Happy New Year. Thank you for putting your faith in me once again and electing me as your Member of Parliament for the fifth time. You have my commitment that I will continue to work hard to protect and promote our constituency in Parliament.
With the first working week of the new decade behind us, I can honestly say that the mood here in Westminster is unlike anything I have witnessed in my 15 years as an MP. Across the Conservative benches there is a sense of optimism and excitement combined with a steely determination to get things done for our country. Not since Thatcher have we had such a clear and decisive mandate from the British people, and from all corners of the country too. Our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, deserves our full backing and support for achieving such a decisive outcome, and I believe that this is the beginning of a new era of national self-confidence.
It would be all too easy to get carried away by these momentous new circumstances, but I have never been more focused on how I can deliver for the people of Windsor.
Over the course of the Christmas break, and throughout the campaign I’ve had time to really listen and focus upon the priorities which matter most to the residents of the Windsor constituency. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to lay out some of my key priorities when representing the constituency in parliament. This will of course be on top of the wider and larger national issues which affect your lives everyday such as schools and the NHS.
As always, my top priority will be working to block the expansion of Heathrow airport. Since first being elected as your MP I have fought tooth and nail to block expansion and recently the case for blocking expansion has grown. Across the world people are doing their part to live greener lives and help protect and preserve our precious environment. As a Government we must do our part too, and approving a project which will drastically increase emissions, congestion, and air pollution simply cannot be right. We want a better and more efficient Heathrow, not a bigger and more polluting one.
On top of the strong environmental case there is also the fact that the intense focus on the third runway perfectly underlines Westminster’s persistent habit of focusing on London’s priorities. As the People’s Government we are serious about representing all communities across this country, be it north, south, east, or west. Yet Heathrow expansion is simply incompatible with this. We know that expanding at Heathrow will block any future expansion at our smaller regional airports. Whilst millions of taxpayer’s money will have to be invested in local infrastructure to support and service the expanded airport, money which could be much better served on more worthwhile projects across the country which will help level-up and reunite our divided nation.
I will be intensifying my work to block Heathrow over the course of this Parliament. There is simply too much at stake to let this disastrous waste of money go ahead. Economically, environmentally and for the sake of our international trade and competitiveness, this is a project which is neither in our national, regional, nor local interests.
2) Flood Defences
On the campaign trail many of you voiced concern at the persistent threat of flooding and questioned what we as the governing party were going to do about it. Many of you also unfortunately experienced flooding throughout the break. You should be able to feel safe and secure in your own homes, doubly so during the festive period. Whilst we have already committed to the ambitious Thames Valley programme, I am aware that we are yet to see shovels in the ground. I want to ensure that the Government prioritises the scheme, and fully realises the importance of the scheme and the number of homes, businesses and livelihoods it will protect. As such, we need to ensure that the full funding is available so that construction work can now begin.
3) Supporting Local Business
As a Conservative I fully realise the importance of our local businesses and the value they add to our communities and local economy.
Yet our high streets have been struggling and so too have some of our town and village centres. Having overwhelmingly rejected the chaos of Corbynism last month we now have to prove why we are the party of business, and not just big business.
Throughout this Parliament I will continue to push for a simpler and fairer business rates system so that the costs of running a business are as low as possible.
Whilst the innovations presented by online retailers should be encouraged, and people’s spending habits will always change, I believe that we must strike a firm balance and support our local high streets and businesses. Across the constituency there is huge potential for our businesses to thrive, and I am determined to realise that.
Once again, I am truly honoured to have been re-elected as your Member of Parliament for the 5th time. There is a lot to look forward to and a lot of work to be done, and I will continue to working hard to demonstrate what a strong majority Conservative Government can do for our constituency and our country.
Member of Parliament for Windsor