Annette Brooke Blog - 28th October 2013

Recently I was very honoured to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace for MPs with the Queen and Prince Philip. Such an event reminds me what a great privilege it is to be an MP.

In Parliament I asked a vital question to Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, regarding the failed merger between Poole and Bournemouth hospitals. Poole Hospital is much loved locally and provides an invaluable service to many, and so I was pleased that Jeremy Hunt agreed to meet with me and other local MPs to discuss the issue in further detail.

I was pleased to make a contribution into a debate about funding support for deaf children, having previously raised the issue of education for deaf children a number of times. I highlighted the wasted potential across the country when it comes to deaf children, because too many are not getting the support they need. I am concerned that the Department For Education's funding protection for vulnerable learners is not always being carried through locally, and called for Ofsted to play a greater role in inspecting specialist support services for deaf children.

In a debate on funding for local authorities, I argued that we must look at what local government does best, pulling local government services together and providing greater opportunities to bring more services together. I pushed for more services delivered by local government, not fewer - for there to be a bigger range, with better quality and other services facilitated.

In my role as Co-Chair of The Liberal Democrats’ Communities & Local Government Policy Committee, I am currently focusing on the need to build more social housing and also developing a planning policy which will deliver the housing that local communities need, based on local leadership and genuine local decision making. I was honoured to give a speech recently to the Royal Town Planning Institute's General Assembly. I spoke on planning consultations and areas that I thought we needed to be focusing on. It was also a great opportunity for me to engage with all the planners there.

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