Olympians are very best of British
AFTER Brighton for the Liberal Democrats and Manchester for Labour, it was the turn of Birmingham to host a major party conference as Conservative parliamentarians, activists and members made their way to the ICC right in the heart of the city.
Conference is always a busy time for all politicians as we go from meeting to meeting and this year proved to be no exception.
The highlight of every conference is always the keynote speech from the party leader.
I thought David Cameron spoke extremely movingly about his son and the positive impact the Paralympics will have on the way those with disabilities are perceived in our country.
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I honestly think it will take us some time to truly appreciate how momentous London 2012 will be in so many ways for our country.
Elsewhere in his speech, the Prime Minister rightly reiterated the importance of the Government sticking to its deficit reduction programme.
Those who say the Government doesn't understand the impact of the cuts that are being made are wrong.
Everyone fully appreciates that some of the decisions being taken are difficult.
However, we spent a decade and more racking up the debts on the national credit card and the culture of spending money we haven't got had to change.
Elsewhere at conference, it was announced that those who confront burglaries in their homes with force that was reasonable in the circumstances, but which in the cold light of day may seem excessive, will not be guilty of any offence.
This will ensure householders acting instinctively and honestly in self-defence are treated as the victims of the crime and not hauled before the courts.
I am pleased that further clarity on this area has been provided and that the Government has made it clear that the law is on the side of the wronged and not the wrong doer.
As with all Conservative Party Conferences, the issue of our future relationship with the European Union is always front and centre for many.
My position on this remains as it was at the time of the debate in the House of Commons.
I believe the time has come for a sensible debate to be held on our future relationship with the EU and there should be a referendum at the end of that discussion.
I am pleased that the Government is talking about the need for a fresh settlement to be negotiated and that there is recognition this would require fresh consent.
I believe we are moving closer to the time when the Government accepts the need for a debate and referendum on the European Union.
In a recent column, I indicated that it was my view that the true legacy of the Olympic Games will be watching our youngest generations take up sport.
I am, therefore, delighted that our Olympians have pledged to spend 5,000 days a year between them in our schools helping to nurture an interest that could lead a few to emulate their sporting glories.
Our Olympians really are the very best of British and having them visit our schools to inspire our youngest generation really is a positive step forward.
I look forward to working with all parties on this in order to welcome one of our sporting heroes to a school near us in the near future.
I RECENTLY went to Canada Hill Community Primary School in East Ogwell to mark World School Milk Day.
World School Milk Day is an initiative a number of MPs are participating in to promote the importance of drinking milk at school to children in a fun and educational way.
In the UK, an estimated 1.5million children receive free milk every day and it is free for all children under the age of five.
I was pleased to support the campaign and delighted it gave me the chance to visit Canada Hill Community Primary to meet with staff and pupils.
I also held a meeting with Anthony Farnsworth to discuss various healthcare issues associated with South Devon.
As the NHS reforms passed by the Government start to come into force, it is important our local healthcare services are geared up and ready for the challenge.
On Saturday, I held two extremely busy surgeries in Dawlish and Newton Abbot before finishing the weekend by attending the Newton Abbot Charity Town Ball.
It was then off back to Westminster for the beginning of what promises to be an interesting term.