Somerset Flooding: Tessa calls on the Government to apply for European disaster funding without delay

Tessa surveys the flooding from Burrow MumpLocal 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.

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History made as petition on Bishop’s removal accepted by General Synod

Tessa hands the petition to Andrew BrownThe 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!

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Tessa Munt MP says “hands off our holidays” at National Conference

Tessa tat the BH&HPALast 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.

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Tessa Munt MP visits children at Hindhayes School

Tessa at HindhayesLocal MP Tessa visited children at Hindhayes School in Street last week where she spent several hours speaking with children and parents before taking a tour of the school (including the kitchens, which will need to be adapted so that the school can provide free meals for all of the students from September 2014.)

Head teacher Diane Sleeman said: “We were really pleased when Tessa visited the school. She spent time with the Year 2 children in the hall where she told them about her work and they had the chance to ask questions.” The children had looked at pictures of the Houses of Parliament and were full of questions. “Tessa answered them all very honestly and the children listened attentively, we are very grateful for the time she gave up to visit Hindhayes and for the way she interacted with the children.”

Speaking after the visit, Tessa said: “It was great to see the students and staff on Friday.  I talked to them about what I do – both in Westminster and in and around Glastonbury, and as always, the group had some very interesting questions. Visiting schools is certainly one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.”


Tessa Munt
4th February 2014


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