From Lucy Frazer MP:
I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on a few matters I have been working on in education, health and justice.
Education and Schools Funding
As you will know I have campaigned for further school funding for many years. Recently I organised a meeting between headteachers in my constituency and the Minister of State for Education. Thirteen headteachers met with the Minister and me in Westminster to discuss education funding and challenges faced by schools in South East Cambridgeshire. I am pleased that the Prime Minister has now committed to more funding for our schools, using his first speech and address to the Commons to pledge an increase to the minimum level of per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools.
The ‘Opportunity Area’ funding of £6m for Fenland and East Cambridgeshire that I campaigned hard for is also in full flow. Focused on raising school standards, the funding is used to accelerate the progress of disadvantaged children in the development of communication, language and learning, strengthen support for those with Special Educational Needs, raise aspiration for post-16 career choices and recruit, develop and retain the best leaders and teachers in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire. The funding is already making a difference, and I have already made representations to Ministers about the importance of this funding continuing.
And I still make regular visits to schools and invite them to Westminster. In recent months I have seen pupils from King’s Ely, Witchford Village College, Bottisham Village College, Milton CE Primary School, Linton Primary School, Witchford Village College, Rackham C of E Primary School, Great Wilbraham Primary School and the Lantern Community Primary School.
Like many constituents in Ely and the surrounding area, I was concerned to hear rumours about a reduction in service at the Princess of Wales Hospital. Following this, and with support from, the original campaigning group and East Cambridgeshire District Council I have spoken to the Chief Officer of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group to express our concerns and was delighted to have been reassured that the services at the Princess of Wales will continue.
And the new children’s hospital in Cambridge could be open by 2023 thanks to a £100 million funding boost. The facility is being purpose-built to meet the needs of the region’s youngest patients, integrating mental and physical health and combing high quality services with world-class science and research. I look forward to following its progress.
Law and Order
In Westminster, I was delighted in July to have been appointed as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for Prisons and Probation. As you may have seen in recent weeks, the Prime Minister has made improving our prison system a key priority, committing an additional £2.5 billion, including the construction of new prisons that will create an additional 10,000 spaces for offenders. The new strategy will also include an additional £100 million to crack down on drugs, phones, and weapons being smuggled into prisons.
This is part of an effort to ensure that our prisons serve to rehabilitate offenders. The government estimates that reoffending costs society £18 billion a year, and accounts for three-quarters of all crimes.
While my primary focus will always be representing the people of South East Cambridgeshire in Parliament, I’m honoured to be entrusted with playing a leading role in this important area.
Summer light relief
It has also been welcome light relief to enjoy many summer activities in Cambridgeshire – including Open Farm Sunday at G’s, Babylon Arts in Ely to visit the excellent John Piper exhibition, the steam rally at Stow Cum Quy, the Stetchworth summer funday to name but a few!
And I really enjoyed the open meetings I held across the constituency in the summer recess - in Fulbourn, Teversham, Great Wilbraham, Burrough Green, Balsham, Cheveley, Little Thetford, Witchford and Stretham. Thank you to all those who came.
Lucy Frazer QC MP
MP for South East Cambridgeshire
I hold regular surgeries in the constituency and am here to help with any issues you may have. In addition, my team deal with casework over email and over the phone and are always happy to assist local residents with any matters of concern.
Constituents who would like help with a problem or to meet with me at the next surgery should contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 7219 5082.