The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Covanta: The Latest
Posted Thursday, 20 April 2017 at 10:49

Yesterday we marked an important step in Mid-Bedfordshire’s ongoing fight against the Covanta energy from waste incinerator.

As most of you know, I have always fiercely opposed Covanta. I have called many public meetings to coordinate public resistance.

I have led rallies against it, presented petitions and met Covanta both locally and in Westminster on a number of occasions to voice local opposition.

I supported residents during the court process, have called debates in Parliament highlighting residents’ concerns and lobbied the local council, former Infrastructure Audit Committee, Ministers and the Environment Agency.

Over the years, I have done all that it is possible in my capacity as an MP to do. 

The fact is that the parliamentary constituency boundaries of Mid Bedfordshire are to be re-drawn and Covanta will soon fall into the Bedford constituency, not Mid Beds.

Once this happens, any campaign in the future has to and will be led by Richard Fuller and not myself. However, in the same way I have always had Richard’s support over the years to oppose Covanta, he will have mine.

In the meantime, I will continue to lobby, struggle and fight against the proposal. Only yesterday morning I held further discussions with the leader of Central Bedfordshire Council to this end.

My Debate About Banking Services in Ampthill
Posted Thursday, 16 March 2017 at 05:48
HMIC Report into Bedfordshire Police
Posted Friday, 3 March 2017 at 13:03

The HMIC report into Bedfordshire Police released yesterday was disappointing and will be worrying many of my constituents. While I have some concerns about our policing, I do not believe that the report presents an accurate picture of the challenges Bedfordshire is facing.

Beds Police is funded as a small rural force, when it has an immensely challenging patch that includes one major centre of urban crime and an international airport. The funding formula set by the Home Office is inadequate in this respect and all Bedfordshire MPs have long been making this case.

On top of that, Beds Police had until May last year a weak and ineffective Police and Crime Commissioner who simply wasn’t up to the job. He correctly identified the problem with the funding formula but had no innovations or skills to manage the force effectively.

Beds Police has also had three Chief Constables in the last six years. This turnover has been too high and led to a lack of consistency in management of the force. However Jon Boucher, the new Chief, is exceptionally capable and has my full support.

The HMIC report states that Beds Police is ‘inadequate’. I simply do not believe this is the case. The Chief Constable and Kathryn Holloway, the new Police and Crime Commissioner, are both strong and effective leaders. Public opinion shows that satisfaction with the police in our county is rising.

Bedfordshire Police faces very real challenges in adapting to a changing pattern of complex crime over a large area. That is not reflected in the HMIC report, which has reached an incorrect conclusion.

Theresa May's Brexit Speech
Posted Wednesday, 18 January 2017 at 11:21

In the days of Blair and Brown, and Cameron and Osborne, the most senior members of the government would give speeches almost every other day about any topic under the sun. They wanted to please journalists, who loved having something to cover, but the content was lost, immediately forgotten, just another meaningless entry on the media grid.

Yesterday’s speech by Theresa May couldn’t have been more different. Instead of the running commentary demanded by many, the Prime Minister had taken her time to actually consider the issue, the most important question facing the country today. She has taken very detailed advice from a range of views, not just sought out people who agree with her pre-conceived position.

Continuity Remain had already briefed that the instant measure of success for the speech would be the movement of the pound on the currency markets. Self-satisfied tweeters trying to highlight a collapse as the PM spoke fell silent when the pound began to rise, and kept rising. The markets respond well to certainty.

I never thought I would live to see the day that a Prime Minister would be able to stand up and announce a clear plan for taking Britain out of the EU, ending unrestricted freedom of movement and pulling us out of the European Court of Justice. Britain will continue to work with our European partners but it will no longer be at the expense of restricting our interaction with the rest of the world.

Today’s European press makes interesting reading. A strong, prosperous UK outside the EU is a nightmare for Europe’s ruling class. Headlines like ‘Little Britain’ tell us what they want to see happen. They are going to be disappointed. The EU project is fundamentally flawed and badly designed. They are still trapped inside it. We are not.

Better Off Out
Posted Tuesday, 6 December 2016 at 13:10

The result of the Italian referendum illustrates quite nicely just what is wrong with so many EU member states and, because of that, with the EU itself. The world is changing around us, technology is advancing and non-western countries like China are rising. According to countries on Europe’s southern rim, we should react to all this by doing, er, nothing.

