The Government has achieved so many great things over the past two years – despite the challenges presented by coronavirus, such as its record investment in the NHS and the billions being pumped into the North and Midlands as part of the levelling-up agenda.
We have helped families on low pay by raising the income tax threshold, and we now have record employment, which should feed through to a higher-wage economy.
Locally things have been very promising too. Like the £70 million worth of Government funding through the Future High Streets and Towns Fund I have secured for the area. Ashfield School and Kirkby College to be rebuilt, a new diagnostic centre at Kings Mill Hospital, £2 million I lobbied for to increase the size of the A&E department at Kings Mill as well as the £550,000 I personally lobbied the Home Secretary for that will see greater security measures introduced to make the Central and New Cross area become a much safer place.
However, we must not allow all these achievements to be outweighed by any huge rises in the cost of living, through higher energy bills, which the residents of Ashfield care far more about than the platitudes spouted about the ‘green agenda’ by the wealthy elite who flew into the COP26 summit in private planes.
No one disagrees that we must do more to protect the Earth. But mention the Net Zero journey to most of the people in Ashfield and they will look at you as if you have just arrived from another planet.
Many of them are only just managing to make ends meet. They want to be able to switch on the heating without worrying about the next bill.
I was born here at Kings Mill Hospital and lived and worked here all my life, so I know what my voters want – a government tough on law and order, tighter immigration controls and an end to illegal crossings in the Channel.
The new Borders Bill should address this, but these pieces of legislation take time and our voters want to see results soon.
Politics is becoming like the Premier League: if voters don’t see immediate success, they demand the manager is sacked.
I know from conversations with the Prime Minister that he gets it –but I am not convinced everyone in Westminster does and this includes all political parties.
One of the problems as I see it is that many of the politicians and civil servants have never had to worry about paying a gas or electricity bill. They do not know what it’s like to sit in a cold home with just a pre-payment card and a fiver left for the week. I have been in that situation and remember too well checking the meter every hour to make sure there was enough gas left to keep the house warm.
I will never forget those times and will do all I can to make sure as your MP to ensure your concerns are heard at the highest level.