Local MP Tessa last week joined staff at the Vine Surgery in Street for the afternoon.
Tessa was very keen to experience firsthand how a busy surgery operates. She was greeted by Dr Frances da Cunha and Practice Manager, Dr Sharon Morgan for a tour, before sitting in on some consultations with patients. After a quick break Tessa spoke with Sharon and the Reception team about their roles and changing workloads.
Tessa also spent time meeting with the PPG (Patient Participation Group) representatives, District Nurse Lead and GP’s from other West Mendip Federation Practices.
“I was delighted to be invited to spend the day at the Vine Street Surgery. Surgeries like Vine Street provide a vital and much valued service to communities”.
“GPs are working harder than ever before to meet demand. “More than 340 million patient consultations are now estimated to be undertaken annually by GPs, up 40 million since 2008.
“Politicians take decisions every day that impact on people’s lives, It’s absolutely vital that we get a real understanding not just of the pressures that many practices are facing, but how greater support from Government would help general practice deliver even better care to patients.”
Local MP Tessa Munt is calling on local people who have experienced a mental health crisis, or who have supported a friend or relative through one, to share their experiences of the help, care and support received with the health watchdog.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is seeking feedback from anyone who has tried to get help in a crisis, particularly in the last two years, to help improve its understanding of how local services respond.
Tessa is urging constituents to share their experiences with the CQC by completing the online questionnaire which is available at: www.cqc.org.uk/mentalhealthcrisis.
The CQC will use the information in a number of ways to:Read more
Today, the Board of the Church Commissioners is meeting in private to discuss a range of financial matters. Tessa has been informed that the future residency of the Bishop of Bath and Wells in on the agenda.
Sir Tony Baldry, Second Church Estates Commissioner, is rumoured to have written a note to the Board as he unable to attend. This is thought to give his ‘take’ on the ‘activities’ that have taken place both in Wells and Westminster following the Commissioners’ announcement of plans to remove the Bishop from the flat in the Palace in Wells.
“We’ve shown Sir Tony the private flat and gardens at the Bishop’s Palace, we’ve had a public meeting, we’ve heard the wise advice of the Diocese and the Palace Trust, we’ve delivered a petition which gathered over 2,000 signatures to the Church of England’s General Synod and to Parliament, Questions have been asked of the Church Commissioners and the Leader of the House of Commons in Parliament and at General Synod, I’ve raised this with the Speaker of the House of Commons and even questioned the Prime Minister on this matter.”Read more
Local MP Tessa Munt has welcomed the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) ‘Road to Reform’ report, published today, which considers how our regressive business rates system can be made fit for purpose.
The publication puts forward a range of ideas for the reform of the UK business rates system.
Commenting on proposals Tessa said:
“I have long argued that our system of business rates is unfair. Whilst we’ve modernised other taxes, business rates have been left behind and the system is woefully out of date and particularly harmful for our small and medium sized enterprises – the companies the nation has to thank for pulling our economy out the danger zone.
This was the very first concern I raised when I was appointed Vince Cable’s Parliamentary Private Secretary in 2012, and he agreed that a radical shake up was required.
I know he has pushed for discussions at Cabinet level and the launch of the Chancellor’s ‘Discussion Document’ has begun to stimulate a debate.
Last week, during Prime Minister’s Questions, the Prime Minister announced, amongst other measures, that small businesses affected by the floods would be granted a deferral on their rates. This is really welcome in my patch.
I’m hopeful that the Chancellor will be persuaded to go much further and accept that a fundamental shake up is what is needed in order to remove the disincentive to invest in and improve property, promote growth in jobs and output and support our entrepreneurs, rather than simply tinkering with the existing system which is failing small and medium sized businesses.
Local MP and Lions Club Member Tessa joined fellow members at Clarks Village on Sunday, to collect money for those who have been affected by the floods.
“I was pleased to be able to help with the collection on Sunday. Parts of our county have been submerged for nine weeks now, it’s hard to imagine how exhausting that must be for those worst affected. For my part I will continue to push for action in Parliament and elsewhere.
We are blessed in Somerset with a wealth of well organised and committed local groups like the Lions who play an invaluable role locally, fundraising sums of money and channelling this to those that most need the help.”
Glastonbury and Street Lions Club Treasurer David Atkins said:
“I’d like to thank Tessa for pitching in on Sunday. The Lions in the South West have received a grant for £10,000 from our National association and our total fund will be approaching £20k after this weekend. We will be working with Somerset Community Foundation to ensure that this money goes to individual households on the Levels.