Renzi’s reforms weren’t perfect but they were relatively modest compared to the problems Italy is facing. Asked whether they wanted a country slightly more manageable, perhaps a bit more efficient and able to cope with the modern world as it is, rather than how they might like it to be, Italy’s voters said a big loud ‘No’.

So now the Eurozone’s third largest economy is facing a growing crisis, Italian banks may not last much longer and yet more of Angela Merkel’s energy will be spent trying to avoid an EU meltdown. The Chinese must be stifling giggles, while Putin’s propaganda machine will be grateful for the distraction from Russia’s long recession.

Germany, the Netherlands and the Baltic/ Nordic states ‘get it’. The modern world is a globalised economy where flexibility and efficiency are necessary preconditions to compete. Tempered with a social security net, yes. Ossified by socialism and protectionism, not so much.

As others have noted, the Italian result could strengthen our hand in negotiations for Brexit. When the Eurozone is in crisis its member states will be less inclined to follow French advice to create a punishment regime targeting the zone’s most significant trading centre, London.

I wish the EU success and its people prosperity. But given the weekend's result in Italy, I’m even more glad we’re on the way out.

Final 300 Homes to be Reconnected to Gas Supply
Posted Monday, 21 November 2016 at 12:23

National Grid briefed me this morning about the final work to restore gas supplies in Ampthill, Clophill and Maulden.

There are now only 300 houses left that have not been reconnected. All those homes have been visited but engineers were unable to gain access, they will keep trying over the rest of today.

Nobody should try to reconnect their homes to the gas network themselves. If you have to be out then please call National Grid on 0845 835 1111 to arrange for an engineer to visit when you get home.
Press Release: Ampthill Gas Main
Posted Thursday, 17 November 2016 at 14:17

I've issued the following press release about the gas main shut off in Ampthill and surrounding villages.

Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, will be visiting the National Grid command centre in Maulden on Friday 18th November following the incident that left 6,000 homes in the constituency without gas supply.

Having consulted National Grid to ensure her visit causes no disruption of reconnection efforts, Nadine will meet the engineers in charge of the operation and receive a full briefing on how reconnection work is progressing.

Speaking from Westminster, where Nadine has been kept abreast of developments over the course of the week, Nadine said, “I know many of my constituents have been put to serious inconvenience by the disruption to their gas supply this week. I have been impressed by the efficiency of National Grid’s response.

“The first priority is safely and swiftly restoring supply to those that have been cut off. This will happen quicker if we work together as a community to help the engineers gain access to homes. Afterwards we can begin to look at what went wrong and consider what further steps need to be taken.”

Gas Main Latest
Posted Thursday, 17 November 2016 at 08:47

As many of my constituents will know, a major operation is underway to restore gas supplies to 6,000 properties to Ampthill, Clophill and Maulden after builders damaged a gas main on Tuesday.

National Grid has drafted in engineers from across the country. Engineering work to repair the pipe is well under way, with engineers working late into last night to fix the damaged pipe.

Gas must be turned off at the meter of every property before gas can be pumped back into the gas network and supplies restored.

National Grid has visited over 3,100 properties to turn off gas supplies. Of those, they not been able to yet get access to 400 homes.

If at all possible, please arrange for someone to be at home so National Grid engineers can switch you off. The sooner they are able to switch everybody off the sooner they can restore supplies.

If it just isn’t possible for someone to be in during the day, call
0845 835 1111 to make arrangements for access.

Once the repair has been made and gas is back in the mains, a second visit will be made to turn on the supply to each property and make sure it is flowing safely.

Gas Main Update
Posted Wednesday, 16 November 2016 at 15:59

The ongoing problem with the gas main has resulted in a loss of gas supply to 6,000 homes in Ampthill, Maulden and Clophill.

Engineers have been turning supplies off in Clophill, Maulden and then Ampthill. If possible, please arrange for someone to be at home so they can switch your supply off.

I want to remind everyone that you should ask National Grid staff to show official identification before you let them into your house. All staff carry official identity cards, for more information and to verify an engineer’s identity call 0845 835 1111.

An incident room has been set up in Maulden Village Hall where people can find out more information.

Electricity distribution company UK Power Networks are asking residents to avoid using their electric heaters continuously while their gas is off in order to help prevent the local electricity network from becoming overloaded.

