The TV arc lights have now been installed in Central Lobby, next to my Commons office, which means that we have reached that time of year when the Queen’s Speech is delivered in the House of Lords.
Traditions surrounding the State Opening and the delivery of a speech by the monarch can be traced back as far as the 16th century with the current ceremony dating back to the opening of the rebuilt Palace of Westminster in 1852 after the fire of 1834. This is the only regular occasion when the three constituent parts of Parliament – the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons meet.
Alongside other Members of Parliament, I will be listening to the Queen’s annual speech which will set out the Government’s legislative agenda for the next 12 months.
I have enjoyed spending time here in South Swindon with my family and also being part of the campaign trail for the local elections, but now it is time to return to Westminster. I will continue to work on the Investigatory Powers Bill, which sets out all of the powers available to the police and the security services to monitor and access communications and communications data.
I know that our police forces, and security and intelligence agencies are working constantly day and night to keep the people of this country safe and secure. It is vitally important that the Government takes all of the necessary steps to make sure they have the powers, the capabilities and resources they need. The bill will also ensure powers are fit for the digital age, restoring capabilities that have been lost as a result of changes in the way people communicate.
The new legislation needs to be in force by 31 December 2016 and by introducing it now, the government is ensuring that this important piece of legislation will be subject to full and thorough scrutiny by both Houses of Parliament, following the normal Parliamentary timetable.
Speaking of matters closer to home, I would like to offer my congratulations to the Council’s Health Visitor and Family Nurse Partnership team who have been recognised by UNICEF UK and awarded special accreditation for supporting new parents in the town. This is a fantastic achievement for all of the dedicated staff in this area of the council who work so well with parents. It is also reassuring for new parents in the town to know that they are going to get the best support possible with feeding their babies and help to build relationships with their new-born children.
If you would like to make an appointment to raise a local or national issue with me, please do not hesitate to contact my office on 01793 533393 or send an email to Robert.email@example.com