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James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament

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James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation

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James Gray MP

James at The Springfields Academy

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2014-07-31-ukaidLast week the economy passed another major milestone – it is now larger than before the recession struck; and the IMF say that it is growing faster than any major advanced economy in the world. There are now two million more private sector jobs since we came to power; we have created 1.8 million apprenticeships; Unemployment has fallen massively, especially for young people, 163,000 of whom have come off the dole since the last election; we are working hard to cut the deficit (already cut from 11% of GDP to 7%); we have a plan in place to ‘balance the books’ - with an equality of income and spending - by 2018; we have cut income tax and frozen the fuel duty; inflation is low, and mortgage rates at an historic low level. So there really can be no doubt about it - George Osborne’s long-term economic planning really is working to the benefit of all.

Yet relative prosperity at home (especially in an area such as this) should not blind us to the agony of so many people round the world. As the death toll in Gaza rises above 1000 with no end to it in sight; with 2.5 million Syrian refugees starving and homeless; as innocent civilians in Iraq lose their lives every day, not to mention poverty and starvation elsewhere across the world, we can ill afford to sit back in our overfed complacency and ignore what is happening around us.

That is why I have always very much favoured maximising what we spend on overseas aid - so long as it is spent wisely, and in particular kept out of the Swiss bank accounts of overseas dictators. But the decision to provide much needed aid to the poorest people in the world must be at the discretion of the government in power at the time. It is they who have to balance the demands of health and education, benefits and defence against aid. And it is they who will thereafter be answerable to the electorate for the decisions they have made. That is why I will be voting against the populist Lib-Dem Bill which tries to tie 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid into law. That would take no account of the size of GDP, nor of the fluctuating needs around the world, and is a fairly blatant attempt to curry favour with a particular group of voters.

We are getting out of the economic mire, although not quite free of it yet. It is only right that we share some of our wealth with the neediest in the world. But how much and to whom we give money must be a decision for successive governments.

2014-07-22-red-tapeNorth Wiltshire MP James Gray has called for schools to be freed from meaningless regulations and bureaucracy.

Speaking during Questions to the Secretary of State for Education, Mr Gray said, "Governors across North Wiltshire who run some of the best schools in the land do an outstandingly good job, but many of them tell me that they are overburdened by rules, regulations, bureaucracy and the forms they have to fill out for central Government," before asking whether there is "a way that they could be freed from some of these responsibilities so that they can take a much more strategic overview of the direction of the school and spend less time bogged down in bureaucracy."

Responding, Schools Minister David Laws MP said:

"[T]he Government want to reduce all aspects of bureaucracy in the school system. We want to make sure that governors are not overburdened with bureaucracy but are armed with the vital information that will allow them to do their job properly and to have more effective governing bodies, which can play a vital role in school improvement."

Mr Gray added this morning, "I am delighted that the Government recognise the need to cut red tape in the school system. We are fortunate in Wiltshire to have some of the best schools in Britain, and the Government needs to take further steps to make sure that headteachers and school governors can get on with their main task of further improving their schools without being mired in unnecessary bureaucracy."

Latest from the Chamber

Energy and Climate Change: Energy Efficiency - 27/02/2014
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): One of the groups most deserving of benefit, from the warm home scheme in particular, are those who live in park homes, of which we have many in North W...
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Food Adulteration - 07/03/2013
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): Cross-contamination by horsemeat in every part of the United Kingdom could be stopped if we prevented the killing of horses in multi-species abattoirs. ...
Statement: Army Basing Plan - 05/03/2013
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): I very much welcome the extra stability that the announcement will make in the lives of service personnel and their families. The people of Wiltshire wi...

More news

18 July 2014, 11.08
North Wiltshire a safer place to live
"We're making Britain an even safer place to live, work, and raise a family with our action plan to tackle crime," said North Wiltshire MP James Gray welcoming news that crime is falling. "Latest figures from the independent Office for National Statistics show that since 2010 recorded crime in Wiltshire has fallen by 12 per cent thanks to our plan, and the hard work of police officers across the county." "Families are safer and more secure, and ...
18 July 2014, 10.54
James Gray welcomes fairer funding for local schools in North Wiltshire
Today the Government has announced that schools in some of the least fairly funded local areas in the country will benefit from a £390 million cash boost in the biggest step towards fairer schools funding in a decade. The schools budget in Wiltshire will increase by £5.7m, making a real difference to children in North Wiltshire. Schools in North Wiltshire will see their per pupil funding increase by £97 per pupil. North Wiltshire MP James Gra...
17 July 2014, 10.03
Stress-Free Reshuffle
Reshuffles have to be brutal to be effective. I grieve with so many of my friends who have left the Government after many years of hard labour before the mast. Nothing hurts more than being made redundant. Was it my fault? What did I do wrong? What does the future hold? They have my great sympathy. Yet Mr Cameron has brought in a dynamic group of fresh young (and female) faces who will be the front window of the Conservative Party in the run-up to...
14 July 2014, 11.56
In Flanders Fields
Cabinet Office Minister, Greg Clark has announced a £129 million investment package for Swindon and Wiltshire, which will be good news all round. It means 1500 more jobs, and an injection of £70 million pa into the local economy. Locally it means the whole of the A350 Chippenham bypass being dualled, and road improvements around Malmesbury to facilitate the 3000 high quality engineering and design jobs which Dyson intend to create in the next fe...

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Saturday
6
th September
10am-11:30am Jenner Hall, Bath Road, Cricklade, SN6 6AT
12pm-1pm Hobbes Parlour, Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ
 
Saturday
20
th September
10:00am-11:30am Corn Exchange, Town Hall, The Strand, Calne, SN11 0EN
12noon-1pm Civic Centre, Station Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7DZ
 
Saturday
4
th October
10am-11:30am Jenner Hall, Bath Road, Cricklade, SN6 6AT
12pm-1pm Hobbes Parlour, Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ
 
Saturday
18
th October
10:00am-11:30am Corn Exchange, Town Hall, The Strand, Calne, SN11 0EN
12noon-1pm Civic Centre, Station Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7DZ
 
Saturday
15
th November
10am-11:30am Jenner Hall, Bath Road, Cricklade, SN6 6AT
12pm-1pm Hobbes Parlour, Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ
 
Saturday
29
th November
10:00am-11:30am Corn Exchange, Town Hall, The Strand, Calne, SN11 0EN
12noon-1pm Civic Centre, Station Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7DZ
 
Saturday
6
th December
10am-11:30am Jenner Hall, Bath Road, Cricklade, SN6 6AT
12pm-1pm Hobbes Parlour, Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ
 
Saturday
10
th January
10:00am-11:30am Corn Exchange, Town Hall, The Strand, Calne, SN11 0EN
12noon-1pm Civic Centre, Station Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7DZ
 
Saturday
17
th January
10am-11:30am Jenner Hall, Bath Road, Cricklade, SN6 6AT
12pm-1pm Hobbes Parlour, Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ
 
Saturday
7
th February
10:00am-11:30am Corn Exchange, Town Hall, The Strand, Calne, SN11 0EN
12noon-1pm Civic Centre, Station Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7DZ
 
Saturday
21
st February
10am-11:30am Jenner Hall, Bath Road, Cricklade, SN6 6AT
12pm-1pm Hobbes Parlour, Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ
 
Saturday
14
th March
10:00am-11:30am Corn Exchange, Town Hall, The Strand, Calne, SN11 0EN
12noon-1pm Civic Centre, Station Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7DZ
 
Saturday
21
st March
10am-11:30am Jenner Hall, Bath Road, Cricklade, SN6 6AT
12pm-1pm Hobbes Parlour, Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ

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