Evennett pays a visit to King Henry School


Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, paid a visit to King Henry School in Erith last Friday (1 March).

King Henry School, formerly Erith School, merged with Townley Grammar on 1 September 2018 to form a new Multi Academy Trust – the Odyssey Trust for Education.

Sir David, who has been a longstanding supporter of both schools, was greeted by senior members of staff then given a tour of the school, which included a visit to a Year 7 drama class and a look at the new building works. He then met with pupils on the Student Council to speak about his role as a Member of Parliament, and to answer a range of questions from why he became involved in politics to Brexit. Following the Q&A, Sir David chatted with Executive Headteacher, Desmond Deehan, about the Trust’s plans for the school.


Community Leaders Join Friends at Fundraising Quiz Night

Pictured at the quiz from left to right: Dorothy Pennington Jones, Cllr Christine Bishop, Cllr Brian Bishop, Rt Hon Sir David Evennett  MP, John Holbrook, Cllr Melvin Seymour, Cllr Geraldene Lucia-Hennis

The Friends of St Paulinus Church in Crayford held their annual fundraising Quiz Night at the church hall on Saturday evening (2 March).


The Quiz Master was the Friends’ Treasurer, John Holbrook, and the questions covered a wide variety of subjects, including music, food and drink, current affairs, famous people and films.

Friends’ Chair, Dorothy Pennington-Jones, was the Master of Ceremonies and organised the fundraising raffle during the interval.

Community Leaders Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP, Bexley Mayor Cllr Brian Bishop and his wife Mayoress Cllr Christine Bishop, and local Councillors Geraldene Lucia-Hennis and Melvin Seymour, as well as Crayford Rector Rev Paul Prentice, joined teams for the entertaining evening.

The well attended event raised a grand total of £685 for the church.

Bishop, MP and Councillor attend Crayford Mass of Induction


Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP and Cllr Geraldine Lucia-Hennis joined the Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark, Rt Rev Patrick Lynch, for the Induction of Father David Gummett as the new Parish Priest for St Mary of the Crays Church in Crayford on Saturday afternoon (23 February). Sir David and Cllr Lucia-Hennis gave the formal welcome on behalf of the local community.

The service at the Roman Catholic Church in Old Road, Crayford was attended by church members, representatives of other Crayford churches, friends and family of Father David and other invited guests. After the Mass there was a Reception and a Buffet Luncheon in the church hall.

Evennett gets behind National Apprenticeship Week 2019


Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford attended an event in Parliament last week to show his support for National Apprenticeship Week 2019, which aims to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships to employers, individuals, local communities and the wider economy in a week-long celebration of apprenticeships.

The ‘Blaze a Trail’ themed week, running from 4 to 8 March 2019, is the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week and will see a range of activities and events being hosted across the country, aimed at challenging the outdated views many people still have about apprenticeships.

At the Parliamentary event, Sir David met with apprentices to speak with them about their experiences and the impact they have had in their fields.

Last Friday (15 February), Sir David also visited Crayford business The Bookends Bindery Ltd, which is a small workshop, consisting solely of trained craftspeople whose principal speciality is book restoration and conservation. He was met by the owner, Sean Codling, and shown round the workshop while speaking with staff members Joe Dixon, Colin Barson and apprentice Sarah Bernard. The workshop is keen to take on apprentices to continue the book binding trade for years to come, and have held taster days to give an insight to the work they do.

Sir David commented: “I am delighted to be able to show my support for National Apprenticeship Week and to speak to some inspirational apprentices both in Parliament and in my constituency. Apprenticeships are a brilliant way for people to begin their career and have a clear pathway to a fantastic job”.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said: “Throughout National Apprenticeship Week people from industry, employers and across the public sector will be celebrating their apprentices and the amazingly positive impact they bring to the organisations that employ them. We want to raise awareness of apprenticeships, and we want to encourage more employers to start their own apprenticeship programme and really start to fire up their own business or organisation”.

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Evennett concerned and disappointed at rail landslip at Barnehurst

23121.jpgRt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has expressed his concern and disappointment at the landslip on the Bexleyheath rail line.

The line has been blighted with landslips in the past, with incidents in 2010, 2014 and 2016. Sir David has been in communication with Network Rail over the last two days for updates on the works to remedy the current situation and to the latest landslip is not connected to the previous ones. Network Rail have advised him that this is a wholly separate incident and they are currently in the process of making the cutting safe by using H-piling, where holes are drilled into the earthworks and H-shaped steel beams are inserted into the ground to essentially build a wall that will prevent slippage.

