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In their maiden speeches, Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell says that communities must integrate as John Stevenson suggests that the Government move civil servants to his constituency of Carlisle

Two more maiden speeches to note from this week.

Reevell Simon On Tuesday, Simon Reevell – who gained Dewsbury from Labour’s Shahid Malik – gave his maiden speech in the Commons. Representing a particularly multi-ethnic constituency, he spoke about the importance of integration:

“Integration is important—it is not about where someone is from, but the extent to which people are prepared to mix, and ensuring that we respect one another, whatever our cultural differences. It is about asking ourselves if a particular course of action will be helpful or inflammatory; whether something we want to do or even want to wear can be better explained or even changed if it alienates others. It is a central issue in the town of Dewsbury. We are entitled to expect integration and to say to community gatekeepers that their role is to hold the gate open, not force it shut. I pay tribute to all the organisations that do so much already to pursue that course.”

He also said that he wanted people who work hard to be rewarded appropriately:

“Many people in my constituency are fed up with working hard and doing their best, and seeing others who make little or no effort being better off because of the vagaries of the benefits system. The system is unfair and I am delighted that, under the coalition Government, it will change to reward those who strive in the face of adversity, rather than those who sit back and ask, “What can I have for as little effort as possible?”

Stevenson John Meanwhile Wednesday saw a maiden speech from the first Conservative MP for Carlisle since 1959. In that first speech in the Commons, John Stevenson gave his backing to more elected mayors and decentralisation:

“We must decentralise. It is important that we take decision making back to the communities and allow local people to make local decisions for themselves. Whitehall has a role, but that role has become far too big. We now have the opportunity to return power to local people. I genuinely believe that elected mayors offer a way forward, because they bring transparency to local decision making and make people aware of who is in charge of their local community.”

He also proposed that the Government might like to save money by relocating civil servants to Carlisle:

“The public sector is still important—still vital to our economy and our communities—but it has to innovate, think differently and do things differently. Let me make one suggestion to Government Departments. Carlisle has a low cost base, housing is of good quality but relatively cheap and our industrial sites are cheaper than those in many other places. I therefore suggest that the Government should consider moving Departments from the south to the north. Doing so will save them money and help to regenerate parts of Carlisle.”

Jonathan Isaby


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