Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was the guest of honour and speaker at the Bexley Ladies’ Christmas Luncheon earlier today (Thursday 13 December) at the Marriott Hotel in Bexleyheath.
Members and their guests enjoyed a two course traditional Christmas dinner, followed by a special Christmas raffle. Sir David delivered a short speech about the current political scene, including Brexit and the Government’s November Budget. He also thanked the ladies for all their hard work and fundraising activities for the Conservative Party over the past year.
Miss Coral Stirling-Webb, the President of Bexley Conservative Ladies Luncheon Club was in the Chair. Among the guests included Lady Evennett, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE (Leader of Bexley Council), Mrs Cathy Brokenshire, and local Councillors.
Yesterday (10 December) it was announced there would be an additional delay to the opening of the Crossrail until at least 2020, and that it would be even further over budget. The line had originally been due to open this month, but was recently postponed to autumn 2019. The Government has agreed a £1.3 billion package with the Mayor of London to help get it up and running as soon as possible
Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has expressed his fury at the delay. He commented: “this further delay is appalling and a huge disappointment for our area. As I have said many times before, the new Elizabeth Line will provide an alternative to local rail users. Crossrail is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London and the Mayor of London therefore needs to get a grip on this to avoid further problems and he has some serious questions to answer”.
Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, spoke in the debate yesterday (6 December) in the House of Commons on the proposed Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.
Sir David expressed his frustrations at the “doom and gloom” of others on the topic of Brexit, and highlighted the fantastic opportunities that Brexit presents to the UK and how it must be embraced in order to be successful.
However, whilst he welcomed some of contents in the Political Declaration, particularly that we should be working towards “no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all sectors”, he did raise serious concerns about the proposed backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement. Sir David commented:
“It is a real problem. We want a deal that gets us out and we want to have good relations with Europe, because Europe is home to our neighbours and trading partners. We want to do business with them, but we do not want to be their prisoner before we can make the trade deals that we need with the countries of the world. Let me use the example that I used in a meeting with the Prime Minister. If I am buying a house, I want a completion date. I do not want to give over the money—in this case, the £39 billion—without an end date. We want a completion date, so I am really concerned about the backstop.”
“I am concerned that Northern Ireland would be treated differently from the rest of the country. It is not acceptable to separate one country that is part of our United Kingdom. Negotiation requires compromise, but for me the backstop is a step too far and leaves uncertainty as the central feature of our negotiations and the conclusion of our exit from the EU.”
“Let me conclude with this thought. Will the withdrawal agreement allow Britain to take control of its laws, its money and its borders? If not, there is something wrong with it. If it does, we should support it. However, if the backstop is not looked at and dealt with, and if there is no end date, the deal is flawed.”
Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, paid a visit to the refurbished Vintage Lindy Lou’s Tea Room at Waterside, Crayford yesterday afternoon (Thursday 29 November) to chat with the new owners, mother and daughter Fay and Ella Blake, and enjoy lunch.
The tea room reopened for business on Saturday 24 November and is currently open 10am-5pm. They have a Royal Navy chef on board, making fresh soup daily, as well as oven baked jacket potatoes, paninis, sandwiches, and omelettes with a range of different fillings.
There is also a wide selection of loose leaf tea, including most options from English Breakfast tea through to Gin and Tonic green tea, and of course a magnificent selection of cakes.
Sir David commented: “the Tea Room looks fantastic following its makeover, with a number of interesting memorabilia on display from the 1930s-40s. Fay and Ella have done a brilliant job and have also introduced an impressive new menu.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.