Begging and Homelessness in Cheltenham

Meeting a newspaper deadline often means that my column has to be written in advance. Apologies to those who were looking for a North Korea or Brexit update!

Boots Corner

I’ve tried to see the point of the Boot’s Corner closure scheme. Really I have. I’ve held the plans up to the light to see if that makes a difference. I’ve tried squinting at them. But however hard I try, the justifications for this drastic move never get more convincing.

Cheltenham's Schools, their Teachers, and Number 10

Last week, I was delighted to arrange for Belmont special school Head Kevin Day to visit 10 Downing Street. As I wrote in last week’s Echo, Kevin was representing all of Cheltenham’s special schools – Belmont, Bettridge, the Ridge Academy and Battledown Centre.

This week in Parliament

I have always believed in using my time in Parliament to campaign energetically for change on behalf of my constituents. This week has featured three causes close to my heart.

Chemical Weapons in Syria

After seven years of almost unimaginable suffering in Syria, last week witnessed another dreadful low. Chemical weapons are alleged to have been dropped in two strikes in Dhouma, the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta – one targeting a bakery. Dozens were killed.

Cheltenham's NHS funding success

I am absolutely delighted that Cheltenham’s multi-million pound bid for capital investment in Cheltenham General Hospital has been successful.

Cheltenham's General Hospital

When did you last step inside Cheltenham General Hospital? Perhaps you’ve been a patient in the outstanding critical care facility. Or you’ve been to visit a friend. Or perhaps you are one of the inspiring volunteers who work with such dedication to help deliver the best care to patients.


I love Russia. I speak the language (although it’s rusty now). I am an admirer of Russian literature - from Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ to Chekhov’s ‘Uncle Vanya’.