Robert's Weekly Swindon Advertiser Article - 20 July 2016

Over the past few weeks, it has been fantastic to see the hard work of people working across our town being recognised. Swindon has always had a proud tradition of enterprise and innovation and I am pleased to see residents rewarded for their efforts.

I’d like to congratulate the 11 early years staff who were recently handed awards at a ceremony to mark their dedicated work with local pre-school children. Individual nurseries and pre-schools also received awards, which recognised excellent provision for young children. In Swindon, we are very fortunate to have such excellent facilities and so many dedicated staff working to give our children the best possible start to their education.

I would also like to offer my congratulations to former Chief Fire Officer of Wiltshire, Simon Routh-Jones, who has been presented with the Queen’s Fire Service Medal. Simon spent the whole of his 37-year career with Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, joining in 1979 as a probationer firefighter in Salisbury and rising through the service. I am delighted that his hard work and commitment to duty has been recognised.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the 12 inspirational Swindon learners who were awarded outstanding achievement awards after they took part in a variety of community-based courses and used their learning to improve their lives and the lives of their families. I would like to wish them every success in the future as they go on to use their new learned skills in their chosen careers.

Speaking of local successes, it was good to see Swindon in the headlines again last week, as it was named as one of the top ten places to work in the UK.

According to a survey undertaken by jobs and recruitment site, Glassdoor, Swindon is a better place to work than some of the UK’s major towns and cities including Bristol, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Swindon was awarded the top ten spot due to how easy it is to get a job here, how affordable it is to live here and job satisfaction for employees.

In a major survey of productivity undertaken by the Office of National Statistics last year, I’m delighted to say that Swindon was also very near the top of the national league table. Our town has become adept at reinventing itself as a home for new high-tech industries. The other significant factor is that many international businesses are investing here, bringing higher productivity levels. Swindon is home to many skilled and productive jobs, both in British and overseas companies.

The key here is investment. I continue working to help secure new investment for our town by connecting potential new employers with Forward Swindon and UKTI – two organisations tasked with bringing new jobs to Swindon and the UK respectively.

Continuing on the subject of jobs, I am delighted to have been asked to continue as Solicitor General by new Prime Minister Theresa May. I will continue to work hard as Solicitor General and also as your local MP. I am fortunate to be doing jobs that I love.

Moving on to the subject of broadband, a group of Chiseldon residents have joined forces to explore different options in a bid to bring fibre optic broadband to the village. The group have an offer from Virgin Media and are also exploring options with BT. If you are a Chiseldon resident you can register your interest before August 31st at www.chiseldonfibre.co.uk/register. This is a great opportunity for residents in Chiseldon and I would encourage people to get involved to make this exciting scheme happen.