There was a huge announcement from Honda on Tuesday: 500 new jobs will be created in Swindon as its factory prepares to enter the American market for the first time in its history next year. According to Honda, £200m will be invested in its production next summer to start creating five-door Civic Type R models. 150 people are expected to be hired between now and Christmas, with another 350 recruited by the spring, in line with increased production volume. I am delighted by this news, and I look forward to our town continuing to build upon its fantastic record of unemployment reduction over the next five years.
I recently spoke to Honda about this announcement, and they assured me that local residents would be given priority in terms of job applications. I also understand that Honda is also going to increase its apprenticeship numbers in Swindon, which is great news for young people in our town.
I’d like to use this week’s column to draw attention to a very important campaign set up by NHS Blood and Transplant (NSBT), called ‘Bleed for England’. The campaign, first launched on the 15th August, is designed to encourage as many people as possible to donate blood and aims to sign up 100,00 new donors by the 31st of this month.
Statistics reveal that only 2.2% of people in my constituency donate blood and, nationally, less than 3% of people living in England aged 17-20 have donated blood in the last 12 months. Donating blood is an incredible and fulfilling thing to do, which is why I am backing this campaign and encouraging as many people as possible to sign up. I believe that together, people in my constituency can help this campaign reach its goal of registering 100,000 new donors and make a real difference.
There are a number of ways you can support the #BleedForEngland campaign:
• If you are 17 or over, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 today to find out if you are eligible to donate, register as a blood donor and to book your appointment
• Download the app by searching ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the App store. It’s available for Android, Windows and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices
• Show your support for blood donation on social media during the tournament by posting about blood donation and encouraging friends, family and followers to register to give blood
• Twitter @GiveBloodNHS #BleedForEngland
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/NHSBlood
• Instagram @GiveBloodNHS
• Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/NHSGiveBlood
Do something amazing and support #BleedForEngland this month.
Moving on to the subject of crime, I am very encouraged by this week’s figures which reveal that crime has fallen by 8 per cent year-on-year, according to the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales, and by more than a quarter (30%) since 2010.
In Wiltshire crime recorded by the police has fallen by 11%, which shows that the Government’s police reforms are working. I am also pleased that fraud and online dishonesty offences are now being more effectively recorded, which will help the police to determine how their resources should be used in the future. The recording of violent offences has been improved so that as accurate a picture as possible can be displayed.
This is excellent news for families across Wiltshire – meaning their communities are safer and more secure than ever before. However, with the changing nature of crime, it’s important that we continue to make Britain a safer place to live, work and do business – that is why we must continue to tackle the scourge of crime.
This news follows on from last week’s Attorney General Questions, where I joined my colleague Jeremy Wright in the House of Commons to answer questions from MPs about what steps the Crown Prosecution Service has taken to improve the conviction rate for rape and domestic violence in the last two years.
I am encouraged to see that this year, more cases of violence against women and girls have been referred from the police, charged, prosecuted and convicted than ever before. The work undertaken by the Crown Prosecution Service and the police on rape and domestic abuse has culminated in the highest volumes ever of prosecutions and convictions in 2014-15.
As ever, 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:
The Constituency Office, 29b Wood Street, The Arcade, Swindon, SN1 4AN
Tel: 01793 533393
I look forward to hearing from you.