see future boundary reviews taking place on a cycle of eight years, moving public hearings from the initial consultation period to the secondary consultation period, takes new Council Wards into account and will use figures from an updated electoral roll.

Sir David used his speech to express his strong support for the measures. He highlighted the different towns in his constituency and the need to maintain communities in the new review, which was something the 2018 Review failed to do in Bexley. Sir David concluded with:

This is a good Bill, and we need to get on with it. It is a Bill that improves democracy. Change is often difficult for all of us, but it is important that this Bill goes through, that we get down to some business and that we implement our manifesto commitment. I give this Bill my wholehearted support and look forward to its passage through the House.

Evennett participates in COVID-19 Debate

Yesterday evening (12 May), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford participated in the COVID-19 debate in the House of Commons.

The debate was opened by the Paymaster General, Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, who acknowledged we are facing the largest challenge in a generation and outlined the Government’s “unprecedented level of support to retain jobs and help cash flow, with 25,000 loans, half a million firms furloughing workers, and 600,000 grants”.

Sir David participated in the debate virtually via Zoom. Sir David used his speech to praise the Prime Minister’s leadership throughout the current crisis and to thank our tremendous frontline staff who are dealing with the pandemic across the country, particularly highlighting those in his area of South-East London. He also stated that he believed that “The response to the crisis has brought out the best of Britain. Our people have risen to the challenge. That is particularly true in my borough of Bexley.”

In concluding the debate, he commented: “We must look to the future and start up our economy, but it is vital that we do it in a measured manner, to give businesses, employees and consumers confidence that they are in a safe environment. In conclusion, there will ​be many lessons to be learned, and we can highlight areas such as care homes, testing and PPE where things could and should have been done better”.

Over 1,000 businesses in Bexley receive Government coronavirus support


1,047 businesses in Bexley have already received grants as part of the Government’s Small Business Grants Scheme. In total, more than £12,855,000 has made its way to small businesses in the area.

In recognition of the extraordinary pressures facing small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, the Government launched the Small Business Grants Scheme, backed by £12.3 billion. The funding is provided to local authorities, who are then able to offer grants of up to £10,000 to small businesses, and up to £25,000 for eligible leisure, retail and hospitality businesses. Since the scheme’s launch in March, £6.1 billion has already been paid out to 491,725 business properties across England.

In total, Bexley has been provided with £36,438,000, which could help as many as 2,715 businesses in the local area.

The Government is providing a huge and unprecedented package of support to help small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, including:

  • Helping to pay people’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, including for more than a million people who are employed by the 140,000 businesses which applied for the scheme in the first day alone.
  • Introducing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to provide loans of up to £5 million, interest free for 12 months, to small businesses.
  • Taking all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses out of business rates altogether for the next year.
  • Helping small and medium-sized businesses with the cost of paying Statutory Sick Pay for employees off because of Covid-19.

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, Member of Parliament for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party for Business Engagement commented: “This is an extremely challenging time for businesses, especially for the smaller firms that are at the heart of our local community.

“It is reassuring to know that the support announced by the Government has already reached so many local businesses across Bexley, and that it is helping to protect businesses and people’s livelihoods. However, there are a number of businesses across the Borough that have not yet applied so I would urge them to do so immediately.

Business Secretary, Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP said: “I am very grateful to local authorities who have been working flat out to ensure these vital funds get to hard-pressed small business owners. Government is doing everything we can to support individual councils and help ensure that these grants reach local firms as soon as possible. I urge everyone to keep working at pace to get the money where it is needed quickly.”

Budget 2020: “Getting it done”


Sir David Evennett and Rishi Sunak.jpgRt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, has praised the 2020 Budget for delivering on the promises to the British people at the General Election in December. Sir David was present in the House of Commons Chamber to listen to the Budget Statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP.

The Chancellor advised the Commons that our economy will grow in each of the next five years, long-term productivity will increase, wages will continue to grow and unemployment will remain historically low.

The Budget reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to do everything possible to tackle Coronavirus (COVID-19), making it the number one priority to keep people safe. In addition to the record funding increase the NHS is already receiving, any extra resources needed by the NHS will be provided, as well as a new £5 billion Initial COVID-19 Response fund and £40 million for further research into COVID-19. Statutory sick pay will be expanded to cover more individuals who are unable to work because they are self-isolating, with those that do not meet the criteria able to make a claim for Universal Credit or for enhanced Employment and Support Allowance. The Chancellor also pledge to support businesses affected by COVID-19 by allowing SMEs and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for sickness absence and from 1 April there will be a new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme delivered by the British Business Bank. The Government has abolished business rates for thousands of small firms as part of emergency measures to deal with the economic fallout from COVID-19.

The Budget also delivered on promises the Conservative Party made to the British people and gets things done. Mr Sunak delivered on the commitment to increase the National Insurance threshold, which will rise to £9,500 this April, whilst also increasing the National Minimum Wage by 6.2%. He also announced the largest cash investment in affordable housing in a decade with the extension of the Affordable Homes Programme and a new multi-year settlement of £12 billion, and almost £1.1 billion of allocations from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to build nearly 70,000 new homes in high demand areas across the country.

Additionally, there were a number of measures announced to help support businesses and allow them to thrive, including £130 million of new funding to extend Start-up Loans, £5 billion of new export loans for businesses and more money for growth hubs, among other measures.

