Mel writes regularly for the Mid Devon Advertiser, Dawlish Gazette, Crediton Gazette, Crediton Courier, Okehampton Times, Herald Express and Express and Echo. Some of his articles appear below:-

Latest Articles

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    09 Feb 2018

    A new 50p coin will soon be in circulation. The first was struck by Dr Helen Pankhurst the great grand daughter of Emiline Pankhurst who played a key role in the fight for female sufferage. Today, and particularly as a father of bright young daughters it seems barely believable that there was ever a time when women were denied the vote. In a whole host of areas Victorian women were treated less.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    02 Feb 2018

    Last week I was busy on the Customs bill – the legislation that will ensure that we can bring in whatever customs arrangements we negotiate with the EU. The aim is clear – we believe that it is in our best interests for our customs arrangements post departure to ensure that there is a minimum of friction at the border. Especially for our roll-on roll-off ferry ports such as Dover where we need .... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    26 Jan 2018

    A Green Brexit

    I am often asked about what our environmental policy will be after we leave the EU. Will standards be maintained? After all the EU has been no slouch in tackling environmental issues. The answer is ‘yes’ - in fact we expect to be able to look to standards that represent an improvement on the current regime. This matters not least because we want to leave a better world to t.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    22 Dec 2017

    As Christmas approaches I am always mindful of the challenges to many family budgets as prices rise. These pressures are why we have taken a number of key actions to help people with the cost of living in our recent Budget.
    For workers on the National Living Wage, we are increasing it well above inflation to £7.83 an hour. That means if you are working full-time on the National Liv.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    15 Dec 2017

    Last week I was busy right across our vast constituency. In Ashburton I visited a number of traders in the town to listen to their ideas and concerns and to discuss local issues. Most were upbeat and optimistic about current trading conditions. I started at our Post Office where Stuart and his team were able to update me on some of the key issues that we are working on together including throug.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    08 Dec 2017

    In the recent Budget, we set out plans to build an economy fit for the future. One where prosperity and opportunity are shared across the country, including here in the West Country. Our region has many strengths but to reach its full potential, we need the right infrastructure to better connect people with jobs and services. Which is why we have set aside millions of pounds for local transport.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    01 Dec 2017

    Inside, we lined up in single file to the door. The Chancellor first. A photographer got us to look forward - then towards him. Some shots for the record. That was on the inside. The other side lay maybe a hundred photographers and the television cameras. A helicopter drumming overhead. I felt emotional – it had been a long road putting this budget together. Countless late hours at the Treasury.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    17 Nov 2017

    Last weekend brought Remembrance Sunday. Every year I attend a service and lay a wreath in one of the larger towns within the consituency. Last year I did so in Crediton – this time I was in Ashburton.

    There are many war memorials across Central Devon – many in small villages where those that fell in the First World War would have represented a significant proportion of the local communit.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    03 Nov 2017

    Last week I was flat out right across our vast constituency. It takes an hour and a half to drive from one side to the other. Much of my focus was on local healthcare. I held discussions with the NEW CCG who are responsible for commissioning services across much of Central Devon and later chaired a meeting with the local CCG and a number of stakeholders in Okehampton to discuss where we are on .... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    27 Oct 2017

    Nuclear threats

    The giant American aircraft carrier Ronald Regan is currently in the Yellow Sea as North Korean Special Forces have been spotted close to the Northern Limit Line – a sea border between North and South Korea. The two Koreas are still – even long after the active fighting of the early 1950s – technically at war as there was no peace treaty at that time - just a cessation of .... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    20 Oct 2017

    Last week I was flat out in the House of Commons taking the Finance Bill through the Committee of the Whole House. This is the stage of a bill’s progress through Parliament in which parts of the legislation (as selected by the opposition) are scrutinised in the main chamber with every MP serving as a committee member with all able to contribute. During this stage of the bill amendments and prop.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    13 Oct 2017

    I attended our party conference this year. I think it is fair to say that it did not go entirely to plan. The Prime Minister’s speech will not be forgotten any time soon – interrupted as it was by a prankster and falling letters from the slogan behind all accompanied by a serious case of laryngitis and prolonged coughing. An hour long address under these circumstances was quite an ordeal but th.... Read more...