Tessa writes a regular fortnightly column in the Daily Mirror. Below is her most recent article, published earlier this week, on the controversial Bedroom Tax. Since the piece was published, a new Report has revealed that the policy is, in fact, not working.
No party won the General Election in 2010, but the Conservatives received the largest number of votes from the British public, and 307 Tory MPs packed their bags to head for Westminster.
57 Lib Dems were elected at the same time, roughly a sixth of the number of Tories, so when we agreed to enter coalition to form a Government, we knew difficult decisions lay ahead.
To sort out the country’s finances, lots of tough choices had to be made. One thing was sure – the benefits system would have to be reformed. So many people felt the system was unfair – not just on those who worked hard, but also those who had been left to languish on the dole.Read more
Local MP and ‘Carers Ambassador’ Tessa Munt has announced her party’s intention to reward almost 1,300 carers in the Mendip area and more than 1,600 carers in the Sedgemoor area with a bonus worth up to £250 a year – should the Lib Dems form part of the next Government.
The annual bonus will help more than one million people who look after disabled loved-ones nationally, and would be available to anyone who receives the Carer’s Allowance or the Carer’s Premium.
The annual payment will help full-time carers get a bit of extra help and is in recognition of the invaluable contribution they make to society.
Tessa said:Read more
Tessa recently sent this message to people who have contacted her before about environmental matters.
“As you have contacted me before about environmental matters, I hope you do not mind if I write to update you further on some proposals which relate to Hydraulic Fracturing, known as ‘fracking’, in our part of Somerset, and to ask again for your help.
You may be aware that last month, the Government announced plans to encourage investment in and increase the competitiveness of the UK’s energy infrastructure.
The wording used in the Queen’s Speech was as follows:
“My government will introduce a bill to bolster investment in infrastructure and reform planning law to improve economic competitiveness. The bill will enhance the United Kingdom’s energy independence and security by opening up access to shale and geothermal sites and maximising North Sea resources.”
This would have come as no surprise, as David Cameron is on record stating his intention to “go all out for shale”.Read more
The Government is set to miss its target of getting 90% of homes connected to superfast broadband before 2015
As a rural MP, I have had dozens of local residents write to me – yes, often with good old-fashioned paper and pen – because they are not convinced the promised broadband scheme will be available to them.
Superfast broadband sounds fantastic.
But it’s a thorny business.
There seem to be two main problems.
One: Government forgets that many, many people live a long way from London and other major towns and cities.
And in their wisdom, Ministers have allowed BT – the only provider – to start with strengthening the coverage in towns which already have broadband and then to work outwards into the rural areas.
This is completely mad.
What ‘superfast rural broadband’ means to me is starting in those parts of England with no coverage and working back into the towns. Not the other way round.Read more
Tessa was out with the RSPB and Somerset Wildlife Trust on the Ham Wall nature reserve this morning, in her capacity as the first ‘Species Champion’ for the wonderful Bittern. The rare heron like waterbird is making a strong comeback in our area.
The initiative has been launched this month by RSPB, Butterfly Conservation, Bumblebee Conservation, Buglife, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation,The Wildlife Trusts and National Trust.
Tessa has been able to gain first-hand about their species from wildlife NGOs who have strong environmental expertise throughout the region. She is working alongside them to provide a brighter future for these species, spread that knowledge throughout the West Country’s political community and shape policy to improve our environment.
Tony Richardson, regional director for RSPB in the South West said:Read more
Local MP Tessa Munt is to complete a series of fact-finding work experience days this summer in some of Somerset’s fantastic local businesses.
Tessa will learn more about the challenges each business faces, whilst highlighting the benefits of undertaking work experience and volunteering during breaks in work or study and between school terms.
Tessa has already secured work experience with, amongst others, a local baker, cider-maker, vet and a reclamation company. She will be serving at a lunch club, up early for milking and out with a local bee-keeper. Tessa will be accepting other invitations over the coming weeks.
Tessa said:Read more
Tessa is ‘over the moon’ as research revealed thousands more apprentices are progressing into Higher Education after finishing their apprenticeships.
Research published by the Business Department, where Tessa has a role supporting the Secretary of State, show that almost 20 in every 100 Advanced Apprentices moved into Higher Education following the completion of their apprenticeships.
“I’m a massive supporter of apprenticeships, and this research demonstrates we are now making real progress in this area.
“It shows the many varied opportunities available to apprentices, and that they can help those who wish to boost their prospects further progress to the next stage of learning. This can lead to a wider range of rewarding careers.”Read more
Tessa has been honoured with a request from the UK-wide Carers’ campaign to become one of just three Parliamentary Ambassadors, in a role which aims to reach out and support the huge number of carers.
Tessa has long campaigned for more recognition and better services for Somerset’s carers and was offered the role in recognition of this work.
Carers’ Week Quest 2014 is calling on individuals and organisations across the UK to sign up to a ground-breaking initiative to reach carers in their local communities who miss out on vital support and services.
Hundreds of organisations and individuals are currently signing up to support the Carers’ Week Quest – the greatest ever drive to reach out to the UK’s carers.
The very nature of caring – of being there for a loved one facing ill health or disability – means too often people don’t at first – and sometimes never – identify themselves as a carer and therefore miss out on support which is available.Read more
The Committee appointed by the Archbishops’ Council to hear an objection to a Church Commissioners’ decision to move the residence of the Diocesan Bishop of Bath and Wells has upheld this objection from the Bishop’s Council. This means that the the exchange of residence from the Palace in Wells to The Old Rectory in Croscombe will not now go ahead.
The Committee, which met in Wells from 28-29 April, issued its ruling today, having considered the grounds of objection, and all relevant circumstances, to the Church Commissioners’ decision to move the residence.
“I was honoured to have the opportunity to give evidence as a witness on behalf of the Diocese of Bath and Wells and I’m absolutely delighted that the Archbishops Council has been just and fair and made a common sense decision which will be welcomed and supported by the whole of the Diocese.Read more
Tessa was delighted to be asked to present the 80th Anniversary Show & Sale prizes at a packed gathering at The George Hotel in Wedmore.
This hugely successful event included a show of beef, dairy, sheep, pigs, poultry, handicrafts and much more besides. Church Street was closed to traffic in anticipation of the crowds, and to mark the 80th milestone, the Nat West Bank Chambers were used to host a special exhibition of Wedmore Young Farmers’ history, with an interesting display of photographs from across the 80 years of shows.
(Very) Young Farmer, Grace Willcox, won first prize for the Non-Member Stockjudging in the Yard competition.
James Hole stole the show – his last event as a Young Farmer – scooping Champion Dairy Heifer, Dairy Heifer Leading & Grooming, Champion Bird (with one of his chickens), Overall Joint Winner of the Best Kept Record Book (with Hannah Lukins), Senior Male – Best Sports Day Personality, and the Best All Round Member prize, awarded at the Dinner in the evening.
Louise Seymour, Wedmore YFC Advisory Chairman said:Read more