At the beginning of the General Election campaign, I bought a new pair of trainers. Looking at them last weekend, I could see they were very worn!
Over the past six weeks I have visited thousands of fellow residents and campaigned hard to be re-elected as South Swindon’s MP.
I was delighted when the result came through that I had held the seat with an increased Conservative majority. To everyone who voted for me and who worked so hard as part of my campaign, my thanks. Whatever your vote may have been, I am here to represent all residents in the new Parliament and look forward to doing so.
The Conservatives have now been given the historic opportunity to govern with a majority in the House of Commons. The Prime Minister has asked me to continue my work as Solicitor General, which I am very happy and honoured to do. As always, my work as your MP will be of crucial importance.
I shall shortly be re-starting my regular local Advice Surgeries and am already supporting organisations and events. It was great to see the Old Town Festival Committee launch the Festival at Commonweal School on Friday, and to hear its choir in the Town Gardens this weekend. On Friday, I shall be dropping in to see members of ourNepali community to talk about the earthquakes in Nepal that have touched so many local families.
When I became your MP, Swindon was a town at a crossroads. The worst recession of modern times had hit us hard, and unemployment was stubbornly high. We are now a town on the up. The regeneration of Swindon’s town centre is now underway, with the likes of the Regent Circus development creating jobs and attracting businesses to the centre.
Youth unemployment was a real challenge too. I am delighted that in the years since 2010, unemployment has fallen dramatically and opportunities for young people via apprenticeships, new school and college facilities in Swindon have increased. Funding has already been secured for other developments, including a new bus station. More than £100m worth of investment has been secured to improve our roads and local infrastructure. Hundreds of families in South Swindon have benefited from the Help To Buy scheme. Funding has been increased for community health services by £20m last year and this year, plus extra funding for GP services.
Vital law reforms have been secured for carers and people with disabilities, vulnerable children, and victims of stalking and domestic abuse.
I would also like to congratulate Justin Tomlinson on his deserved victory in North Swindon with an increased majority, and now his appointment as Paliamentary Under-Secretary for Disabled People. We will continue to work together as a team, doing all we can for our fellow residents in Swindon.
I am full of energy and enthusiasm for the next five years, and I look forward to serving the people of Swindon and implementing my plan for the town to:
- Push forward the Thamesdown Drive extension and improvements to the Great Western Way to transform the road system
- Keep promoting Swindon as a great place to do business, attracting more high quality jobs to our town , building on the 50% reduction in unemployment in Swindon since 2010
- Enhance our local NHS so that our hospital, GPs and social care providers work together to provide an even higher quality local service to everyone who needs it
- Fight inappropriate development, but support the new homes Swindon needs in accordance with our Local Plan
- Increase local choice in education to further drive up standards and give young people the skills they need for the jobs of the future.
I am looking forward to the years ahead and am grateful for the chance to carry on the hard work.
(This article was originally posted in the Swindon Advertiser on Wednesday 13th May 2015)