Many of you will have seen that my time serving in the Prime Minister’s Cabinet has come to an end with the recent reshuffle.
It was an honour to serve in Government for over seven years, initially as Solicitor General, then Minister of State for Prisons, and finally as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.
From my regular chats with fellow residents, it has always been abundantly clear that maintaining public order has been at the forefront of their priorities for me as their local Member of Parliament. In each of my roles in Government, this was at the core of everything I did, alongside working to restore faith in our criminal justice system.
I am particularly proud of work I did alongside the Prime Minister to end the early release of terrorists, and to ensure that the most serious violent and sexual offenders now stay in prison for longer. This was an essential reform to help keep the public safe.
Prison works by keeping dangerous offenders off our streets, but it is equally important that we work to rehabilitate prisoners and help them start a path away from crime. The reunification of the Probation Service, which I oversaw as Justice Secretary, will help us achieve this through better and more consistent supervision of offenders.
To ensure that our streets are safe, our legal system needs investment. I am glad that under my tenure, the Ministry of Justice budget increased substantially, but there remains important work to be done in helping our system recover from the pandemic.
It has been overwhelming in recent days to receive so many emails and messages from fellow residents and others. I have even had people come up to me in the street in Swindon to say they are sorry to see that I am no longer in the Cabinet.
I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to get in touch, but I would like to stress that despite serving in Government, my first priority has always been the residents of South Swindon.
The reshuffle has not changed this and my work as the local Member of Parliament continues at full speed. I will continue to stand up for Swindon in Parliament and work to secure more investment in our schools and colleges, further expand the Great Western Hospital, improve our local roads and infrastructure, and regenerate our town centre.
I pride myself on being a Member of Parliament who listens to the views of fellow residents, so please take the time, if you have not done so already, to share your thoughts about what you would like me and my constituency team to focus our efforts on. This can be done via the following short survey on my website: https://www.robertbuckland.co.uk/MyPlanSurvey.
As always, if there are any local or national issues I can help with, please get in touch via email@example.com or 01793 533393.