I am very pleased to see the new digital signs, which have been installed on both ends of Kingshill Road here in South Swindon, as part of the ongoing work to improve air quality in the area for local residents.
The signs, which were supported by a £149,000 grant from the Conservative Government’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, form part of a wider plan to reduce emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) along this busy road after higher-than-normal levels of NO2 were detected in 2018, resulting in it being declared an Air Quality Management Area.
As well as digital signs to promote active travel and encourage motorists to drive more considerately, to lessen their emissions, the Government funding will also be used for wider engagement campaigns here in Swindon, aimed at reducing emissions and harms from significant air pollution.
I am glad that the Conservative Government has responded by providing this grant to Swindon Borough Council to help reduce pollution levels locally. When it comes to Government funding, I will continue to work hard to ensure that we receive our fair share here in South Swindon for important projects such as this.
During my time as an MP, I have campaigned hard for the rights of those with autism and other neurodivergent individuals. I am Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism, and since last April, I have been working hard to carry out an Autism Employment Review to better support autistic people in the workplace. I have been working closely with the National Autistic Society, so last week, I was very pleased to host the launch of the National Autistic Society’s Education Report in the House of Commons. We need a School Places Taskforce and training for all staff in schools and colleges, as well as more support provision for autistic students.
I was also very pleased to welcome students from The Ridgeway School to Parliament who won last year’s UK Youth Rocketry Challenge. This competition is aimed at students aged between 11-18 from secondary schools, colleges, education facilities and youth groups across the country and involves designing, building, and launching a model rocket. The rocket must reach a set altitude with a specific total flight duration and must also adhere to a specific set of rules.
I am proud of these young ambassadors for South Swindon who talked to MPs in Parliament about this fascinating competition. It is great to see students from South Swindon so enthused and learning about innovative technology, learning together, and developing the future skills of tomorrow.
As part of my ongoing charity of the week scheme, I would like to shine a spotlight on the work of Fearless – the dedicated youth service of the independent charity Crimestoppers.
Fearless provides young people with non-judgemental information and advice about crime, as well as a safe place to give information about crime 100% anonymously.
When you contact Crimestoppers or Fearless, your IP address or phone number is scrambled and cannot be traced. They simply take any information that you may have about crime and pass it on to the police or other authorities – making sure that there is nothing that can identify you. You won’t need to talk to the police, you won’t have to make a witness statement and you won’t need to go to court. The service is 100% anonymous, always.
If you are a parent, friend, or relative of a young person here in Swindon, or you work with young people, please do tell them about Fearless. Further information about Fearless and free resources can be found here: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/fearless