February 2013

February 2013 

This is the thirtieth monthly report from Elizabeth Truss MP updating residents on her activities.


Local issues: Elizabeth attended a debate led by Henry Bellingham in Westminster Hall about the proposed Saddlebrow incinerator. She met Leon Panetta, US Secretary of Defence, to discuss the future basing of the Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter Jet. Elizabeth was delighted with the Government’s announcement that access to forests will be guaranteed and has written to Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, inviting him to visit Thetford forest as an example of a vibrant, commercially successful forest.


Transport: Elizabeth attended the four counties rail summit in Parliament, and raised the importance of completing the Ely North junction improvements to both the Fenline and the Norwich – Cambridge route with Simon Burns, Transport Minister. She also pressed the minister about her concern that a franchise delay on the Thameslink route will adversely affect the proposed half-hourly service on the Fenline. He assured Elizabeth that he will look into it and write to her to update her on the situation. Elizabeth received confirmation from Stephen Hammond that safety work will be undertaken at the Broadend Road junction on the A47. She attended the opening ceremony for the A11 improvement works.


Food and Farming: Elizabeth hosted a farming forum in Mundford that was attended by the Environment Agency and Natural England. Issues raised ranged from CAP reform to tax relief on farm reservoirs, which Elizabeth has raised with Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Richard Benyon, Minister for the Natural Environment.


Education: Elizabeth announced her More Great Child Care proposals with the emphasis on quality and greater flexibility for nurseries and childminders in a speech at the think tank Policy Exchange. She spoke about the importance of curriculum reforms to businesses in Norfolk at the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce event “Unlocking the Potential of Norfolk's Young People” in Norwich. She gave a speech at the North of England Education Conference about key reforms to the primary mathematics curriculum. She visited Downham Market Sixth Form and saw pupils use micro-pipettes.


Meetings and Events:  Elizabeth met Justine Roberts, The Rt Revd Dr David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon, Home-Start, Geoff Brighty from Environment Agency and Education Minister of Oman, Dr Madiha al Shaibani. She attended the Total Politics book awards.


Media: Elizabeth was interviewed for KLFM, the Evening Standard, Nursery World, the World at One and the Sunday Times. She has appeared in articles in Nurseryworld, the Guardian, the Eastern Daily Press, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Conservative Home, the Observer, Lynn News, BBC News, Daily Mail, the Independent, the Economist, the Church Times, the New Statesman, Western Morning News, the Evening Standard, Hartlepool Mail, Northampton Chronicle, the Telegraph, Wisbech Standard, the Australian, the Financial Times and The Times.


Upcoming Surgeries:

·         8th March Downham Market 16.00 – 18.00

·         19th April Swaffham 16.00 – 18.00

·         17th May Thetford 15.30 – 17.30


 Please contact Fiona Walker on elizabeth.truss.mp@parliament.uk or 01842 757345 to arrange an appointment.


If you would like to contact Elizabeth, please write to her at:


The Limes,

32 Bridge Street,



IP24 3AG