The UK will be heading to the polls yet again on the 8th June in the third national poll in just over two years. Whilst many will groan (not unreasonably) at the prospect of yet another election campaign; we need to head to the polls in order to ensure we have strong leadership, certainty and stability.
A decisive election outcome will strengthen the Prime Minister’s negotiating hand in Europe, settle current divisions in Westminster and provide a good majority that can deliver a clear programme of government. In effect this is about getting a job done without all of the political infighting and with a clear mandate from the public. It goes without saying that I believe the choice we face is clear – Theresa May as our Prime Minister with a strong negotiating hand in Europe or Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street propped up by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.
Locally, I want to be able continue doing the job that I have been so humbled to carry out for the past seven years. I have always said that I would only represent my hometown and it has been a real privilege to work on behalf of my fellow local residents. I hope to be able to demonstrate that I have the energy, enthusiasm and determination to continue making a difference.
And we are building a stronger future. Since 2010, 91,136 people in Swindon have received an income tax cut. Unemployment has fallen by 57% with 10,600 more people now in work. We have seen strong business growth locally and youth unemployment is now down by 61% and 10,070 new apprenticeships have been created. The Government has invested over £26 million in Swindon through the New Homes Bonus and £169 million has been invested in local infrastructure funding. Alongside Robert Buckland MP, I have secured extra funding for Swindon’s schools which has seen an average increase of £257 per pupil and a further £4.3 million through the fairer funding formula. And I have led the campaign to ensure a 50% increase in funding for the NHS in Swindon with £127 million over the next 5 years.
Elsewhere, I hope that everybody had an enjoyable Easter weekend. I was really pleased to host a coffee morning in aid of St John Ambulance on the Saturday morning at my community office. The morning raised over £300 for St. John Ambulance and big thanks to Krispy Kreme’s, McDonalds & Pippins for supplying some lovely doughnuts and muffins. Particular praise should be given to the event organiser Nick Bohane who is running the London Marathon in a few weeks’ time to continue his fundraising efforts. Good luck Nick, I am sure we will all exert a lot of energy cheering you on through the TV!
Finally the Orbital played host to Swindon Young Carers again this week as the customer service centre was transformed into a brilliant art gallery displaying the work that the young carers had created in their two day art workshop. Again it was brilliant to see the children having so much fun and spending time with other youngsters in the same position. Whilst last week was about inspiring the next Steven Spielberg, this week was about encouraging the next Damien Hirst!