My week - March 2018

Despite the heavy snow, the Brexit negotiations continued apace this week.  This is a very complex negotiation and the Prime Ministers speech helped to firm up some more detail for the next stages of talks.  During the general election last year I said that I would use my experience to ensure the UK/EU negotiations work for all the people of Chelmsford - that respects the result for those who voted to leave, but also reassure those that voted to remain. The outcome is vital for our security, jobs and livelihoods, especially for many of those who work in Chelmsford and for those who commute to work elsewhere.

I’ve been helping Theresa May’s team, working hard behind the scenes. I have been meeting many representatives of UK industry, as well as science and research organisations.  Last week I travelled to Brussels meeting politicians and organisations from all across Europe.  It is a highly sensitive time, and just as in British politics there are many with different views.  However I do believe the vast majority of politicians from the UK and across the other 27 EU countries do want to find an amicable and deep trading partnership between the UK and EU.

I was very sorry to hear the sad news that a man died whilst sleeping behind the shutters of a shop doorway in Chelmsford. I am sure that many Chelmsford residents are also very saddened by this news. ch

There is much going on in Chelmsford to help those who are sleeping rough. I recently visited the housing charity CHESS who are in the final stages of competing their new hostel in New London Road. This will have 10 beds. They are also hoping to build a day/night Centre.  During the winter months CHESS runs a winter night shelter at Meadgate Church. This has a further 10 beds. This shelter is available to all those who need it. The average number of people using the shelter so far this winter has been less than 7 per night.  It has been agreed to keep the winter shelter open until the end of March.

During the day, the Sanctus Cafe offers a hot meal and drinks. I am also aware that Chelmsford City Council and Essex County Council have been helping several individuals, and organisations such as Open Road have also been providing outreach support.  On my website, you will find a longer post about many initiatives that are being done nationally on housing.

I am sorry that because of the snow I had to cancel my appointments on Friday.  I also foolishly took a bit of a tumble on the ice myself – no broken bones but a firm reminder to take care! 

As always, I’m interested to hear your views. Please do get in touch via email on vicky.ford.mp@parliament.uk