Today we collected £1094 making a total of £2318 over the two days. This means that through various ways Glastonbury and Street Lions and Friends including City of Wells and Crewkerne Lions Clubs have raised a few pounds short of £5k to date in the last ten days and more is planned.
Somerset Flooding: Tessa calls on the Government to apply for European disaster funding without delay
Local MP Tessa Munt has called on the Government to apply for a grant from the regional disaster fund, part of the European Union Solidarity Fund, without further delay.
The Solidarity Fund was created after severe flooding in Central Europe in 2002, and is designed to respond with grants to Member States after major natural disasters or drought.
Tessa raised the need to ask for European grant funding when Eric Pickles, Communities and Local Government Secretary, was called to the House of Commons to answer questions about the worsening floods faced by Somerset’s residents and businesses.Read more
The City of Wells made history today when local MP Tessa Munt presented a petition of more than two thousand signatures to the General Synod of the Church of England on the first day of its meeting at Church House, Westminster.
The petition was based on the wording of a motion proposed by the Venerable Dick Acworth and supported overwhelmingly by those at a packed meeting in Wells just over a fortnight ago. Tessa had called the meeting in order that local people could make their views known to Sir Tony Baldry, the Second Church Estates Commissioner.
The petition calls for the Church Commissioners to pause, to allow the new Bishop to move into the Bishop’s Palace in Wells and for the Commissioners to reconsider and to consult widely before making a final decision on the Bishop’s accommodation.
Speaking from Westminster, Tessa said:
“This is an important day in the campaign to ask the Church Commissioners to listen to the people they are here to represent, but it’s by no means the end!Read more
Last week, local MP Tessa Munt delivered a speech at the Annual National Conference of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) to celebrate the British Tourism Industry.
Tessa was invited to speak after a successful campaign by Somerset’s caravan park owners, combined with the full ‘fire-power’ of the BH&HPA, led to a rethink by the Treasury on its plans to introduce the “Caravan Tax” in the Chancellor’s 2012 Budget.
Addressing delegates, including those from Somerset, Tessa emphasised how important tourism is for our economy, not least in the South West where over 35 thousand people are reliant on the industry for their livelihoods.
In a wide-ranging speech about the UK’s improving economy, she emphasised the importance of a rise in the number of jobs, cuts in fuel duties, income tax cuts for low and middle earners and a potential rise in the national minimum wage, all of which directly affect British holidaymakers and their spending power. She commented on the loyalty of holidaymakers who return year after year to parks in the UK, and observed that their loyalty deserved to be repaid with Government help.Read more
Tessa met with Defra ministers in London this week to put forward the case for dredging of the rivers and the adjoining rhynes so the whole water catchment area is considered, rather than just the rivers Parrett and Tone.
After welcoming the flooding Minister to Somerset last year, it’s great that we have finally succeeded in getting the Government to agree that dredging is the way forward for Somerset.
“We need to look at the whole area. We have water that can’t get to the pumps and the Axe and Brue valleys have also been affected.
“It affects productive land, such as farmers and anyone who grows and sells their own produce, which is celebrated at great local events like Burnham’s food festival.Read more
Many people have contacted me about the Church Commissioners’ plan to prevent the new Bishop of Bath and Wells from living in the flat in the Bishop’s Palace.
I am writing to provide an update and to ask for your help by signing my email petition below.
I had hoped that when Sir Tony accepted my invitation to visit Wells last Saturday in order to answer the many questions raised by local people, the Church Commissioners would have made a supreme effort to brief him fully. However, questions remain as to exactly why the Church Commissioners have come to the conclusion that the flat in the Bishop’s Palace is “not suitable” for the incoming Bishop and his wife – who have not been consulted on the matter.
Towards the end of Saturday’s meeting, there was an overwhelming majority in favour of Dick Acworth’s motion calling for the decision to be reviewed. Dick’s motion stated: “This meeting believes that the Church Commissioners have made a serious mistake and should reconsider”. There was one abstention; there were no votes against. I have written to the Church Commissioners to inform them of the result. I await their response and will let you know what they say.
Over the last seven days, there have been articles in The Daily Telegraph and The Times, following on from a very helpful article in ‘Country Life’ last Wednesday. Today, I asked the Prime Minister about the Bishop’s accommodation during our weekly Prime Minister Questions’ session in the House of Commons. I am pushing for a meeting with the Prime Minister in his capacity as an Ex-Officio Member of the Church Commissioners as he may have some influence on the outcome.Read more