THE Financial Services and Markets Bill returned to the House of Commons this week.

I have raised my concerns about access to cash and cash acceptance on a number of occasions, writes MP for Newton Abbot, Anne Marie Morris.

While the Bill in its original form did mandate access to cash, there was no certainty that this would be free. The Government have rightly accepted Lords Amendments 72 to 77 of the Bill, which will protect people’s ability to withdraw and deposit cash for free. But having access to cash isn’t enough.

We also need to be able to spend it! The government would not accept any amendment to ensure cash can be accepted, even for the basics in life like food and travel. That simply isn’t good enough – it must change!

I wanted to pin down the government’s financial commitment to our railway and I had the chance to raise this with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury again this week. You have to keep pushing!  We discussed both the South West Rail Resilience Programme and Devon’s Roads. 

The Chief Secretary understood the importance of the railway line, and the significant risks posed by the cliffs if left unaddressed. He will ensure the importance of the line is not missed when these decisions are made.

I also discussed road maintenance in Devon, and particularly potholes. Devon has 8,000 miles of road, and with a significant lack of alternative transport options, road maintenance is much more of a pressing issue than across other parts of the country. 

We need additional funding now to allow for the work to start before the autumn, before the winter weather impedes work and further damages the road infrastructure. I’m hopeful the Chief Secretary will support this. 

This is the week in the calendar of the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, to which I was delighted to be invited. 

Every year, over 700 MPs, Peers and church leaders gather together to pray for our Parliament, government, and politics. I was very pleased to catch up with Rev David Goddard, Minister of Kingsteignton Community Baptist Church to talk about the challenges people are facing and how the local churches are together addressing them. The prayer topic was the power of forgiveness in public life. A topical issue without doubt.

Housing is probably the number one issue now in my post bag. I have been talking to those locally and nationally most involved for their thoughts on how to address this problem.

This week I met up with Jo Reece Chief Executive of Teign Housing in Newton Abbot. She shared with me the reality of the many challenges tenants and the housing association are facing. The cost-of-living crisis and fuel costs have made it increasingly difficult for both. 

We talked about the challenges of future proofing housing stock with good insulation – not a cheap process on older homes. We also talked about the importance of a proper strategy and plan for the rental market. Renting should be a better and more attractive option across society.

I was very pleased to be able to join fellow shareholders in Stokeinteignhead for the annual general meeting of the village shop this week.

This is a fabulous community asset, owned by the community for the community and I was very impressed to hear how much it has been  doing for the community well above and beyond providing the shopping! Well done the team, the army of volunteers and the community for using it.  Keep volunteering and keep shopping!

Teignmouth Air Show was brilliant this year– I had an excellent view just by the church. The red arrows were superb on Saturday and the town was humming! It is the only UK air show to be organised by a team of volunteers and funded through supporters’ donations! Well done the team!

We have surgeries coming up soon in Teignmouth on the 7th July, Dawlish on 28th July, Newton Abbot on 17th August, and Kingsteignton on 25th August. These will be by appointment only.

To book a surgery appointment, please call my office on 01626 368277 or email [email protected].