Wakefield Express: Politically Speaking

Business, innovation, infrastructure and community prosperity is something I am deeply passionate about and I was delighted to see that Transport for the North (TfN) have released their draft Strategic Transport Plan for our area and opened a public consultation.

This exciting plan is set to spread prosperity and growth that will rebalance the economy. During Prime Minister’s Questions last week, I pressed the Prime Minister for commitment on the Northern Power House and investment in the region.

The North must get the investment it needs and deserves and I am pleased the PM confirmed £260 million of government funding for TfN and £13bn to transforming transport across the North.

In more good news for our area, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill progressed through the Commons and on to the House of Lords despite so many Labour MPs trying to frustrate the process. It is vital that we leave the European Union in a smooth and orderly manner and this Bill will ensure that we have a statute book that delivers from day one.

Throughout the week a dedicated Minister for Loneliness was announced by the Government. 9 million people in our country are classed as being lonely, and as an MP, I have seen first-hand how loneliness not only affects a wide cross-section of our society and this new position is a hugely important and exciting step to combat loneliness.

Moving to our area, last year I teamed up with the large number of residents who contacted me about the potential closure of Wrenthorpe Surgery to launch a petition to save the centre. Together we collected over 140 signatures which I delivered to Wakefield CCG last September.

The Practice have confirmed that the decision to close the surgery is not financial. Indeed, the solution to meeting NHS standards at the Practice is to tackle poor standards, not taking the easy option of closing a very popular and necessary centre.

Wakefield CCG had planned to make a decision by December but the decision has been pushed back. With so many residents desperate to know what will happen, and very worrying reports about the services at the surgery being run down, I am requesting a further meeting with Wakefield CCG to make it clear that these delays are unacceptable. I will be keeping all residents updated.

I would like to close off by celebrating the fantastic work that the local charity Equine Pathways UK do. The group help children and adults suffering with mental disorders and impairments. I have been liaising with the Prime Minister about the fantastic impact this charity has on the community, and last week the I was delighted to see how Theresa May tweeted about the charity’s work, really helping spread the word.

Thank you for reading and if I can ever help with anything my door is always open