Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 15 May 2014


This week Parliament prorogued – meaning that this year's session came to an end. It all starts again on 4th June with the state Opening of Parliament and a new Queen's Speech. This will set out the legislative programme from now until 31st March 2015 when parliament will be dissolved until the general election on 7th May 2015. It looks set to be the closest election for 40 years, with the outcome uncertain, possibly a coalition led either by David Cameron or Ed Miliband. A handful of marginal seats will decide it.

I cannot imagine that the next 12 months will be action-packed with new legislation, partly due to the difficulty of reaching agreement within the coalition. We seem to have run out of things that we agree about! It is also true that in the run up to an election, thoughts for most of us turn more to the constituency that the great institution at Westminster and so the gravitational pull is away from London.

The difference these days is that the timetable is set out well in advance now that we have five year fixed term parliaments. We are no longer waiting for the Prime Minister of the day to fire the starting gun. This makes it more certain, but possibly less exciting. It also condemns the voters to longer election campaigns. Sorry about that.

Apparently in this last session we completed over 22 acts of Parliament, one of them being the Children and Families Bill which received royal assent in March of this year. This aims to better protect vulnerable children and in particular paves the way for a more streamlined system for the fostering and adoption of children. These new speedier measures have now come into force and we should hopefully see the 4,600 children waiting for adoption find their way to new loving homes more rapidly. Hopefully we have swept away some of the more unnecessary obstacles that the previous system used to through into the path of those kind souls willing to give a child a life.

Of course important checks still have to be carried out, although I note that people have a child naturally receive no such vetting, which in too many tragic cases is all too evident. If you have a child you should look after him or her. If you cannot afford or are not capable of raising a child, do not have one. It is hardly rocket science.

posted by Gary @ 13:29