We’re only half way through October, but it’s been an incredibly busy few weeks already! Last Friday, I attended the graduation ceremony at Swindon College, where I met many bright and talented students from a range of different disciplines. A huge well done to all those who have finished their studies at the college; I am sure that you will continue to make our town proud in the future.
On Sunday, I traded in my suit for a t-shirt, shorts and trainers for Swindon’s Half-Marathon. I managed to finish the run in just over two and a half hours, and I am proud to have raised more than £600 for two fantastic local charities which are committed to the care and support of children, young adults, and their families in Swindon: ‘CALM’ (Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Movement) and ‘Hop Skip and Jump’ which offers respite care for children and young adults with disabilities and special educational needs and which has a centre at Upper Shaw Farm in West Swindon.
To everyone who supported me through my training, donated to my ‘JustGiving’ pages and took part in the run, my sincere thanks.
There has been some excellent news regarding Lydiard Park, which has been accepted by both Swindon and Wiltshire Councils as a Community Asset. I supported this nomination, put forward by Lydiard Fields Action Group, and I am pleased that the contribution of Lydiard Park, Lydiard House, the Walled Garden, and the Greendown Copse to the social and cultural wellbeing of the local community has now been officially recognised. Thanks are due to the Action Group for their hard work and perseverance.
I am sure that you will be aware that Taylor Wimpey has put forward plans to build houses on the other side of the Park. Whilst the land in question lies in Wiltshire, I agree with The Friends of Lydiard Park that the development will have a permanent negative impact on the historic setting of Lydiard House and St Mary's Church. These plans are outside Wiltshire's local plan, and I will do all that I can to continue fighting against inappropriate developments like this, as I have done many times in my constituency. I spoke recently at a local residents meeting organized by my North Wiltshire colleague, James Gray MP in order to express my concerns about this unwelcome proposal.
Parliament has now resumed, and one of the important things that I will be working on is taking the new Immigration Bill through the Commons with the Immigration Minister. The new Bill, which is due to have its second reading his week, will introduce new sanctions on illegal workers and rogue employers, provide better coordination of regulators that enforce workers’ rights, prevent illegal migrants in the UK from accessing housing, driving licences and bank accounts, and introduce new measures to make it easier to enforce immigration laws and remove illegal migrants.
Business will continue as usual here in Swindon. If you have any local or national issues to raise, or would like information about my upcoming advice surgeries, then please get in touch with me using the following contact information:
The Constituency Office, 29b Wood Street, The Arcade, Swindon, SN1 4AN
Tel: 01793 533393
I look forward to hearing from you.