I'm being kept updated and will pass on any further information when I have it.
Gas Main Shut Off in Ampthill
Posted Wednesday, 16 November 2016 at 11:57

There is an ongoing problem with the gas main in the Ampthill area of Mid-Beds. This has left many of my constituents without gas since last night.

I’ve been in touch with the National Grid who have given me a briefing. Their engineers are on site and working to fix the leak and restore supply.

However this is a big job, it will take some time and there will be some disruption in the area.

To safely restore gas supplies, National Grid engineers will need to visit every affected property and switch the gas supply off at the meter. Engineers have already begun switching people off and this operation will continue throughout today. 

To assist them, they are advising that someone be at home so they can switch the supply off. The sooner they are able to switch everyone off, the sooner they will be able to restore supplies. 

Once the repair has been made and gas is back in the mains, a second visit will be made to turn on the supply to each property and make sure it is flowing safely.

Finally, National Grid are liaising with the local council to ensure elderly and other vulnerable residents are being identified and cared for.

If you know of an elderly or vulnerable resident, please contact National Grid on 
0845 835 1111, so they can provide whatever help is needed.

Out and About in Mid-Beds
Posted Monday, 31 October 2016 at 14:18

Another busy day in the constituency on Friday. After the stuffy committee rooms and gloomy corridors of Westminster it’s always a pleasure to get back to the real world.

First u
p was a meeting with a large group of farmers, kindly organised by the NFU. They briefed me on their concerns about rural crime with some truly horrific examples that had happened to them personally.

We are making progress on this issue. Just two weeks ago the other Bedfordshire MPs and I had a meeting with the Police Minister to press him on our case for changes to the funding formula. It isn’t right that Beds Police are funded as a small, rural force when they have serious and diverse challenges, not least an international airport.

We then discussed Brexit. During the referendum campaign I lost count of how many times people told me that farmers would vote en masse for Remain, because they want the subsidies. I thought at the time this was wrong. All but one of the farmers in our meeting on Friday couldn’t wait to get out the door and see the back of the intrusive bureaucracy that comes with our EU membership.

On to the next meeting in Ampthill. My constituent Ben is running a campaign on behalf of our local mental health service provider called Break the Stigma. This is such an important issue, none of us will be without friends or family members who at some time will have experiences a mental health problem. The ongoing stigma can prevent people seeking help and, ultimately, cost lives.

Barely had I gulped down my tea in the snug, welcoming and award-winning Cakestand and Crumb (please do stop by if you’re in the area) before I was off to a local manufacturer to talk more about Brexit.

Neil at Colpac is a straight-talking model of an upstanding businessman. He cares for his customers and his employees as a way to build his business. And it is thriving. Neil told me that he diversified his customer base long before the referendum and doesn’t rely on domestic or EU business. Colpac now has customers all over the world including, most recently, Japan and China.

Companies like Colpac rely on an educated and multi-national workforce. I would never vote for a Brexit deal that threatens the rights of EU citizens already working in this country, just as I hope our nationals elsewhere in Europe will be protected. Brexit is about stepping up to the challenges of the globalised world, not shutting ourselves off from it.

A Busy Week Begins
Posted Monday, 17 October 2016 at 09:24

Another busy week in Westminster is beginning. Starting today I’m chairing proceedings of the Small Charitable Donations Bill for its Committee Stage.

Later other Beds MPs, as well as our brilliant Police and Crime Commissioner, are meeting the Police Minister to lobby for reform to the funding formula. Currently Beds Police are funded as a small rural force despite the challenges of modern urban areas and an international airport to look after.

After the police meeting I will be having another quick chat with my colleagues from Luton to mention the incredible support in Mid-Beds for the Luton Town FC Power Courts development. I’ve been copied into hundreds of emails sent to the planning authorities about this and I’m happy to offer what support I can.

At the other end of the week, when I’m finished in Westminster, I hope to be back in Mid-Beds on Thursday evening in time for my round of constituency engagements. This is what I always look forward to on Mondays, if you’re a constituent I hope to see you either this week or sometime soon.


Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at:
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

My Recent Posts
Posted Thursday, 20 April 2017 at 10:49
Posted Thursday, 16 March 2017 at 05:48
Posted Friday, 3 March 2017 at 13:03
Posted Wednesday, 18 January 2017 at 11:21
Posted Tuesday, 6 December 2016 at 13:10
Posted Monday, 21 November 2016 at 12:23
Posted Thursday, 17 November 2016 at 14:17
Posted Thursday, 17 November 2016 at 08:47
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