Robert’s Weekly Column – September 4th 2019

Tuesday saw the end of another busy summer recess period as Members of Parliament return to Westminster. As it has done for a while, the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit debate will dominate the news headlines. This has been a particularly difficult time in politics for everyone and I will continue this week to do all I can to end this uncertainty and find a constructive way forward allowing us to deliver Brexit on 31st October and also to focus on the government’s programme of domestic politics.

On Saturday, I hosted a very busy surgery at the Lawn Community Centre with the help of my local constituency team. Advice surgeries provide residents with the opportunity to raise any local or national issues they may have with me in person. As a hardworking, visible and approachable Member of Parliament, I will continue to host these surgeries in our various communities we have here in South Swindon. The details of future surgeries will be published on both my website and social media channels.

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon and early evening on patrol with the Swindon Community Policing Team and discuss with them directly the concerns of many local residents about crime & anti-social behaviour here in Swindon. Our community is well served by the police and it is important that they are provided with the manpower and resources they need to help keep our streets safe.

This is why as a local resident here in Swindon with my family, I fully support the Government’s commitment to recruit 20,000 more police officers and restore public confidence that when a serious or violent criminal is arrested, they go to jail and get the sentence that they deserve. In my role as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (the member of the Cabinet responsible for our courts, prisons and probation service), I am driving an overhaul of the criminal justice system.

In other news, I welcomed the announcement this week that schools across England are set to receive a real terms cash boost. This is part of the Government’s pledge to invest over £14 billion in primary and secondary education, including £700 million for children with special educational needs.
This significant new funding will mean that every secondary school in the country will receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year and every primary school a minimum of £4,000 per pupil by 2021/22. This is a welcome levelling up of school funding and will help give young people here in Swindon the opportunities they need to succeed.

This good news story for Swindon’s schools follows the successful bid to create a £21 million government-backed Institute of Technology at the North Star Campus by the Oasis Leisure Centre. This exciting programme of investment will help tackle the skills shortage we face in science, technology, engineering and maths. My North Swindon colleague, Justin Tomlinson and I lobbied hard to secure the funding for this historical initiative which builds upon our Town’s great heritage and will deliver higher educational opportunities in Swindon than ever before.

As always, if you have any local or national issues which you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me via robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk or 01793 533393.