Following the Budget Statement, Sir David commented: “This is a Budget that lays the foundations for Britain to succeed post-Brexit and I welcome the Chancellor’s upbeat approach and dynamism. It is a Budget for ‘getting it done’ and implementing the peoples’ priorities.

“People are also rightly concerned about the Coronavirus and the potential impact this could have on them and their families. I am therefore certain that my constituents will welcome the measures announced by the Chancellor today to not only tackle the virus but to also support anyone affected by it.”

Share a Million Stories for World Book Day


WorldBookDay2020_MPs_photosJustineStoddart-123.jpgRt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, attended a Parliamentary Reception yesterday (4 March) to show his support for World Book Day and the ‘Share a Million Stories’ campaign, which is calling on parents and carers to read with their children for ten minutes a day. World Book Day reaches 15 million children and young people and the tokens are distributed to over 45,000 educational establishments in the UK and Ireland

Every year, World Book Day creates bespoke £1 books for children and young adults across the country to promote the magic of books, the power of imagination and the importance of reading. Each child can exchange their book token in select bookshops and supermarkets to get their free World Book Day book.

Following the reception, Sir David commented: “I am delighted to be able to support World Book Day 2020 and their ambitious campaign to get the nation reading. I have always enjoyed reading stories myself since I was young and this is a tradition that has continued with my children and grandchildren. I very much hope that this initiative is well supported across Bexley.”

Evennett holds Social Mobility debate

David Evennett Speaking in Social Mobility Westminster Hall Debate 12 February 2020 (© Parliamentary Recording Unit).jpg
© Parliamentary Recording Unit

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, held a Westminster Hall debate yesterday (12 February) on Social Mobility.

Sir David has worked as both a teacher and a lecturer outside of politics and has therefore always taken a keen interest in educational issues and social mobility. Earlier in the day, Sir David briefly participated in a different Westminster Hall debate on the educational attainment of white working-class boys, to express his concerns that unless action is taken then there will be consequences for local communities and a loss of talent in the workforce.

During his own debate, Sir David spoke of how he himself is a product of social mobility with family ties to the East End of London, but through education and family support he became the first in his family to attend University.

Among other issues, Sir David highlighted the role further education providers can play in improving social mobility and how important apprenticeships are. He spoke of his recent visit to the Bexley campus of London South East Colleges, where he met several inspirational apprentices who also believed a more innovative and proactive approach is needed to raise awareness of the schemes available.

He concluded the debate by commenting: “There is a lot to be done. I know the Government are committed to creating a country where everyone has the same chances to go as far as their talents allow. I am a strong supporter of the Prime Minister’s agenda of opportunities for all across our country. We must now ensure that people are encouraged from a young age to engage with education and training and understand the long-term benefits. Without action—the Government must be involved, as must all the others I have mentioned—social and economic divisions in the UK could widen, meaning our country and our workforce will not be geared up to ensure that global Britain is the success that our PM wants and we all strongly believe we can achieve. This is an important issue and, at this time in our history, social mobility should be top of our agenda.”

Bexley Conservatives Celebrate Brexit


The three Conservative Associations in Bexley Borough joined together on Friday evening (31 January) to celebrate Brexit with a two-course traditional roast beef dinner at the Bexleyheath Conservative Club.

Organised by Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Cllr James Hunt, Cllr Linda Bailey and Cllr Philip Read, the event was a sell out and members toasted Brexit and the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP, which had delivered on its Manifesto commitment to leave the EU on 31st January.

The Master of Ceremonies was Cllr John Fuller, who also presented the fundraising raffle and Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE said a few words and thanked all involved in the organisation of the evening.

Among the guests were Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP and local councillors.

Environment Secretary Guests at Tory Dinner


Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was the guest speaker at the Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservatives Annual Dinner last night (30 January) at Stuzzichini restaurant in the Broadway, Bexleyheath.

A two course dinner was enjoyed by the capacity audience followed by a fundraising raffle. The evening was organised by Association Officers Maureen King and Janet Power.

Association President, Mark Brooks OBE, introduced the Minister and the Association Chairman, Cllr Howard Jackon, gave the vote of thanks. Among those attending were Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP and his wife, Lady Evennett, as well as Cllr Louie French (Deputy Leader of Bexley Council), Matthew Scott (Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent), and local Councillors.

Ms Villiers spoke about her role as Environment Secretary, the opportunities presented by Brexit for the green agenda, the Government’s Environment Bill and her determination for Britain to be a world leader on environment issues. She then answered questions from guests on Breixt and the environment.

Evennett joins monitoring team at Bexleyheath Academy

Visit to Bexleyheath Academy January 2020.JPG

On Friday morning (24 January), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP visited Bexleyheath Academy to meet the Governors, speak with CEO Julian Drinkall and to join a monitoring team on a tour round the school.

He spoke with Governors, the school’s Head Boy and Head Girl, Headteacher Graham Napier, Executive Director David Moody and David Hatchatt National Director for Secondary Schools. He discussed the school plans, their improvement strategy and the new policies already implemented. He toured the school, visited classrooms and spoke with teachers, before attending a music group rehearsal lesson where he is pictured with students and Mr Drinkall.

Afterwards Sir David commented: “it was a most constructive and informative morning. I was very pleased to learn about and see the improvements first hand, including discipline, lessons and pupil engagement. I wish all involved success in their venture to get Bexleyheath Academy to be the very best.”