ARTICLES

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
    20 Apr 2018

    One of the most depressing moments for me in Parliament was in late 2013 when the government lost a vote to launch a strike against the Syrian regime. Labour suggested they were onside right until the last minute when they pulled the rug. Rebels on my side sealed our fate. The reason for my depression was not so much about the government losing a vote – that is always disappointing if you are o.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    13 Apr 2018

    There are many campaigns that I have pursued over many years. Some bear early fruit. Around a decade ago I got the then managing director of Stagecoach to drive just the two of us in a bus around a key route in Crediton – yes he actually held a bus driver’s licence! My stopwatch in hand I proved to him that the extra part of the route could just be covered within the time constraints of his int.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    06 Apr 2018

    I was busy in Westminster last week. I took 2 key pieces of legislation through Parliament. One was to ensure that the marriage allowance and various other tax reliefs continue to work in Scotland given that the Scottish government has recently decided to change some of its marginal income tax rates and thresholds. These changes were brought in under the increased devolved powers provided to Sc.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    30 Mar 2018

    Before entering politics I spent 25 years growing and developing my own business. I look back on those times as amongst the most important of my life. Entrepreneurship gave me a strong sense of personal achievement – growing an enterprise from scratch is a major challenge - but it also provided me with a critical insight into what really matters today to the millions of small and medium sized b.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    23 Mar 2018

    Last week I was again out and about across our vast constituency. In Bovey Tracey I met up with the head of the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group which covers the South Eastern part of our constituency. Our discussion focused on the work that the CCG is carrying out to provide fully resourced Health and Wellbeing Centres for Bovey and Ashburton. Some progress has been made but.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    16 Mar 2018

    I was flat out in the constituency last week. Ours is one of the largest seats in the country and it takes an hour and a quarter to drive from one side to the other. In Ashburton I caught up with Stuart, Jackie and Jo at the post office. I have arranged a key meeting with the Treasury minister responsible for post offices for Stuart and myself shortly. This is part of our drive to ensure that o.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    09 Mar 2018

    Last week we had Treasury Questions. The Commons starts the day with departmental questions. The various departments of government work to a rota and when it is their turn their ministers sit on the front bench and answer questions from the floor of the House. The Treasury in which I am a Minister appears once every 6 sitting weeks. The session lasts an hour with The Chancellor and his Minister.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    02 Mar 2018

    Last week I finished taking the Finance Bill through the Commons. The Bill (basically a piece of legislation prior to it becoming an Act of Parliament) is about delivering the commitments made during the last budget. These will be particularly helpful to those in lower income families. At the Treasury I am the Minister responsible for UK tax and when it comes to tax changes I always place a par.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    23 Feb 2018

    Last week saw the release of the inflation figure for January – 3%. This is the average rate that prices are rising across a basket of around 700 goods and services which are thought to represent our typical purchases. The latest new additions to this basket included cycle helmets, gin and flavoured cider indicating an increasing interest in getting around on bikes and a shift in the nation’s d.... Read more...


  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    16 Feb 2018

    Last week I had the pleasure of visiting 2 of our primary schools. There are 46 state schools in our constituency and I do my best to stay in touch. In Bradninch Alison Bourne and her team run the Duchy School. Members of the school council showed me around this excellent primary – it achieved ‘Outstanding’ status in its last Ofsted inspection. In Bow I was shown around by Head Teacher Lesley H.... Read more...


  • 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...






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