A strong experienced voice for North Wiltshire
I offer long-standing experience and a track record as a successful, hard-working and caring representative of North Wiltshire in Parliament.
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Sunday 23 February 2020 Weekly Column

It’s Sunday, and it could be a bit of a gloomy prospect. We are pretty much flooded in to our house near Corsham. The electricity has been off for 24 hours or so. Its freezing cold in the house, and I have a puncture in my car with no spare wheel. I am hobbling around on crutches pending a hip replacement op, and Coronavirus hangs over us all like a great Sword of Damocles. Oh “Woe, Woe and thrice Woe “if you are old enough to remember the gloomy old Soothsayer in Frankie Howerd’s hilarious ‘Up Pompei’. “Ye’re all doomed” as Jock Fraser used to warn in ‘Dads Army’.

But then again, we are lucky to have an AGA so a big cooked breakfast cheered me up. We have a 4- wheel drive vehicle, so I made it through the flooded lanes to our excellent newsagent in Holt for the Sunday papers. Our next-door neighbours have a bore hole driven by electricity, so they have neither electricity nor water. (How ironic given the amount of water around the place) And we made it out last evening for one of the best dinners we have had in a long time- at the excellent Somerford Arms in Little Somerford. (A Community pub and thriving.)

Not only all of that, but the reshuffle behind us, we now have a lovely half term break to recuperate and get on with some constituency work. I am full of admiration for Ellie Gould’s friends who are campaigning to get self-defence classes in every school curriculum, and I am doing what I can to help. I am working to sort out a problem with leasehold houses near Royal Wootton Bassett, and have a meeting with Mr Crapper on his landfill site, both to upbraid him on the unacceptable smells which have been emanating from the site in recent weeks, and to hear about some new projects he has in mind. It’s not his fault - it’s ours for generating so much rubbish. If we could use less, recycle more, there would be less and less reason for a landfill site like Crappers.

I nip up to Ashton Keynes to sympathise with villagers’ objection to yet another minerals extraction plan which would in the end result in the village becoming an effective island, with lakes entirely surrounding it. I combine that meeting with a visit to outstanding local coach company, Ellisons, who perfectly reasonably cannot see why a current Government consultation should force them to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in making all of their school buses disabled friendly when there are no disabled children locally. (If there were, then Ellisons would make suitable provision). And I drop in to the lovely community run Ashton Keynes shop for a (rather late- sorry, Philippa) Valentines Day card and present.

These and a dozen other similar matters are the very meat and drink of the Constituency MP’s life, and I get huge satisfaction from it. You may not be able to help with everything which is brought to your door. But I relish every single such problem that I am able to help solve.

So I wish Rishi Sunak and the all the other young thrusters who have been promoted to various jobs in Government well, but like the farmer in the old poem:-

Let the wealthy and great live in splendour and state.
I envy them not, I declare it.
I have lawns and bowers. I have fruits and flowers,
And the lark is my morning alarmer.

Neither Storm Dennis, flooding and power cuts, Coronavirus, punctured tyres nor my imminent hip operation gets us down, when there is so much good in the world, and so much work to be done.

Just crack on, I’d say.

Wednesday 19 February 2020 Latest News

On Wednesday morning, James Gray attended and took part in a self-defence class organised by the friends of Ellie Gould to highlight the benefits of these classes in schools. This is part of a wider effort to push for self-defence classes to be a mandatory part of physical education, so that young people can learn how to protect themselves. The group believe that instead of playing netball or football, pupils could partake in one or two basic self-defence classes a year, therefore

Thursday 13 February 2020 Weekly Column

The best laid plans of mice and men…Reshuffles are a fascinating game of 3-D chess. Something like 25 Departments, probably about 120 Ministers, PPSs and Whips all told out of 365 Tory MPs. 108 of them are brand new, so will not be given ministerial roles, although they may become those unpaid Parliamentary bag-carriers, Parliamentary Private Secretaries. Leaving aside others like me who have independent Parliamentary careers in select committees, their constituencies and so on, the talent

Tuesday 11 February 2020 Latest News

James Gray MP has welcomed the Government’s confirmation that Wiltshire will see its budget increased by 7% this year, as part of the Conservatives’ commitment to level up local services across the country.

Local authorities across the country will receive a share of £49.2 billion local government funding this year – a 4.4 per cent real terms increase and the largest year-on-year real terms increase in a decade. Funding for key public services in will be protected, with significant

Monday 10 February 2020 Latest News

North Wiltshire MP James Gray has congratulated Alicia Hempleman Adams, who lives in Box in his constituency, for breaking the hot air balloon world record. She achieved the record last week when she flew more than 15,000 feet in the air.

Alicia endured temperatures as low as –30C as she broke the women’s world record for altitude in a small hot air balloon. She flew an AX4 hot air balloon for an hour and 46 minutes at Calgary in Alberta, Canada to achieve the new record. The record


My latest book 'Full English Brexit' is now available online at jamesgray.org/full-english-brexit

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