This week I hosted a session in Parliament on youth homelessness and the link with those leaving the care sector. This is an important area that we need to focus on because those leaving the care sector do need more support than we are giving them.
The aim of the event was to discuss the barriers some of the most vulnerable care leavers still face finding and sustaining suitable accommodation. It also offered an opportunity to discuss potential solutions which I will be approaching ministers about.
Over the last year I have been working on tackling loneliness in conjunction with the Jo Cox Foundation. It is true that we usually tend to associate loneliness with more elderly people and we often forget how lonely and isolated some sectors of society can feel, including those leaving the care sector.
This week I also asked a question of the Chancellor of the Exchequer pointing out that the OBR study published last week shows debt level as 89 per cent of GDP and asking if he agreed with me that this highlights that we must continue to be responsible with public finances to weather any future uncertainty and to ensure that the Wiltshire economy continues to thrive.
The Chancellor echoed my concern about the vulnerability created by the high level of debt and stressed that we must get debt down and the only way to get debt down is to get the deficit down by responsible fiscal policy.
The highlight of the week has been the announcement that the government has committed an additional £1.3 billion for schools funding over the next two years. This means schools funding will be £2.6 billion higher in 2019-20. This is in addition to the introduction of a Fairer Funding distribution model in 2018.
I have been listening to local schools and pushing for more funding over the last few years because I passionately believe we need to ensure our teachers and schools have the tools and means to give all young people the opportunities that they deserve.
The additional money is from efficiencies and savings identified from within the Department, not from higher taxes or more debt. I will now be talking to local headteachers to discuss the additional money and how it will help our local schools.
I have a busy few days coming up in the constituency from presenting trophies to local companies for a golf tournament, a business breakfast speech, two business visits, one community event and a meeting at Wiltshire College to discuss apprenticeships plus four surgeries.
I hold regular surgeries around the constituency, so if you would like an appointment please do email firstname.lastname@example.org