At the start of the new year, the Prime Minister set out the need for government to be able to plan long term, as well as to address day-to-day concerns. In my time as a local councillor, we made many strategic decisions that we are only seeing the benefit of now, much later down the line. This highlights the importance of allowing time and space to plan for the longer term, as from my experience, that is how we see the most significant benefits delivered for people.
Before Christmas, I had the chance to contribute during debates of strategic importance that will set the town for our country’s future growth and prosperity. This included the Financial Services and Markets Bill that sets the legislative framework for the sector and the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill that will have long lasting impacts on the planning system.
Both pieces of legislation are of importance to my constituents right across Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner. With many of my constituents involved in the financial sector, I am keen to see new legislation that protects and enhances it. Separately, I used my contribution in the Levelling-Up Bill to stress the importance of local authorities in the planning process, as well as the need to protect our vital green spaces such as the Colne valley.
As was the case when I wrote last month’s column, the preeminent concern for many of my constituents remains Mayor Khan’s decision to expand London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone. Costing constituents £12.50 a day, this unpopular move will affect the most vulnerable in London.
In parliament, Conservative colleagues from across London continue to make the case for our constituencies and have asked the Mayor to reconsider his proposals. Colleagues and I were able to hold an important debate on this matter before Christmas and I would encourage all constituents to add their names to the petitions on this matter.
Turning to local matters, it has been business as usual, particularly with regards to surgeries which I have continued to hold regularly in venues across the constituency. In addition to these, before Christmas, I also held two sector-specific surgeries for hospitality businesses and general practices across the constituency.
Both delivered productive conversation about the issues that matter on a local and national level, and ways in which I can offer my support as MP. As promised, I have raised the key concerns with colleagues in local and national government, as well as local NHS stakeholders, and will continue to press for progress in these areas.
As ever, if you would like to meet with me to discuss any issues or concerns you may have, please do get in contact with my office via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0203 545 2462.
Also featured in the January edition of My Local News is a Q&A, which I have also shared below.
What have you learned from 2022 that you're bringing into 2023?
I know that 2022 was a tumultuous year in politics. Although we saw an end to all domestic legal Covid restrictions in England, Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine shaped a new set of challenges for the UK and the rest of Europe, particularly its impact on energy prices. In these situations, the default is to be very reactive, and whilst that is sometimes necessary, I think it is largely more important for government to plan for the long-term, rather than give in to pressure to respond to day-by-day events.
What are you most excited for this year?
I am acutely aware that trust in politicians was undermined by a number of events last year, and so I very much welcome the stability Rishi Sunak and his government have brought to politics. With this in mind, the priority is now to reduce inflation and improve the economic prospects for the country, and I look forward to supporting the Prime Minister in achieving this over the coming year.
What do you anticipate will be your biggest challenge?
I have already made reference to the impact of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, which is likely to continue to be a big challenge for us and our European counterparts as we head into the new year. The destabilising effects on the world economy of autocrats such as Putin and Xi Junping create huge obstacles that make it difficult to achieve the economic growth we are working hard to reach.
Come the end of this year, what will you hope to have achieved?
I will continue my work to engage with and support constituents, both locally and in Parliament. I hope that by the end of the year residents will be able to feel and see improvements in their lives and in the public services they use, as a result of reduced inflation and improvement of economic prospects.
First published: My Local News, January 2023