Sir David remains in communications with Network Rail and has requested a meeting with the Managing Director, John Halsall.

Sir David commented: “I am extremely concerned that this has occurred so often in recent years and have asked Network Rail to confirm what actions they will be taking to prevent further landslips along the route. Bexley residents already suffer an appalling rail service and this really has exasperated the issues this week. Not only has the landslip caused significant delays, but the alternative routes have also experienced signal problems which is another issue I am pursuing.”

Evennett supports Mental Health Campaign

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Last Wednesday (30 January), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP joined representatives from the Action for Children charity to support the Parliamentary launch of ‘Build Sound Minds’, which is a campaign to help children and teenagers build good mental and emotional wellbeing.

At the event, Sir David heard from your people who have experienced mental health and wellbeing problems and learnt that a third of 15 to 18-year-olds assessed by Action for Children were found to be suffering from mental health issues. Pupils in need of support have been taking part in the Blues Programme, the first ever UK-wide early help intervention for teenage depression.

Sir David commented: “for too long people suffering with poor mental health failed to receive the same access to services as those with physical problems. The Government has been working hard to address this injustice, including by increasing funding for mental health services.

“Acting early is vital to help stop problems developing further and I am therefore delighted to be able to support this campaign to help highlight to young people the importance of looking out for their own wellbeing and to seek support if they’re struggling.”

Julie Bentley, chief executive of Action for Children, said: “just like our physical health, our emotional wellbeing needs care and attention. And the first step in doing this is to create a positive conversation about mental health.”

Welcome Breakthrough on Brexit

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Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, welcomed the breakthrough on Brexit yesterday evening (29 January) in the House of Commons following a series of votes on differing amendments.

Sir David signed and voted for Sir Graham Brady’s amendment, which was: “requires the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border; supports leaving the European Union with a deal and would therefore support the Withdrawal Agreement subject to this change.”

The Prime Minister backed the amendment, and with the support of the Government it passed by 317 votes to 301.

Sir David commented: “I welcome the PM’s decision to back this constructive amendment and am delighted that the House of Commons voted to give the PM a mandate to renegotiate the EU Withdrawal Agreement to seek legally binding changes. I was also pleased that those trying to thwart Brexit were defeated in other Labour backed amendments. The UK must leave the EU on 29 March 2019 and I am confident the PM will be able to achieve progress on the deal.”

Republic Day of India Celebrated


IMG_1273.jpgRt Hon Sir David Evennett MP and Bexley Mayor Cllr Brian Bishop were the guests of honour at the Republic Day of India celebrations held at Townley Road school in Bexleyheath on Saturday (29 January).

The entertaining and enjoyable event consisted of speeches, acting and dancing, as well as a children’s fancy dress competition. There were also discussions on issues including mental health and cultural values. Organised by the Yog Foundation, the evening concluded with a special Indian dinner.

The guest speaker was Hindol Sengupta, an author who has just published a biography of former Indian deputy Prime Minister Sandar Patel (The Man who saved India). Mr Segupta spoke about the life and times of his subject, answered questions and signed copies of his book.

Afterwards Sir David commented: “it was a really well organised and successful event, and a great opportunity to meet members of the community in a social environment and discuss a number of really serious issues. It was also interesting to learn about Sander Patel, who was such an important member of the pre-independence movement in India.”

MP signs Brexit amendment

Profile PicRt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has signed the amendment to the EU Withdrawal Act put forward by Andrew Murrison MP that states:

At end, add “and insists that the EU Withdrawal Agreement be amended so that the backstop shall expire on 31 December 2021”.

Sir David signed a similar amendment submitted by Mr Murrison to the Withdrawal Agreement earlier this month, which would have also ensured the Northern Ireland backstop came to an end on 31 December 2021, although that amendment was not called by the Speaker of the House for debate.

Sir David commented: “there are many positive aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement the PM has secured, and whilst I appreciate the need for compromise, an open-ended backstop that could keep us tied to EU rules and regulations indefinitely is a step too far. This simple amendment to provide an end date on the backstop would resolve this problem, and I very much hope the Speaker will now allow Parliament to debate this”.