I’ll be doing my best to see you during the summer

Speaker's Corner
Speaker's Corner

As my colleague in South West Herts David Gauke observed last week, Parliament has now broken up for the summer recess but despite what the tabloid press says, MPs don’t all disappear to their country estates.

Of course the work of government continues and most MPs use the break to visit organisations in their constituencies.

I will certainly be out and about and look forward to seeing as many people as possible.

We have had several ‘good news’ stories in Hemel Hempstead that we should all be aware of.

Of vital importance in Nash Mills is the additional £2.9 million provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government for the filling-in of the old chalk mines.

This adds to the already huge sums invested by the government and Dacorum Borough Council.

The old mines are far more extensive than expected and we are literally pouring money into a hole in the ground, but it has to be done.

I have been pressing the government on this issue and am delighted that this money has been found so that local residents can finally be assured that the job will be finished.

This has created a huge amount of disruption to peoples’ lives over a long period and I really feel for them.

In the Old Town, I am very pleased that work has started on the one-way system.

This is something that local businesses have campaigned for as the additional ‘spontaneous’ parking spaces will be of great benefit to customers.

The wider paving will also make the area a more attractive place in which to hold events. We don’t always make the most of our historic Old Town but now we are going to be able to.

I congratulate the borough council and Herts County Council for getting behind this project.

I am pleased that Dacorum was flying the flag for Armed Forces Week and I have enjoyed a number of celebrations with veterans. At least two local veterans have turned 100 – Wally Colburn and Ken Dickson of Little Gaddesden. Both are amazing characters, I attended Wally’s party at the Royal British Legion Club in Hemel and visited Ken although wasn’t able to attend the celebrations organised in the village.

It was a great honour to present Wally with the Arctic Star. Recognition of the dangers faced by those who served in the Arctic convoys in Second World War has been long overdue.

I also had the great honour of attending a surprise medal ceremony for war veteran Flight Lieutenant Ronald Ray DFM when he visited the air cadets in Queensway.

Although presented with the Distinguished Flying Medal personally by King George VI he had never claimed his campaign medals.

I will be holding another veterans badge presentation soon – if you served in the forces – in wartime or peacetime – you are entitled to a veteran’s badge. Call my office on 01442 251126 for information.

Mike Penning is the Conservative MP for Hemel Hempstead. You can contact him via www.mikepenning.com or on 01442 251126