D&S column: the important role of local councillors

AS the Minister for Local Government, my responsibilities cover the work of councils large and small. 

That includes of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly with a multi-billion-pound budget and the smallest parish council spending just a few hundred pounds a year. 

D&S column: my first week as a Minister

The call from Number 10 came at two o’clock last Tuesday afternoon. Would I be available to meet the Prime Minister in half an hour?

With no inkling of what exactly might happen at that point, I set off to walk from my Westminster office across Whitehall to Downing Street.

D&S column: a good education is the greatest gift

WORKING as your constituency MP, I have spent more time in our local schools than anywhere else.

That’s because I believe a good education is the most precious thing we can give our children.

D&S column: a threat we must take seriously

On Christmas Day, while we were opening presents, tucking into our festive fare and generally enjoying the holiday, a strange journey was underway off Yorkshire's coast.