Evennett awarded a Knighthood

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has been awarded a Knighthood by HM The Queen.

David commented: “I am absolutely delighted to have been granted this honour. It is a real privilege to serve my constituents and my country as Member of Parliament, and look forward to continuing to work hard for all of the people of Bexleyheath and Crayford.”

David served as the MP for Erith and Crayford from 1983-1997, and has been the MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford since 2005. During his time in Parliament, he has served as Opposition Whip, Shadow Minister for Further and Higher Education, PPS to the Secretary of State for Education, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage. David stood down from the Government in January to return to the backbenches.

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Skills Minister Visits

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The Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, visited the Erith campus of London South East Colleges yesterday (17 May) at the invitation of Bexleyheath and Crayford MP, Rt Hon David Evennett.

The Minister was joined by community partners and college leaders, including Group CEO and Executive Principal, Sam Parrett, and Chair of Governors, Stephen Howlett, as well as local MPs David Evennett and Teresa Pearce, for a tour of the campus, to meet staff and students, and to learn about the college’s plans for improving skills and training in the local area.

Minister Milton gave a short speech on the importance of skills and apprenticeships, and was interviewed live for the college on the media station #ThePlatform, in which she praised staff for their dedication, and chatted with students Callum Gorman and Selina Simmonds. Mrs Milton commented: “As we know, Further Education is vital for skills, jobs and community; this is evident from my visit today. I congratulate the Principal, the staff and students on the excellent work being done here and especially for their enthusiasm and passion.”

Evennett welcomes FOBT decision

 

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has strongly backed the Government’s decision to reduce the maximum sake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2. At present, gamblers can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on the machines.

Mr Evennett, who was a Minister in the Department for Culture Media and Sport in 2016, helped to pave the way for the reduction in the stake. He commented: “reducing the stake to £2 will help protect the vulnerable from harm. It is good news and I warmly welcome this decision, which I have long campaigned for. I appreciate that it will have an impact on the High Street betting industry, but I am sure they will be able to adapt to the changes.”

Friends Hold Community Coffee Morning

The Friends of St Paulinus Church in Crayford held a Community Coffee morning on Saturday (12 May) at the Barnehurst home of Rt Hon David Evennett MP and his wife Marilyn. The event was part of the Friends Fundraising programme for the year.

Local Councillors joined members of the Friends, Church members and local residents for coffee, tea and home made cakes, as well as a raffle and a ‘good as new’ book sale. Proceeds from the event will go into Friends funds to help maintain the beautiful and historic St Paulinus Church.

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Pictured with David and Marilyn are members of the Friends, local Councillors and Church Evangelist Roger Laing.

MPs Press Minister for Crossrail Extension in Commons Debate

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Local MPs combined yesterday (10 May) to press Transport Minister, Jo Johnson MP, in the House of Commons extend Crossrail from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet.

In the Adjournment Debate, which was secured by Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, other local MPs including Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, and Rt Hon Michael Fallon, MP for Sevenoaks, urged the Minister to look constructively at the benefits of extending Crossrail.

During his speech, Mr Evennett highlighted the existing poor rail links that South East London and North West Kent have, and spoke about the economic advantages an extension would bring. He commented: “We should jump at this opportunity, because I believe that without action, poor transport will continue to hold back our area in development, regeneration and improvement. We cannot accept that and I hope that the Minister takes that on board. It is so important to south-east London—as a Member in Bromley, he knows exactly the situation.

“We are going to be in post-Brexit Britain. We need to be proactive now more than ever on vital infrastructure projects, which will give us the cutting edge in our area to develop, go forward and achieve for our constituents and our country.”

 

Evennett shows his support for Christian Aid Week

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, recently attended a Christian Aid Big Brekkie event in Parliament, to show his support for Christian Aid Week, which is 13-19 May. This year Christian Aid Week is encouraging the British public to stand together with the millions of displaced people who have been forced to leave their homes around the world.

Today, more than 40 million people are internally displaced by conflict, accounting for approximately two thirds of those who find themselves forced from their homes.  A further 24 million were displaced by disasters in 2016 alone.

