This week Parliament returned from conference recess in a sombre mood following the tragic death of my colleague Sir David Amess MP. Sir David was brutally killed during an advice surgery in his constituency of Southend West last Friday. Supporting constituents is a vital part of our role as MPs in a representative democracy and I will continue to be available through the normal channels. My thoughts are with Sir David's widow and children.
The Public Accounts Committee, which I chair, published a report today on school funding. We highlighted the disparity in per-pupil funding in different areas. Between 2017-18 and 2020-21, average per-pupil funding in the most deprived fifth of schools fell in real terms by 1.2%, while per-pupil funding in the least deprived fifth increased by 2.9%. This combined with the delay in the special educational needs and disability review (see here) and the lack of COVID catch-up funding has created a perfect storm for schools. Read the report in full here.
I also met with constituents this week at a green roundtable to discuss how to tackle the climate crisis ahead of the COP26 summit next month. This also coincided with the Government's net zero strategy published this week. It is clear that the Government lacks a practical plan to tackle climate change. The roundtable was constructive and residents were able to share their real-life experiences working on net zero projects. If you would like to be involved in a future green roundtable, please email my office at email@example.com.