High Peak MP Andrew Bingham has been appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Defence Minister Mark Francois. Andrew has been appointed just before the summer recess, as part of the final parts of the Government reshuffle.
“It is a huge honour to be asked to do a job by the Prime Minister and, whilst it is just in a very minor role as a PPS, I am pleased to be asked to help out in this small way.
"Given my rebellious nature over the last four years, I was very surprised to be asked. The Defence department is a hugely important one, and I'm looking forward to working with Mark, who I have known for several years and get along well with. I spent two years as part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS), which gave me a fascinating insight into forces life and the challenges it presents, so to be now involved through the Minister will be a great honour.”
The role of a PPS, which isn't salaried, is mainly to act as a Minister's contact with backbench MPs, occasionally stand in for the Minister in exceptional circumstances, and to generally support the Minister in their duties.
“I have always said I would never seek higher office, but if offered I would consider it. Given the gravity of the department I felt that accepting the role would - in a small way - help me to further support those in the armed forces, many of whom I met during my time on the AFPS. However, I want to reassure residents of the High Peak that I will still work the way I have since being elected. Putting the High Peak first is - and always will be - my mantra as I endeavour to do the best I can for our area and my fellow local residents.”
High Peak MP Andrew Bingham is this week celebrating securing a victory for local Mountain Rescue teams.
The hard-working MP - who has consistently championed the work that Mountain Rescue Teams do – rallied the support of other colleagues with an interest in Mountain Rescue Teams and wrote to the Chancellor shortly after the Budget announcement earlier this year, to ask him whether money from the use of LIBOR fines could be used to support Mountain Rescue personnel, as well as personnel from other emergency services.
Andrew received a reply to his letter last week, in which the Chancellor stated:
"I can confirm that the sum of funding announced at Budget will be available to support Mountain Rescue personnel and their dependents who are injured, suffering ill-health, or bereaved, as a result of active service for the public."
"I'm absolutely over the moon that, following my letter, the Chancellor has agreed to extend this funding to Mountain Rescue personnel. They are all volunteers, and do amazing work to help people who get into difficulty in areas where the normal emergency services can't reach.
"When I heard the original announcement in the Budget about the use of LIBOR fines, it talked about Emergency Services, including the coastguard and others, but not Mountain Rescue teams. I subsequently wrote to the Chancellor to request that MRTs were added to the list of services which would benefit, and I am delighted that he has agreed."
Andrew has this week received star backing for his charity walk around the High Peak in aid of High Peak Women's Aid.
The local MP has gained support from Julia Bradbury, television broadcaster and presenter, and sometimes known as the ‘Walking Man's Crumpet’. She is well known for her love of the outdoors, and is President of the Friends of the Peak District.
Julia grew up in Derbyshire and has always been passionate about the Peak Distric, where she first walked alongside her father. She is supporting Andrew in his hike around the High Peak as she is a great believer in walking in the countryside as a way of getting exercise and staying healthy.
Andrew is also a strong advocate of walking as a way of keeping healthy, and earlier this year went on a 'walking meeting' with the Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison, around the Goyt Valley, to help promote walking.
"I think it's great that Andrew is doing this walk for charity. I'm passionate about promoting walking and the health benefits it brings, and what better place is there to go walking in than the Peak District? It's such a beautiful area of the country, and I hope Andrew's walk inspires others to get outdoors too, as well as raising lots of money for charity."
"I'm delighted to receive backing for my High Peak Hike from Julia, who is very well known for advocating the health benefits of walking outdoors, and especially in the Peak District.
"We're very fortunate to have some stunning countryside in the High Peak, and I'd encourage everyone to get out and enjoy it; it's good for the soul as well as good for the body."
The High Peak Hike sponsored by Dow is taking place from 26th - 30th August, and all proceeds will go to High Peak Women's Aid. People can sponsor Andrew at http://www.justgiving.com/HighPeakHike2014
The photo shows Julia Bradbury with her father.
High Peak MP Andrew Bingham has been chosen in a ballot to present a Private Members’ Bill to Parliament, and is giving local residents a chance to decide which one.
A Private Members’ Bill (PMB) is a Bill which is introduced to Parliament by a back-bench MP, rather than by the Government. Andrew was drawn last week in a ballot of MPs wishing to introduce a Bill, coming 14th out of 20.
Whilst only a minority of PMBs become law, by raising an issue and creating publicity around it MPs may indirectly affect future legislation.
To decide what will be the subject of his PMB, Andrew has decided to put a shortlist of four to local residents for them to decide.
The shortlisted four are:
1. Mountain Rescue Teams to be allowed to use 'red' diesel (which is not subject to tax) in their vehicles.
2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors to be mandatory in all rental properties and new-build homes.
3. Residents to have a right of appeal when Local Councils block community events on spurious Health and Safety grounds.
4. Local radio stations to be freed from prescribed playlists which modern technology has rendered outdated.
More details on each Bill are available below.
To have a say on which Bill Andrew should put forward, people should email their choice, along with their name and address (to confirm they are a constituent) to
by 9am on Monday 23 June.
When Andrew has received people's choices he will then take the Bill forward, presenting it for its first reading on July 2nd.
“I was absolutely delighted when I found out my name had been drawn in the ballot for Private Member’s Bills. I thought of a few possibilities for subjects, and I thought it would be a good thing to let the people of the High Peak decide. I’ve been told I am the only MP who is letting local people decide on which PMB to put forward.
“I’d have liked to have gone further and offered an open choice, but unfortunately the deadline for me to submit the PMB is very tight. However, I do hope that lots of people email me with their choice.
“Although there is only a small chance of my PMB becoming law, I hope that the publicity that will come from it will raise that issue further up the Government’s agenda and result in movement on the issue from the Government.”
Explanations of each potential Bill:
Certain emergency vehicles are allowed to run on red diesel (diesel sold without fuel duty), which is therefore much cheaper. I have tried previously to get the Treasury to extend this permission to vehicles used exclusively for Mountain Rescue purposes e.g. Land Rovers etc. The Treasury have so far refused my requests so I am considering trying this through the PMB. It would have little financial impact on the Government but could give a very valuable service run entirely by volunteers a timely boost. I was pleased that the Government extended their grant recently and also following pressure from myself allowed injured Mountain Rescue personnel, along with other services, access to LIBOR fines money. This extra small measure however would in my view be fair and just.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon Monoxide is tasteless, odourless and invisible, and it can come from various sources in the home. It is a killer; it has killed people before and will do so again. Carbon Monoxide detectors are relatively inexpensive, so in my view it is not too burdensome a regulation to insist on all new houses having to fit them as standard. They can be combined with smoke alarms at very little cost. Many deaths come in rental properties so I would look to extend this to the private rental sector too. Again, with it costing little it should not over-burden landlords.
Health and Safety
We all hear stories of councils with clipboards being overly vigilant with health and safety, banning things like bouncy castles at events on the grounds of being too dangerous. I think this is too much. Thankfully I don’t know of it being too much of a problem in the High Peak, but it has happened elsewhere. I want to give people more power for redress and to overturn these decisions which, very often, are a case of the nanny state gone mad.
Local commercial radio stations have to play prescribed formats of music; certain quantities of certain styles. This ensured that all types of musical genres received air time. Now however, times have changed. With online music and streaming available, people can listen to anything they want, where they want and when they want. To constrain stations in this way is costing them their competitive edge. Small local radio stations are vital and they cannot continue with effectively a hand tied behind their back. I want to give them the freedom to play what their listeners want to hear and let them compete properly, otherwise I fear we will lose the small independent radio stations.