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Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham -
12:00pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
As Parliament was not sitting, a good deal of my week was spent talking to young people in Wiltshire, including answering questions from primary school pupils at the Queen’s Crescent School in Chippenham and St George’s School in Semington, on topics ranging from the Syrian crisis to the royal family.
It was great to see Pupil Premium money – introduced by the Liberal Democrats in government – being spent on personal tuition and catch-up classes to make sure that pupils do not fall behind.
At Corsham Town Hall, I discussed the cost of public transport in Wiltshire with pupils from a number of schools who serve on Corsham Youth Council, and later fielded questions from members of Broughton Gifford and Holt Cub Scout pack.
I also visited two of our area’s largest employers – Cooper Tires in Melksham and Siemens Rail Automation in Chippenham – which provide vital jobs for local residents.
Since 2010, businesses have created more than a million new jobs across the country, and my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I are working to help create a million more.
Apprenticeships are key to that, so we are aiming to double the number of employers offering them. I was therefore delighted to join Wiltshire Council at the Guildhall in Salisbury to celebrate it surpassing its target of getting local businesses to take on 1,000 apprentices this year.
I learnt more about the support provided by 57 Alcoholics Anonymous groups around Wiltshire at an event in Chippenham Town Hall. I also discussed our local GP, dentist, and pharmacy services with the local director of NHS England at his Chippenham office. At St Anthony’s Church in Melksham, I attended the opening of Wiltshire Mind’s drop-in centre, which will help people with their mental health.
I also volunteered in the new Barnardo’s shop in Pewsham, to support and learn more about the work the charity does for vulnerable young people. From there, I visited Melksham Foodbank’s new base, where they will soon be holding weekly ‘drop-in’ sessions on Monday afternoons for people to collect emergency food parcels and get advice and support.
After a busy constituency surgery at Melksham Town Hall last Friday, my next are at The Pound arts centre in Corsham tomorrow between 10-11.30am and at my office in Avonbridge House, Chippenham on Saturday, October 19, from 10-11.30am.
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