28 FEB 2014
Local MP Stephen Phillips, this week called a debate in the House of Commons to press ministers to do more to prevent deaths and injuries caused by young drivers. Stephen was inspired by the story of constituent Emily Challen, a 17-year-old killed while a passenger in a car driven by a teenage friend, and he paid tribute to her parents who have called for the introduction of Graduated Driver Licensing to improve safety. Road crashes are one of the biggest unnatural causes of death for young people in the UK and the figures are appalling, Stephen told the Commons. "Young drivers are involved in one in four fatal and serious crashes, despite making up only one in eight holders of driving licences and one in five new drivers has a crash within six months of passing their test." The Government minister responding to the debate, Robert Goodwill MP, commended Stephen for his campaign and said, "We are in the process of undertaking some face-to-face research with parents and young people to get a better understanding of the issues from their perspective. As I hope the House can appreciate, this is a difficult topic, as I have mentioned, and it is important that we get this right. Once we are confident that we have struck the right balance between driver safety and restricting the freedom of our young people, we will come forward with our proposals."
28 FEB 2014
Stephen Phillips QC MP this week met with his constituent Caroline Morrice, Director of GAIN (Guillain-Barre & Associated Inflammatory Neuropathies). Ms Morrice, who lives in Ruskington, asked Stephen to attend an event in the Commons to raise the profile of rare diseases, and spoke to him about the importance of the strategies the Government is rolling out to prevent the postcode lottery from which many with low-incidence acute and chronic conditions have previously suffered. "A key issue for us is ensuring that there is equity of care across the NHS," Mrs Morrice said. We often hear that patients in smaller communities are unable to get a quick diagnosis and treatment. Within Lincolnshire we have anecdotal evidence of cases where people may be seen locally but following diagnosis have to move to a larger hospital to receive treatment, because the treatment plan required is not available." Stephen said, "I am always very happy to meet with constituents, particularly when they raise issues with me of such importance. It is vital that we ensure that those with rare diseases get the care they need, and I hope that the Government's new strategy will improve things. I am grateful to Caroline for taking the time to bring this to my attention and for coming all the way to Westminster to see me."
11 FEB 2014
Rauceby Church of England Primary School welcomed Stephen Phillips QC MP last Friday formally to open the new school buildings following the completion of a lengthy but much-needed renovation project to upgrade the school's facilities so that every class now has its own classroom. Stephen was welcomed by pupils from Year 6 before being introduced to head Richard Thomson, as well as Governors and staff who have been instrumental in getting funds from central government to ensure the completion of the project. After a tour of the school, the eldest and youngest pupils in the school rang the school bell before Stephen cut the ribbon. "I last visited the school a couple of years ago, before it converted to an Academy," Stephen said during his visit. "Some of the classrooms were temporary and long past their useful lives and I have done what I can to support the school to get the money it needed to complete this fantastic project. All credit must go to Richard, his Governors, staff and parents for the completion of a project which I know will enrich the school experience of every pupil."