It’s been an interesting return to work in the Palace of Westminster after a long and much-needed summer break in the Constituency. I used the time wisely – catching up on Constituency matters, seeing some faces I haven’t been able to see for a while in Plymouth, and then grabbing a little time away with the family.
Westminster certainly has a different feel to it under a new administration, with BREXIT dominating almost all debates. I am clear – the people of Plymouth voted by a clear mandate to leave the EU; we now need to get on and deliver that, and hold those who campaigned for it to account in delivering the benefits of doing so.
I have no doubt that we have a bright future; we were never and never will be dominated by the EU. But I am committed to delivering some key objectives in Plymouth around transport, public health, veterans care and mental health, and I do not want to see these kicked down the road whilst Ministers bicker in Whitehall.
This week we received the sad news concerning the closure of Stonehouse Barracks. Their heritage and history must never be forgotten, but in this we must remember our role in supporting the Military. I immediately went to see the Minister responsible when this news was announced. He told me it was a Military decision – the barracks has become too expensive and entirely unsuitable for the Royal Marines in 2016. I now want to ensure the Marines stay locally; they and their families are in intrinsic part of our communities and economy.
Finally we had a very successful Suicide Prevention Week in Plymouth which we ran with the Plymouth Herald. Getting Mental Healthcare right in Plymouth is one of my key objectives; “Talk Don’t Suffer” received testimony from National figures, families and survivors. If you missed it, please do go back and read some of their stories. I also wrote about the time I witnessed a suicide.
I hope you have a good week.
This week, Johnny also:
- Gave a keynote speech at the National Charity & Volunteering Organisation.
- Wrote in the New Statesman about the link between poor mental health and poverty