Christian Aid works with local partner organisations around the world to help internally displaced people. This includes working with partners in Haiti, where thousands of people have been displaced by natural disasters in recent years.

Mr Evennett has raised the issue of internally displace people in both oral and written Parliamentary Questions, and also attended a Westminster Hall Debate on the issue last week. Following the Big Breakkie event he commented: “I was pleased to be able to meet with representatives from Christian Aid to learn about the work they are doing in my constituency of Bexleyheath and Crayford, as well as the fantastic work they are doing to help people around the world who have been forced to leave their homes. Millions of people are displaced every year for a number of reasons, from conflict to natural disasters, and whilst the Government does provide vital support through the foreign aid budget, it is important that we continue to raise awareness where possible.”

Simon Kirkland, Christian Aid’s UK Parliamentary and Political Adviser, said: “We are very grateful for David Evennett’s support for Christian Aid’s important fundraising events in Bexleyheath and Crayford. Everyone can do something to help this Christian Aid Week, whether it’s attending a local event, giving money or praying for the world’s many displaced people at this difficult time. Thank you to everyone who is able to take part in this year’s Christian Aid Week.”

Evennett presents RNLI Volunteering Awards

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, welcomed two of his constituents, Mr Alan Ashby and Mr Leonard Stephens, to Parliament on Wednesday 2 May to present them with Excellence in Volunteering Awards from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to recognise the tremendous work they have done for the charity over a number of years.

Mr Ashby and Mr Stephens were each presented with their own award by Mr Evennett, which acknowledged the dedicated and professional support they have provided to the Welling, Eltham and Sidcup Branch as Branch Chair and Honorary Treasurer respectively. The awards also recognised the fundraising activities both have organised. Last year alone, the Branch raised over £20,000 for the RNLI.

After the event, Mr Evennett commented: “Without the vital support and funds raised by people like Alan and Len, the RNLI wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea. It was a pleasure to meet with them both today, and to hear about the fantastic work they have done for the RNLI.”

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Mr Evennett is pictured with Mr Ashby (left) and Mr Stephens (right)

Evennett joins BCU Life Skills for 25th Annual Sponsored Walk

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, joined the BCU Life Skills Centre on Saturday morning (28th April) for their 25th Annual Sponsored Walk.

Mr Evennett has been a strong supporter of the charity since it was established in 1984, and attends the start of the Annual Walk with the Mayor of Bexley to say a few words of encouragement before walkers set off. Given the significant milestone this year, Mr Evennett joined walkers to participate in the first section as they set off from St John’s Church in Danson Lane, Welling. Among the other walkers were centre volunteers, service users, and supporters. Chair of the BCU, Patricia Giles, gave a short speech about the history of the Fundraising Walk.

The walk is organised by George and Rheta Birchall, who have been involved with the charity for over two decades, raising thousands of pounds in funds for the Centre, which is now based in Trinity Place, Bexleyheath.

The Centre provides counselling, volunteer training and work experience, créche facilities, and educational workshops.

Evennett urges action on FOBTs

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has urged the Government to take action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), by reducing the maximum stake from the current £100 to £2.

Currently, there are around 33,000 FOBTs in betting shops across the country, and the current maximum stake of £100 is 50 times higher than what is widely available on most other gaming machines.

Gambling Commission figures have shown that in 2015-16 there were more than 230,000 individual sessions in which someone lost £1,000 or more. Data from the Gambling Commission also suggests that there are 430,000 problem gamblers in across the UK, with almost 2million more people being considered ‘at risk’ based on their gambling behaviour.

In March 2018, the Gambling Commission published advice to the Government, in which it recommended that FOBT slots stakes should be limited to £2, and that the stake limit for FOBT non-slot games (which includes roulette) should be set at or below £30 if it is to have a significant effect on the potential for players to lose large amounts of money in a short space of time.

Mr Evennett recently tabled a Parliamentary question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to ask when a decision will be made on a possible reduction of the maximum stake for FOBTs. He has also made representations to the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, to express his concerns at the current situation as well as his strong support for a significant reduction in the maximum stake.