Robert’s Weekly Column – 7th August 2019

The new Government has only been in office for a few weeks, and already we are tackling some of the key issues that concern local residents. As someone who, along with my family, regularly uses our local NHS facilities, I am acutely aware of how important these services are to our daily lives. I have always been committed to ensuring the NHS is there for us, free at the point of use for everyone in the country. Our Conservative government has already committed another £34bn for our health service through the Long Term Plan agreed last year, with a further £30m for Swindon, which will be used to double in size GWH’s A&E department and build a new treatment facilities to cater for our growing population.

I was very pleased that our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has reaffirmed our commitment to the NHS and announced that we will be authorising a further £1.8 Billion for the service, making it clear that this cash will a real difference to our doctors and nurses and above all the lives of patients. It will allow the NHS to buy vital new kit and confirm new upgrades for 20 hospitals across the country with Immediate funding for bigger wards, better mental health units, and state of the art children’s hospitals in areas that need them the most.

He has reaffirmed his commitment to tackling the issue of social care. It is not right that some families should be forced to sell their homes to pay for the exorbitant costs of care, so it essential we solve this as a matter of urgency. It is also vital that we ensure that the money gets through to the right places, which is why Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, and Sajid Javid, the Chancellor, have already met Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England, to discuss these objectives.

The Prime Minister has also pledged that the government would recruit 20,000 new police officers in three years. This process will begin in September and we have promised to hire up to new 6,000 police officers by this time next year. I was glad to hear him say that he is “a prime minister who backs our police all the way and I am going to give them the resources and the confidence they need to get the job done.”

Finally, our new Government has promised to level up per-pupil funding in primary and secondary schools, which is an issue of great importance to us in Swindon. He has pledged a total increase of £4.6bn funding per year by 2022/23, which will be of real benefit to schools up and down our country.