March Fellowship Recap | IPT

The IPT Fellowship Programme continued at pace throughout the month of March. As we enter the Easter Recess, we look back at the past month and reflect on what our Parliamentarians have been doing on their unique Fellowship journeys.

On 4 March, Matt Vickers MP continued his Fellowship on the future of retail with a visit to Trainline at their Central London Headquarters to better understand how it is changing the game in the sphere of ticket purchasing, using technology and AI to improve and simplify the customer experience.

The following day, Baroness Merron of Lincoln visited The Luke Barnett Centre and Bupa Dental Care, both in Watford, Hertfordshire. As Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care, the visit was of great interest the Baroness Merron, providing her with a useful overview of the mixed nature of the dental sector as a public-private entity and how the work of the National Health Service fits within it.

Baroness Berridge continued her IPT Fellowship about the Water Sector with a briefing in Parliament on 7 March with Severn Trent Water. Through the meeting, the Baroness got to gain a better understanding of the work that Severn Trent does, the issues they are currently facing and how they are overcoming them, and the future plans they have in place.

March also saw two Peers begin their IPT Fellowships. Baroness Blake of Leeds and Baroness Owen of Alderley Edge began their programmes about the Energy Sector with briefings in Parliament with Energy UK. They met with policy managers from the sector’s representative body to gain an insight into what is happening in the sector and the current balance of the UK’s energy mix. These gave them good base levels of knowledge to build on for the rest of their Fellowships, giving them an overview of the sector and an understanding of the current challenges.  

March saw Baroness Whitaker continue her IPT Fellowship in Wave Energy with three briefings this month. Starting with The Crown Estate on 19 March, then with Centipod Wave Energy on 21 March, and finally with AWS Ocean on 26 March. Through these briefings she got to meet with businesses who are working on technology that can create sustainable and green energy through wave power and gain an understanding of where they are at and how their technology works. Through her meeting with The Crown Estate she got to understand the role they play in offshore energy and how they are looking to expand this sector. 

Meanwhile in London, Baroness Blower continued her Cultural and Creative Fellowship with a visit to Smithfield where the new Museum of London is due to open in 2026. With improved accessibility by public transport and street level entrances, the new museum’s site is an atmospheric and historic building that fittingly represents London’s rich history of work and trade. The visit was led by Museum Director Sharon Ament and explored the move from the previous Barbican site, the motivations for the move and objectives, what the new museum will look like ‘in situ’ and the benefits the move will have for the local area and the UK’s national cultural and creative ambitions.

21 March saw Dame Jackie Doyle-Price MP continue her Fellowship with a visit to AB Ports’ Ipswich Port. This visit gave Jackie an understanding of the work that ABP do in East Anglia and the operations that exist at the port which she got to see and learn more about through a tour of the site. The visit concluded with a working lunch and a Q&A session.

IPT Fellowships in March concluded with Baroness Berridge visiting Affinity Water’s Iver Treatment Works on 25 March. The visit began with presentations about their Water Resources Management Plan, the 2024 price review and how billing works, and the environmental and sustainability work they are doing. A tour of the site then followed showing the Baroness the different stages of the water treatment process, giving her an understanding of how water enters the site and leaves as clean drinking water. The visit ended with a working lunch and a discussion of the wider Affinity Water business.