MP Neil Carmichael answers questions from readers
7:54am Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
SNJ reporter Hayley Mortimer asked readers to send in their questions for Neil on Twitter ahead of her visit to Westminster. Dozens of questions were put forward and here are a few of his responses.
1. Glyn Hale @glynhale
Fracking in Gloucestershire - yes or no?
There is no need to worry about fracking in Gloucestershire. It absolutely won’t happen. But I do think we have a duty to the people living now and in the future to lower energy costs and fracking in this country could achieve that.
2. J Armand Smith @josiecreates
What do you think about a Steiner free school in Stroud?
I am for free schools. I am for parents making a choice. A Steiner school may well prove to be a good school and we should want what is best for the pupil. The fact that more than 1,000 pupils have been signed up to the school shows that people want a Steiner free school. We can’t ignore that. Existing good schools have nothing to fear from competition.
3. David R Joyce @joyus1uk
Who are the members of the Carmichael Commission? When do they meet in public? Where do they publish their reports?
I am aiming to launch the Carmichael Commission at the end of March to discuss developing economic growth in the area. This includes improving the Dursley to M5 route and supporting businesses. The commission will involve local firms and people interested in this issue. It is a working party.
4. Stroud Against The Cuts @StroudAntiCuts
Given your opposition to a tendering process for Stroud Farmers’ Market, what is your position on tendering of NHS services?
The NHS will always remain free at the point of delivery. Where there are resources that can be supplied by private companies we should use them. Patients should be put first and a tendering process is appropriate where necessary.
5. Stella Parkes @stellaparkes
What is your stance on supporting the High Street versus out of town supermarket developments?
At times our three supermarkets are under pressure. I am a great supporter of the High Street and I recognise the concerns but I think there is a need for another supermarket. However, it must be consulted properly within the local plan.
6. Phil Coysh @sladvalley
Have you received a reply from @NickBolesMP inviting him to Stroud? #savesladvalley
I have invited him to Stroud because I recognise there are many planning concerns across the district. We are negotiating a date.
7. Thomas Lydon @thomaslydon
Who is in the United and Cecil Club which has given you nearly £10,000?
The club is made up of people who support the party. They go to dinners with guest speakers, pay a bit over the cost price and the money goes to the club and is distributed to MPs to cover campaign costs. About 10 years ago the club gave me a donation and two more donations more recently. It is completely above board. If each member of a union which supports the Labour Party had to be listed it would be an invasion of privacy.
8. YellowLightedBkshop @YLBookshop What were the last five things you purchased from Amazon? What are your favourite books and why?
A pair of shoes, which I sent back because they were the wrong size, Saturday Kitchen cookbook, Roger Federer’s autobiography for my son, the film Rush on DVD and an iPad connector. I love reading and my house is filled with around 3,000 books. I have too many favourites but Anne Frank’s diary is high up on the list.
9. Syvila Chaplin @syvilachaplin What is his biggest regret from your time so far in the house? And best moment.
My best moment is the success of the Festival of Manufacturing and Engineering. In terms of my biggest regret, I sometimes think that my children haven’t seen enough of me.
10. John Dougherty @JohnDougherty8 Why have you not answered my emails about library closures in Gloucestershire?
I answer every email and letter sent to me. If I haven’t replied it means I haven’t received it.
11. KitschCoffee WineBar @kitschcoffee Will you get some upmarket big shops into Stroud -such as House of Fraser - take a look at Cirencester-chains and independents.
I think that is a great idea. We should encourage shops of that type to Stroud. I think that as the retail sector develops we need something to bring shoppers to the town.
12. Astie Bolton @AstieBolton
Why don’t you acknowledge achievements in local schools? Such as Marling School’s SOS Kit Aid?
I do acknowledge achievements in local schools. I took Michael Gove to Marling because it is an outstanding school and I wanted him to see that. Unfortunately people diminished the positive message by protesting.