Fiona Bruce is the Member of Parliament for Congleton. She is a previous national winner of the Business Woman of the Year Award “Women into Business” for the founding and successful development of her Community Law Firm Fiona Bruce & Co LLP, based in Cheshire and now employing 15 lawyers and a total of some 30 staff.
Her first-hand experience of running and developing a local business for over 20 years – and of experiencing the challenges and benefits this can bring, both to an individual and to a community – have inspired her support for enterprise, skills training, and productivity.
Fiona has focused throughout her professional life on developing and strengthening community projects. She founded a Free Legal Advice Clinic and has overseen this continuously for over 20 years. When she stood as Parliamentary Candidate for Warrington South in the 2005 General Election, Fiona was one of the first Parliamentary Candidates to lead Social Action Projects. She inspired hundreds of young people – including young men from her local Young Offenders Institution – in community work such as clearing public spaces, painting park railings, relaying pathways and scrubbing graffiti – after which one young man said to her “I’ll never spray graffiti again!” Fiona has co-founded a Homeless Support project and an innovative High Street Advice centre “The Foundry Shop” providing practical help and advice for those experiencing relationship difficulties, legal problems, debt and drug addiction. Fiona’s grass roots style of campaigning enabled her to develop a support network of over 300 local campaigners – most of whom had never had any political involvement before.
As a Warrington Borough Councillor for 6 years – over 3 of them as an Executive Member, for Finance and Value for Money, Fiona focused on challenging and reducing debt run up by a previous Labour administration and in delivering efficiency savings of several million pounds whilst overseeing the lowest Council tax rise for over 10 years.
Fiona has a long term relationship with and commitment to developing a school in Tanzania and in inspiring young people to partner support projects in that region of Africa. Fiona has also led teams of business advisers to Rwanda to help build the capacity of business in Rwanda to trade and so create jobs and promote economic growth and development. She has worked closely in connection with the Rwandan Ministry of Trade and Commerce.
In parliament, Fiona brought an amendment to the Finance Bill pressing for the introduction of a married person’s tax allowance – something the Government is now committed to bringing in during this Parliament. Fiona has clearly voiced her opposition to the HS2 rail proposals, which she has described as being “an inordinately expensive potential burden on my constituents without any justifiable business case in the current economic climate” and voted (against the party whip) in favour of a referendum on Europe. She has campaigned vigorously against the proposed incinerator in Middlewich, which she considers a totally unfair and unnecessary imposition on the strong local community.
Fiona is married to Richard and they have two teenage sons.