FIRST FRIDAY WITH STEVE BARCLAY: Assessing next Tory parliamentary candidates and congratulations to Dave ‘Boy’ Green

AS this is the first of my 2012 columns, may I start by wishing you a happy and healthy New Year. After the festive break my New Year’s resolution is to get into the gym – I suspect I will not be the only one with this intention.

MPs get asked to help with a wide range of jobs and the last month have included two such examples.

Firstly I took two days out to act as an assessor for the next generation of would-be MPs who have applied to become Conservative Parliamentary candidates at the next General Election.

It was refreshing to see people wanting to enter politics from a wider variety of backgrounds than has been the case in recent years.

Secondly I chaired the first of our selection meetings to pick the party’s candidate for the newly created post of elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire.

This will be one of the biggest political jobs in our county, providing a visible and accountable figure better able to respond to the public on policing and crime.

It is in the interest of all of us that a talented individual is elected to this senior post.

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REGULAR readers of my column will know that, as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, I have been investigating the sweetheart deals Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs offered several big businesses, which small companies in our constituency could only dream of.

Following our highly critical report, the country’s top tax official, Dave Hartnett, has announced his retirement.

I will continue to work to ensure small firms locally get a fairer deal from the taxman and that large companies are not treated more favourably.

ON a sporting note, last month I joined Dave ‘Boy’ Green as guests of honour at the March Amateur Boxing night which was a wonderful night. I was greatly impressed by the skill and sportsmanship of the young boxers and the commitment and inspiration of their coaches.

It was a particular pleasure to see in the New Year’s Honours List the award of an MBE to Dave ‘Boy’ Green. I know I can speak for many across North East Cambridgeshire in sending him our congratulations on this wonderful and well deserved honour.

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