COLUMN: I will continue to fight for our local area

First of all, I would like to start by expressing what an honour it has been to be your Member of Parliament for the past two years. It has been a real privilege to visit hundreds of fantastic local business to learn about the brilliant work they do for our local economy; providing jobs, prosperity and growth. It has also been a privilege to meet thousands of local residents, to hear about your concerns and what I can do to help. I love how patriotic our area is, as St. George’s Day in Morley always attracts huge crowds. This year, thousands of people went to the Parade and I was able to take my little boy Clifford, who got to show off his new Union Jack shoes which he loved. I am delighted that I have been re-selected as the Conservative Party Candidate for Morley and Outwood and I will continue to fight for our brilliant local area.

I will continue to fight for our local area through five key areas; campaigning for a successful Brexit, securing better transport links, holding the local council to account, sustainable housing and patient safety in our healthcare system.

After campaigning strongly for a vote to Leave the European Union and being MP regional coordinator for Vote Leave for all of Yorkshire’s constituencies, securing a successful Brexit is a strong priority of mine. As one of the 21 members of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee in Parliament, back in December I put pressure on the Government to give British business a clear date for triggering Article 50, in order for them to plan accordingly. Putting pressure on the Government is a role of mine within the Select Committee, and if I am re-elected I will continue doing so in order to try and secure a successful Brexit to allow the creation of a new, outward looking and prosperous Britain.

Securing better transport is a crucial necessity for our area. In order for you and I to get to work on time, see our families enough, get to hospital when we need to and get to schools and other crucial services promptly, we need good transport links. So far, I have managed to secure improvements to Morley Station. Following extensive meetings with Ministers and station stakeholders, I was able to get clear commitments to improving regularity and reliability of trains to Manchester and Leeds, ticketing options, lighting and exploring additional parking. I have also held two bus surgeries, with Arriva, First Bus and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority present, for them to meet local residents and hear about the concerns they had about bus travel around the area. These events were extremely helpful, not only because I was able to hear about residents’ concerns first hand, but residents were also able to discuss their views on local transport directly with those responsible for managing it.

As a Conservative Member of Parliament I am committed to continue standing up to the Labour-run council when their decisions are not in the best interest of local area. Having met residents of Seigen Manor and their families, I campaigned against its closure. I organised petitions and met Leeds City Council on numerous occasions to protest against their decision. I also disagreed with the Council’s proposals to build homes on Greenfield Land; Lane Side Farm, Drighlington. I started a petition and met nearby residents to protest the plans that would cause havoc to the local area.

On the topic of Lane Side Farm, sustainable housing is a crucial national and local issue that I will continue to focus on if I am re-elected. While I completely understand that homes need to be built in order to house our aging and expanding population, brownfield and not greenbelt sites need to be prioritised. Leeds City Council are aware of an abundance of brownfield sites that are yet to be built on, and they should focus on these. If I am re-elected as your MP I will continue fighting against the planned destruction of our community’s precious green spaces as I have been doing already through a variety of campaigns, and encourage the use of derelict building sites that have not been used to their full potential. I will continue pressing the Government to make sustainable decisions as I did in my letter to the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, asking him to call in the Lane Side Farm planning application for the betterment of our community.

One other priority of mine will be focussing on healthcare standards. Patient safety is the reason I came in to politics in the first place. Having lost my dad to a patient safety related issue, I pledged to campaign for more transparency in our health service. Once entering Parliament I started the Patient Safety All Party Parliamentary Group; bringing Labour, SNP and Conservative MPs together to investigate issues such as anti-microbial resistance and malnutrition. I also joined the Health Select Committee, to explore important national health issues. Locally, I have met with the Chief Executives of both Leeds Teaching Hospital and Pinderfields Hospital to discuss best practice and improvements, focusing on how healthcare professionals can work to enhance patient safety. I have spoken in 30 debates relating to healthcare in the Chamber of the House of Commons and I have submitted 30 written questions, asking the Government for clarification on a variety of Health related proposals. My work and passion for the NHS will continue if I am re-elected.

Thank you for reading and, as ever, if you would like to get in contact with me please do so using the following link: