It’s been a month since the General Election and life in the House of Commons is starting to get back to normal. I've posed a question to the Prime Minister in Prime Minister's Questions, we’ve had the debate and vote on the Queen’s Speech (which the Government won), as well as debates about Northern Ireland, public sector pay, economic stability and a host of other things.
In Brentwood, I held my first surgery for constituents at the Town Hall and heard about some of the issues local people are grappling with – roads and pensions, schools and fire safety following the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower. This awful fire is something that we will all be thinking about for a long time to come. I’ve been speaking to the Essex County fire service, councillors, as well as some residents in the high rise Gibraltar House in Brentwood to make sure that the same disaster could not happen here. I’ve been reassured that the cladding used on Grenfell is not found on any local blocks and that all fire safety checks are continuing as they should.
I also had the chance to give my maiden speech in the House of Commons. Your job is to tell the House about your constituency, your predecessor, and what your priorities will be. I told everyone what I love about Brentwood and Ongar, how impressive Sir Eric Pickles was, and that I wanted to help improve jobs, family life, education and housing here and across the country. I also pointed out that I used to be a history teacher and that I’ve always liked the fact that the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt began in Brentwood when local people objected to vexatious taxation from the Government. (When the local MP, Sir John Guildborough was sent to collect them they chased him off and burnt down his house.) From what I’ve heard locally, I'm not sure that attitudes to high taxes have changed very much in the past 636 years …
My next surgery is on Friday 21 July – if you’d like to come and see me, please get in touch with my office via firstname.lastname@example.org or the House of Commons switchboard.
Alex Burghart's Maiden Speech may be seen here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/de9cc815-b492-4d39-8bd0-23f8ca2b0e59?in=16:20:35