I usually return to Devon on Fridays to attend Constituency surgeries and visit community groups and it is always difficult to justify cancelling Constituency visits to attend so called 'sitting Fridays' unless there is an issue being debated that has local significance or has a great deal of local support.
This week I wanted to stay to support Adrian Sanders' Private Member's Bill on Fire Safety for the protection of tenants. Over 300 people die in fires every year, two thirds of these are in people's homes. A working smoke detector drastically reduces the risk of death in a house fire and I am disappointed that the safety measures proposed in the Bill were not passed as the Bill ran out of time. It is rare for Private Member's Bills to succeed but they do raise the profile of important issues and I am still hopeful that the Government will consider introducing at least some of the proposals.