COMMITTED TO A MODERN, EXPORT ORIENTED ECONOMY AND HIGH QUALITY JOBS
Since I was first elected in May 2010, I have worked with local businesses, employers and government to encourage the creation of jobs and apprenticeships. I continue to support a weekly jobs club to assist local people in their search for opportunities. In May 2010, the number of those claiming jobseekers allowance was 1,530; in March 2017 it was 625.
General Electric will soon complete its second new world-class research and manufacturing facility at Redhill. Perkins recently opened their engineering training centre. The New Beacon Group intend to bring back university education to the former Staffordshire University campus on Beaconside and reopen the sports centre.
COMMITTED TO OUR NHS AND SOCIAL CARE
I am passionate about our National Health Service which provides great care locally. County Hospital has been through difficult times but remains a vital acute district general hospital as part of the University Hospitals of the North Midlands. I will continue to make the case for more health funding, spent wisely on efficient, integrated services.
There have been concerns about the future of our A&E but the trust board has recently made it clear that it is staying – as I have insisted it must. County’s A&E staff treat at least 45,000 patients every year. I will continue to fight for 24/7 opening hours. The Children’s Minor Injuries Unit offers a fine service but this is less than the commitment made in 2014, due to safety concerns. I will continue to fight for a restoration of as many local services for children as possible. With social care facing great pressure, I have argued for more funding. I welcome the recent additional £2bn commitment in the 2017 budget and the extra money from the county council raised through council tax. We now need a sustainable funding plan and I will continue to work across parties to achieve this.
The renovation of our hospital continues with most wards now complete or in progress. The new dialysis, chemotherapy and endoscopy units are fully functional as is the new permanent MRI scanner. Many people have told me how much they value these improvements.
COMMITTED TO HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION AND FAIR FUNDING FOR OUR SCHOOLS
Our schools continue to improve and there has been substantial investment in Stafford College and Rodbaston Campus of South Staffordshire College. However progress towards fairer funding is too slow. I pledge to continue to campaign for fair funding for Staffordshire – and all English – schools.
I was delighted to hold the first Stafford constituency schools debating competition in Westminster in March 2017. The standard of debate was very high and the students were a credit to all
COMMITTED TO AFFORDABLE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE HOUSING
I will continue to support new housing where it is in the sensible agreed local development plans of Stafford Borough and South Staffordshire. I oppose unplanned and unwanted projects.
COMMITTED TO DEFENCE, SECURITY AND OUR ARMED FORCES
In 2015, we saw 1,000 more servicemen and women move to MOD Stafford and there are plans for more to come. Under a Conservative Government, the UK is spending at least 2% of our GDP on defence, showing our strong commitment to our armed forces and NATO
COMMITTED TO PROPERLY PLANNED INFRASTRUCTURE
I support infrastructure which is properly planned and brings clear benefit, such as the Stafford Western Access Road and the Norton Bridge rail junction.
I will continue to oppose HS2 which is too expensive and destructive of our communities and environment. There are better ways of improving capacity and connectivity on our railways at lower cost. I also oppose the proposed rail freight terminal south of Gailey as it is largely greenbelt land.
COMMITTED TO THE UK’S LEADING ROLE IN GLOBAL RESEARCH AND DEVLOPMENT
UK universities, charities and businesses play a leading role in research and development of drugs to tackle deadly infectious diseases such as TB, HIV/AIDS and malaria. UK aid also supports British agricultural research which enhances food security in developing countries.
A Conservative government would continue to invest 70p out of every £100 of our national income in this and other vital work.