As your local MP, one of the most important projects I continue to work on is the bid to make the long overdue Thamesdown Drive extension a reality.
I have long campaigned for the extension, which will not only improve links from North and West Swindon into the town centre, but also most importantly to help reduce the high levels of congestion we currently have to endure along Mead Way and Whitehill Way during the morning and evening rush hours. The extension, which should have been planned and built decades ago, will also help improve the quality of life for thousands of local residents who currently have to live with gridlock and traffic jams just yards away from their homes.
It is therefore good news for our town that the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) has submitted a bid to the Department for Transport, which if successful, will put in motion the plan to link Thamesdown Drive with Great Western Way. I will continue to lobby my colleagues in Government to turn this plan into reality.
In 2011, Toothill became one of the first of 50 areas in the UK to be awarded with a £1 million grant from the National Lottery to spend on community projects over a ten-year period.
The Toothill Big Local is inviting local residents to the first community appraisal event on how to spend the £1 million lottery money. The first appraisal will be taking place on Saturday 17 September at the Toothill Farm House between 10am and 2pm. A further three drop-in consultation events will be held at the West Swindon Library in the Link Centre to discuss these ideas on: Tuesday 20 September (10am – 2pm); Saturday 1 October (10am – 2pm); and Tuesday 4 October (4pm – 7pm).
This is an important opportunity for local residents to help shape the future of their community; I would therefore encourage as many people to attend as possible. During this summer, I have discussed this issue with a number of Toothill residents and believe that if everyone works together in a positive way, money will be spent wisely and well.
Living here in Swindon with my family, healthcare provision is of particular interest to me. I am very supportive of new local initiatives designed to improve the support given to our local GP practices and have taken a strong interest in the challenges posed when it comes to the recruitment of GPs here in Swindon. Working with our Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England, I was pleased that my North Swindon colleague, Justin Tomlinson MP and I helped to push forward a Health Care Professional recruitment video promoting the benefits of living and working in Swindon.
The video can be seen by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6sEq7Fdqe8. I continue to visit local GP surgeries and meet local GPs to learn about best practice and new ways in which appointment delays can be reduced.