MP’S COLUMN: Sprinklers must be fitted in tower blocks in wake of Grenfell tragedy

editorial image

I was very proud to be sworn in as the Member of Parliament for High Peak last week and am now ready to ‘take my seat’ for the Queen’s Speech which sets out the 
Government’s programme for the next parliamentary session.

At the time of writing, the Queen’s Speech has not been delivered so we all await to see what Theresa May proposes

If the damaging proposals from the Conservative manifesto such as means testing the Winter Fuel Allowance, ending the Triple Lock on state pensions, and cutting free school lunches for infant children come forward, I will be voting against them, as I committed to do.

We have all been appalled by the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower last week, especially 
as more information has emerged on the lack of action on concerns about fire
 safety which were raised by residents and at the Conservative Government’s refusal to act on the coroner’s recommendations following a previous fatal tower block fire in 2009.

I am pressing the Government to act immediately to implement existing recommendations for improving building regulations and to require the fitting of fire sprinklers in all existing high-rise tower blocks.

Locally, I am starting to act on the many concerns raised with me by residents.

I have met with staff at the Cavendish hospital to see for myself the service provided, and have heard from the Buxton Action Group about their concerns, which I will be raising with the Trust at a meeting next week.

I was pleased to be part of the send-off of walkers on the new Peak District Boundary Walk last Saturday.

The Buxton to Whaley Bridge section is one of my favourites, in spite of being drenched when walking it last year with a Whaley Bridge Primary School trip! I look forward to completing others of the 20 scenic sections over the summer.

I am now set up with an email address for constituents 
to contact me at

I am in the process of viewing possible offices in the Buxton area and of recruiting staff locally so that I will be able to fully deal with constituents’ queries – of which I am receiving a high volume – as soon as possible.

At the moment I am assisting the most urgent cases in between my Parliamentary and local duties. Please bear with me if you are waiting for a response and let me know if it is urgent.

My first week has been a whirlwind, and I am enjoying getting stuck in and starting to tackle the issues that matter – both in Parliament and locally.