Page 12 - Phonebox Magazine December 2016
P. 12

Out and About with Mark Lancaster MP
Homelessness Reduction Bill - Going Forward
The Homelessness Reduction Bill was nodded through without opposition to the Committee Stage in parliament last month.
The Bill has a number of key provisions that will see a duty placed on local councils. The proposal is to support people at risk, enabling them to be able to secure accommodation before they are threatened with homelessness. Those who do  nd themselves homeless will be supported for 56 days, during which time help will be offered to  nd accommodation. In addition, the Bill will also ensure that other local services refer those who are either homeless or at risk of being homeless to the council’s housing teams.
Whilst there are many more stages of the parliamentary process to go, I am pleased that the Bill has progressed unopposed and that the government has promised to provide new funding for its implementation once it has gained Royal Assent.
In particular the Bill will address shortcomings in current legislation whereby single homeless people are often turned away because they are not considered a priority. There is still a lot to be done to address homelessness, both nationally and locally, but this Bill will be another step in the right direction.
Pantomime with a Difference
MK Theatre are having a “relaxed performance” of Dick Whittington on Tuesday, 3 January.
A relaxed performance is suitable for both adults and children who would bene t from a more relaxed setting when attending the theatre, including people on the autistic spectrum, those living with dementia or anyone who prefers a less formal environment when seeing a show. It’s the opposite of the ‘quiet carriage’ on the train – there’s a relaxed attitude to noise, movement and a few small changes to the sound and lighting.
MK50 Birthday Celebrations
Next year is going to be a particularly important year in the Milton Keynes calendar. Preparations are well underway to celebrate Milton Keynes 50th birthday, which starts with the of cial birthday launch at Bletchley Park on 23rd January.
MK Council are sending a souvenir guide to every household with a range of exciting events, including, “Party Like its 1967”, 50 walks, a major exhibition mapping the history of MK, sporting and active challenges and 50 free things to do! For regular updates visit www.
Keeping it in the Family
Three local brothers recognised that a new approach to IT services was needed and in 2006 Aztech IT Solutions was established, from their garage!
The company has somewhat outgrown their humble beginnings and I was invited to open their new 5000 sq. ft. of ce in Linford Wood. I do hear that they are aspiring to continue the growth and are set to double in size over the next 5 to 10 years.
Sean, Michael and Chris Houghton are a fantastic example of local entrepreneurs successfully expanding their business, creating jobs locally and boosting our local economy. I wish them every success!
Remembrance Day
I had the honour of  ying to the Falklands last month in my role as Defence Minister for Veterans, Reserves & Personnel to attend the Remembrance Sunday service.
Whilst I would normally be on parade at Newport Pagnell, I accepted the offer of attending the Port Stanley service in the Falklands in my Ministerial capacity as I wanted to send a clear message to the Falkland Islanders of the support they have from all of the UK.
Flu Vaccinations
The recent initiative to encourage you to visit your local pharmacy for your annual  u vaccination has been welcomed as one that is helping to alleviate the time and pressure on your local GP surgery. However, please don’t forget that your GP surgery is continuing to offer the same resource, opening clinics outside normal working hours and who are in a prime position to offer personal health advice.
12 Phonebox Magazine | December 2016

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