The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Friday's Visits
Posted Monday, 27 November 2017 at 11:08

Another informative and enjoyable day in the constituency on Friday. But the absolute highlight was meeting Jean, who lives at the excellent Ferndale residential home in Flitwick.

Jean will soon be celebrating her 105
th birthday! Her determination to enjoy life was infectious, as shown by the pictures of her taking one of the first swims in the pool at the new Flitwick leisure centre.

I’d like to thank everyone at Ferndale for hosting me on Friday. The residents for letting me come into their home and the staff for working so hard to make it possible.

My Speech in Today's Budget Debate
Posted Wednesday, 22 November 2017 at 15:10

I rise to speak to the Chancellor’s announcement and commitment to building 300,000 homes per year and to launch an enquiry into land banking.

I have waited for twelve and a half years to stand today and deliver this speech. As someone who called a council estate home until my late twenties, I understand more than most the benefits and the joy of home ownership – and I, more than most, have been disappointed at the failure of consecutive political parties and governments to facilitate the building of homes.

Those benefits were brought home to me during a seminal moment on the doorstep during the 2017 election. I was canvassing, Mr Deputy Speaker, as we do, in the Stoppsley ward of Luton, when I knocked on the door of a lady who recognised me.

She said I could never vote or you if you stood here be an MP because I know about you – you support home ownership and the right to buy. I confirmed that this was indeed true and it was in fact the reason, the fundamental reason why I was a Conservative.

And them she went on to tell me that she was a trade unionist. She thought that home ownership was destructive to society - that people who owned their own homes focused on financial capital as opposed to social capital.

I asked her why this was the case and she told me that it should be very obvious, people who have mortgages don’t strike.

She said, something happens to people when they own a house, they focus on personal advancement – and she said it Mr Deputy Speaker, as though this was a bad thing. They think more about earning money to spend on their homes. They take an interest in the economy.

I thought about this many times because you see, for me, home ownership is so important, I regard it as a fundamental right. When Tony Blair became Prime Minister, one of the first things he did was to scrap Right to Buy and then went on to open our borders years ahead of other EU countries to allow unfettered immigration piling instant pressure onto our housing stock.

The conversation I had with the lady in Stoppsley took me back to the time my mother became a home owner and to the estate I lived on and what happened to the people on that estate when they became home owners and mortgage payers for the first time. Unlike my trade unionist lady on the doorstep, to strike or not to strike, didn’t seem to feature with the new mortgage holders.

Up to that point, front doors had all been painted the same colour by the council. The people who had gardens on the ground floor, had their gardens divided with packing cases there were no flowers, and the place was grey.

But, home ownership changed people overnight for the better, it was as though the moment people stopped paying rent and their monthly outgoings became a mortgage, they opened their eyes and took a pride in their homes. The front doors began to be painted in different colours, expressing individuality.

Flowers were planted in borders, packing cases were replaced with painted fences.

But something else happened too. The men who worked in the local factory began to work overtime, and for the first time, the first car appeared in our street and then another. 

Women who had stayed at home, went out to work and rather than home ownership becoming a replacement for social responsibility, I believe it became a driver for women’s equality.

My mother who had trained as a teacher was busy at night with people coming to her for help with night school classes, in fact, my mother ran a night school that was heaving. People began to sell their first homes and move up the ladder, just as the UK saw its last building boom in the 70’s as new estates popped up across the UK.

Mr Deputy Speaker, the young people today are as despondent as my parents once were. Their chance of owning a home is a distant option for many young people, especially those living in London. The crash of 2008 blocked any chance for many young people to step onto the property owning ladder and, as a result, the price of home ownership has been but a dream for many.

You only have to speak to the young researchers and staff who work here in the palace. They are in their mid-thirties before they can even begin to place their first foot on the housing ladder. The goal, the aim, the aspiration to become a home owner when we were young is missing from their lives.

That is why the announcement today to build 300,000 homes a year is so important, for families too. 

Renting in the UK is destabilising and demoralising for many families

Dead money, the prospect of possibly having to pack up and move every six months, instability for adults and children but worse of all, it’s the hopelessness of renting that demotivates people to improve their life chances. Why would anyone want to retrain, to upskill if the money they pay for accommodation is being earned to line someone else’s pocket?

Community Policing
Posted Tuesday, 7 November 2017 at 16:16

This morning there was a debate in Parliament about community policing. I would have loved to contribute on behalf of Bedfordshire Police but I was chairing the debate and had to remain impartial.

Beds Police have a very effective model of community policing and I was pleased to hear this point being made by Andrew Selous MP, my Parliamentary neighbour in Bedfordshire.

I am continuing to work with our Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, to press the government for a fairer funding settlement for Beds Police.

Bedfordshire has a complex crime environment, including an international airport and instances of extremism, but we are funded as a small rural force. This cannot continue.

When I’m chairing a debate I cannot take sides. At all other times I will bang the drum for Bedfordshire, including pressing for more money for our hard-working, under-appreciated police force.

Well done to Andrew Selous for making the points I couldn't and representing Bedfordshire in a powerful, thoughtful and concise way!

Covanta: Environment Agency Consultation Closing Soon
Posted Friday, 3 November 2017 at 11:19

Despite my lengthy and hard fought campaign, in 2013 planning permission was given for the Covanta energy from waste incinerator at Rookery Pit in Stewartby. However, to actually run the plant Covanta must have an operating permit from the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency’s second consultation period closes soon and it is vital that as many constituents as possible object to the granting of an operating permit. As well as numbers, the objections have to be tailored to the remit of the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency is only concerned with the actual running of the plant and any emissions or harm to the environment or people that comes from the actual installation itself. The EA needs to make sure that a permit will ensure a high level of protection is provided for the environment and human health.

Other important issues such as landscape and visual impact, or traffic movements to and from the plant, were considered as part of the Development Consent Order process some years ago. They are not part of the remit of the Environment Agency and will not be considered by them.

The EA have already held one round of public consultation, which generated a very high level of interest and public responses. The EA are now minded to grant a permit, subject to a number of conditions, and are now holding a second round of consultation on this draft decision. This closes on the 7th of November.

Here’s the link:

The most important thing you can do is respond to the consultation to show the high level of public interest and concern.  If you wish to object to a permit being granted, the types of comments you might like to make could include;

There are too many areas of uncertainty for the Environment Agency to be able to issue an operating permit with confidence. For example
Worries about the effect of temperature inversions on the safe dispersal of emissions.

Concerns about nano-particle emission, especially as there is no method at present of continuously monitoring the level of nano-particles in the environment. Nor is there a safe emission limit set.

Concerns about Covanta’s operating record in other parts of the world. For example, just this year in Dublin 11 people were hospitalised after a lime spill at Covanta’s plant.

Worries that the population in the Borough and the Marston Vale has grown substantially since planning permission was granted initially 6 years ago. Things have changed locally, and the EA consultation process has not taken enough account of this – by not being sufficiently accessible or well enough advertised. Many local people are confused by the planning/permitting process. Much better community engagement is needed.

The Development Consent Order was first issued 6 years ago, based on many studies that are now out of date. The Environment Agency should insist that new environmental studies are carried out, and the permitting process based on those.

Finally, one good thing:

There are worries about dust contamination from the bottom ash storage. The draft permit requires Covanta to store bottom ash in a covered building. This is very welcome and should be supported.

If you do not submit an objection to the Environment Agency, please don’t complain to me when a permit is granted!

Please do not leave this to your neighbour, as your neighbour will be leaving it to you!


My Recent Posts
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