When I became your MP in 2010, Swindon was a town at the crossroads. The worst recession of modern times had hit us hard, and unemployment was stubbornly high.
We are now a town on the up. The regeneration of Swindon’s town centre is now underway, with new developments creating jobs and attracting businesses. Unemployment has fallen by more than 60 per cent and opportunities for young people via apprenticeships, new school and college facilities in Swindon have increased.
Funding has already been secured for other developments, including a new bus station. More than £100m has been secured to improve our roads and local infrastructure. Hundreds of families in South Swindon have benefited from the Help To Buy scheme, and funding has been increased for community health services by £20m, plus extra funding for GP services.
Vital law reforms have also been secured for carers and people with disabilities, vulnerable children, and victims of stalking and domestic abuse.
Over the six week campaign I visited thousands of fellow residents and fought hard to retain my role as South Swindon’s MP.
It is an honour and a privilege to represent the people of Swindon, and I am delighted to have been re-elected. To everyone who voted for me and who worked so hard as part of a positive Conservative campaign, my thanks.
The Prime Minister has asked me to continue my work as Solicitor General, which I am very happy to do.
I have now re-started my regular local advice surgeries and am already supporting organisations and events. It was great to see the Old Town Festival Committee launch the Festival at Commonweal School, and to hear its choir in the Town Gardens. I have also been speaking to members of the Nepali community about the earthquakes that have touched so many.
I am grateful for the opportunity to carry on the hard work, and am looking forward to implementing my five-point plan for the town to:
• Push forward the Thamesdown Drive extension and improvements to the Great Western Way to transform the road system.
• Keep promoting Swindon as a great place to do business, attracting more high quality jobs to our town and building on the huge unemployment reduction.
• Enhance our local NHS so that our hospital, GPs and social care providers work together to provide an even higher quality local service.
• Fight inappropriate development but support the new homes Swindon needs in accordance with our Local Plan.
• Increase local choice in education to further drive up standards and give young people the skills they need for the future.