IN August I visited the RAC in Bradley Stoke and saw their recently-launched Mobile Mechanic service.
Customers are now able to have their cars serviced at home or at work, making maintaining their car more convenient.
I also heard about the work the RAC do on customer engagement. This allows them to understand drivers’ concerns better and advocate to government agencies to improve driver experience and safety on the roads.
In addition to this, RAC have worked hard with the Competition and Markets Authority to try to drive down costs for drivers. This is combined with Fuel Watch on the MyRAC app, helping drivers find cheaper fuel, which is encouraging to see.
In parliament, I asked the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, how the 2023 Defence Command Paper addresses the bureaucracy and barriers faced by British and Ukrainian defence manufacturers, which hinder their effective collaboration.
The Secretary of State responded stating that the rapidity of procurement for arms being supplied to Ukraine, whilst welcome, was frustrating given the slow pace of UK procurement and he could not understand why this could not be the standard for the British Armed Forces. He assured me that lessons were being learnt from the Ukrainian procurement program, and how to apply these lessons.
I also asked the Veterans Minister, Johnny Mercer, what steps he was taking to ensure that Afghan refugees who cannot move because of ongoing medical issues are not left homeless when losing access to hotels. He assured me that most Afghans have no issue moving, but for a small number who receive specialist healthcare there will be contingency plans put in place.
It was great to be invited to attend the official opening of Elbit Systems UK’s new facility in Patchway. It is their most significant investment in the UK to date, at over £30 million, and is a tangible demonstration of Elbit’s commitment to the UK and their growing operations, with 200 new jobs created at the facility.
I met the Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely and the British Ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, at this event, supporting this fantastic company and investment in the UK.
I had the opportunity to represent the interests of our local aerospace industry at the Royal International Air Tattoo in July, meeting with many of our major local employers, such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce. I also caught up with Maria Laine, President of Boeing UK, and discussed Boeing’s ongoing commitment to the UK’s armed forces.
I also visited several local events, including school fairs at Bailey’s Court Primary School and Charborough Road School. I was also invited to the Platinum Party at Norman Scott Park in Patchway and visited Severnside Festival: both were great community events, with lots of support, where I got to discuss the Pilning and Severn Beach Neighbourhood Plan with local residents.
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