"A fair deal for South West Norfolk"
urges Christopher Fraser MP

Christopher Pledges Support for UK’s 6 Million Carers

Christopher Fraser MP has pledged his support for Carers Week 2009.   

Worryingly, new research shows that almost three-quarters of carers have reached breaking point due to the pressures of their role.  A large number of carers suffer from stress, depression and some even attempt suicide.  The research also tells us that the majority of carers believe their role is often disregarded or ignored by professionals (87%), friends (78%) and family members (76%).  63 per cent of those asked said their lives are made “much more difficult” as a result of their caring duties.

Speaking about the campaign, Christopher Fraser said:  “I would like to take this opportunity to commend all carers for the crucial, and often overlooked, work that they carry out.  They add an enormous amount to our society and the contribution that they make should be recognised. 

There are currently around 6 million carers in Britain, many in my own constituency of South West Norfolk, who voluntarily care for loved ones who are ill, disabled or frail.  They receive no pay for this work and must juggle their responsibilities as a carer alongside regular employment, looking after their families and other day-to-day duties.  

I hope that this initiative sends a clear message to my constituents, and all carers around the UK, that they are not alone and support is available to them locally.”

Carers needing support and advice can find out about local organisations and learn what is happening in their area during Carers Week by visiting or calling 0845 241 2582.

Campaigning to save our local post offices

Campaigning to save our Local Post Offices,Christopher Fraser MP, South West Norfolk, UK

Christopher Fraser MP fought the cuts to the post office network - speaking in Parliamentary debates, meeting Ministers and tabling questions.  He has worked behind the counter in sub post offices, has listened to sub-postmasters and their customers, and pledged to fight for every sub-post office under threat in South West Norfolk.

Following the news that 15 local post offices in the constituency were earmarked for closure, Christopher Fraser organised and chaired a public meeting with representatives from Post Office Limited in attendance.  Some 200 people, including local sub-postmasters and their customers, went along in order to raise key issues and register their objections with the Post Office. 

Christopher said: “Constituents, particularly the elderly and those without cars, understandably reacted with dismay to the closure programme.  I called the public meeting so that we could share our concerns with Post Office management and get a better understanding of the consultation process.   Local people were urged to get behind the campaign being run by each of the sub-postmasters who want to remain open.   We wanted to ensure that the impact of each closure was fully understood by Post Office Limited in the hope that management could be persuaded to change its mind.”

He told the meeting “There is a better way, which would prevent wholesale closure – give sub post offices the freedom to offer a wider range of commercial products and set up local and central government counters to serve the community.”

Christopher brings post offices campaign to Number 10

Post Offices Campaign to Number 10, Christopher Fraser MP, South West Norfolk, UK

Christopher presented a petition to the Prime Minister at Number 10, Downing Street, signed by hundreds of constituents, which called on the Government to reverse its funding decision in order to keep post offices open. The constituency lost 14 sub post office branches following the results of the local consultation led by the Post Office.

“I am dismayed by the outcome of Norfolk’s post offices consultation because it will mean the closure of all branches under threat in South West Norfolk, bar only one. This decision has been made despite the overwhelming view amongst local people that they need to remain open. People are asking whether the public consultation was anything more than a public relations exercise. 

This will have a devastating impact on our rural communities, which are already suffering from the loss of vital services and amenities such as banks, local shops and pubs.”

Campaigning to change the law on raves

Campaigning to change the Law on Raves, Christopher Fraser MP, South West Norfolk, UK

Nearly every weekend, winter and summer, another rave takes place with resultant damage and destruction.  Christopher receives countless letters from distressed constituents who face unbearably loud music, antisocial behaviour, hundreds of revellers just yards from their front doors and the prospect of clearing up drug paraphernalia and human waste afterwards.

Christopher says:  “These events trample on the rural economy, which is already struggling as a result of extreme weather conditions and animal disease. Rave organisers reap the benefits of minimised costs and no tax, yet landowners and farmers constantly have to pay huge amounts of money in clean-up costs after raves on their land”.

Christopher has led an Adjournment debate in the House of Commons to emphasise the devastating effects of raves and the shortcomings in current legislation – a point which has already been highlighted by the Police.  He has also presented to Parliament a Ten Minute Rule Bill which sought to amend the law by expanding the definition or a rave and creating two new offences of organising a rave and transporting sound equipment for use at a rave.  Although the Bill did not succeed in reaching the Statute Book, he is continuing to press the need for a change in the law.

“Enough is enough – this issue affects many rural areas around the country, not just Norfolk.  It is time to be proactive in protecting the law-abiding majority from the anti-social behaviour of a few.”

Campaigning for a referendum

Campaigning for a Referendum, Christopher Fraser MP, South West Norfolk, UK

Christopher feels very strongly that the Government should have held a referendum on the Lisbon Reform Treaty and he campaigned for one as soon as the true nature of the Treaty became clear.  The Government made a manifesto promise to hold a referendum on the EU Constitution.  It is clear that there is understanding across Europe that the Lisbon Treaty is almost exactly the same as the Constitution - so to deny people the chance to express their view was a broken promise. 

A vote was held in the House of Commons on the need for a referendum but was defeated.   There was another vote in the Commons on a new Clause which sought to protect the supremacy of the UK Parliament in our courts. Christopher voted in favour of that Amendment but it too was defeated by the Government’s majority.    

In the modern world, where people want power and control over their lives, to deny them a referendum is a denial of democracy. It is right that Parliament decides how we are governed on issues such as healthcare, education and policing, but Parliament should not give up the powers it has been granted by the British people without their consent.

Campaigning for our hospitals

Working with Local Councillors and the League of Friends, Christopher has been campaigning on behalf of community hospitals across Norfolk. He was greatly encouraged by the announcement that intermediate care beds will be retained at Swaffham Community Hospital, but recognises that there is a great deal of work to do to secure the long-term future of in-patient care in the town so that the needs of the community are met. He is also fighting to keep services open at the Queen Elizabeth, the Norfolk and Norwich and other hospitals serving Norfolk.

Campaigning for our Hospitals, Christopher Fraser MP, South West Norfolk, UK

Campaigning for our roads infrastructure

Since his election, Christopher has been lobbying the Government to upgrade the A11 east of Thetford at the earliest opportunity to unlock the economic potential of Norfolk. Christopher says: “Norfolk remains the only county in England without a dual carriageway to the national trunk road system.” He welcomed the Government’s recent backing for the scheme, when the Highways Agency was instructed to press ahead with the statutory preparation work. He is campaigning for investment in our A-roads north and south, east and west, to cut down on rat-runs and reduce the speed and weight of traffic through villages.

Campaigning for our Roads Infrastructure, Christopher Fraser MP, South West Norfolk, UK

Campaigning for flood relief for Norfolk

People from across the area whose homes, business and daily routes were affected when local roads were flooded for up to 100 days last winter are desperate for a solution. Christopher has secured the support of the Environment Agency to work for a sustainable, long-term solution, and forced the Government to acknowledge that the people of this area have as much right as anyone to expect a solution to their plight.

Campaigning for Flood Relief for Norfolk, Christopher Fraser MP, South West Norfolk, UK