Norman Baker has been MP for Lewes since 1997 and has established a reputation as one of the most dogged and persistent Parliamentary interrogators the modern House of Commons has known.
Born in Aberdeen, Norman moved to Hornchurch in Essex in 1968 and was educated at the Royal Liberty School, Gidea Park, before taking a degree in German at Royal Holloway College, University of London. Following university Norman held a variety of jobs, including a stint as a Regional Executive Director for Our Price Records, ending in 1983. He also variously ran a wine shop, taught English, was in charge of a small railway station, and worked as an environmental campaigner.
Record Of Delivery
He contested the Lewes Parliamentary constituency in 1992, and at his second attempt in 1997 succeeded in becoming the seat’s first non-Conservative MP since 1874, overturning a Tory majority of over 12,000.
Norman has a strong record of delivering for local people. As an MP, Norman has:
- Helped in the implementation of flood defences following the tragic floods in 2000.
- Secured the reopening of Lewes bus station.
- Continued to campaign vigorously for the reopening of the Lewes/Uckfield line
- Secured a £225,000 grant to a project to improve local cycling and green travel at Lewes station including a cycle hub for 200
- Set up and led a key cross-party meeting with the Newhaven port to drive forward regeneration
- Fought vigorously against the incinerator in Newhaven, and now fights to prevent increased lorry movements, and for the town to get some financial benefits from Veolia, something the Conservative county council failed to do
- Norman worked to successfully secure the placement of a University Technical College in Newhaven
- Norman helped to set up a new cross-party group to renew the local campaign for much needed health services in Seaford
- Norman is keeping up the fight against the downgrading of the Eastbourne DGH
As an MP Norman made his reputation for uncovering scandal and exposing conflicts of interest and uncomfortable facts.
He joined the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet in October 2002 as Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, and from 2005 as Shadow Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Secretary.
In 2010 Norman was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, as part of the Coalition Government. Some of Norman’s most significant achievements included:
- the £600million Local Sustainable Transport Fund which has seen £1billion of sustainable transport projects announced across the country;
- doubling the cycling budget;
- helping to set the biggest rail investment programme since Victorian times;
- and electrifying 880 miles of track against just 9 under Labour.
After serving the Department for Transport for over three years, Norman was promoted and appointed to Minister of State for Crime Prevention at the Home Office in October 2013.
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