Here in Swindon, we know from our own tragic experience how important the issue of passenger safety in taxis and private hire vehicles is.
I was pleased to be able to speak in Committee on what is known as the Taxi & Private Hire (Safeguarding & Road Safety) Bill last week. This vital piece of legislation will help ensure there is better protection for passengers by introducing robust new statutory standards for the industry.
Alongside Justin Tomlinson MP, I fully support the family of Sian O’Callaghan in their campaigning on this issue and I will continue to do everything I can to support them.
As part of Parliament Week, I visited Kingfisher Primary School in Middle Wichel last Friday to talk to teachers and students about a wide range of local and national issues which matter to them. This is a truly brilliant school serving the local community and a welcome addition to our education family here in the local community.
I also had the change on Friday to visit students in both New College and Cirencester College to answer questions about the role of a Member of Parliament and what it is like to work in Westminster.
In recent weeks I have been contacted by a number of residents in Wroughton about some issues impacting the village. It was therefore good to have the opportunity over the weekend to talk with Cllr Dave Martyn about the ongoing work to solve these issues.
Following the flooding last, I am working closely with Councillors Dave Martyn, Cathy Martyn and Brian Ford to encourage the Council to take the necessary action to try and prevent this from happening again – this includes gully sucking and drain cleaning.
On Highways, the delays residents experienced on Swindon Road and elsewhere in the village was simply unacceptable. It is vital that the Council work to mitigate the risk of congestion when multiple roadworks are scheduled to take place at the same time.
Over the weekend I was also able to join the Lead Member for Strategic Planning on the Council, Cllr Gary Sumner, to get the latest update on the work being completed on Mead Way.
I share the concerns and frustration felt by many local residents about the delay to the reopening of Mead Way, but I am encouraged that Cllr Sumner has stated that the road will reopen at the end of November.
Alongside local ward councillors in West Swindon, I will continue to put pressure on the Council to ensure that this vital piece of work is completed by the end of the month.
On Saturday I joined Cllr Suresh Gattapur and members of the Nepalese Association of Wiltshire out bulb planting in Westlea. This is a great example of community spirit in action, and I was more than happy to lend a hand.