Anne Marie's Weekly Column

Westminster Week

With 66 per cent of the vote, Boris Johnson was elected as the new Leader of the Conservative Party and our country’s Prime Minister last week. I have been very pleased at the overwhelming support for him, shown not just by members in this historic leadership vote but across the country. I have no doubt but that his strong leadership will deliver Brexit by October 31st this year and that he will bring to the country unity and an optimistic vision of what Britain can be.

We will see more money going into public services such as the NHS, schools, housing, and the police. The West Country will reap the rewards of his positivism in the business community. I am particularly pleased by his promise to ensure per pupil funding is at least £5,000 per child. I have been campaigning to level the unfair playing field in school funding for a long time so this most welcome.

This is a time of great hope, great opportunity and national optimism. With Boris as Prime Minister, we have a leader who believes in Britain and who will pursue a positive, upbeat vision for our country. Let’s get out there and show the world- Great Britain is - great!

I welcome the publication of the Prevention Green Paper last week. When it comes to having a healthy population, prevention is just as, if not more, important than cure. By encouraging people to live healthy lifestyles, we will have a healthier population that lives longer and saves money that is currently being spent on lifestyle-related health conditions.

The Green Paper includes a range of measure including, setting a target for England to be smoke free by 2030 and new strategies to increase uptake of vaccination and to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. The Government has also published Chapter 3 of the childhood obesity plan which sets out our plans for issues including clear labelling, improving the nutritional content of foods, and support for individuals to achieve and maintain a healthier weight. All of these measures are welcome to ensure we have a healthier population moving forwards.

Teignbridge Matters

Alongside my position on the Public Accounts Committee, I am delighted to have now also joined the Health and Social Care Committee, attending my first meeting last Tuesday. Health and social care are two of my key areas of interest nationally and locally, having founded and chaired two All-Party Parliamentary Groups, one on rural health and social care, and the other on access to medicines and medical devices. I look forward to hitting the ground running on the committee when the House returns in September and using my position to keep rural issues high on the agenda.

At Department of Health and Social Care questions on Tuesday, I asked the Minister What steps his Department is taking to ensure the accessibility of health services for rural populations such ours in Devon. Some rural villages have no ambulance service at all; a fact masked by high-level statistical reporting.

I therefore asked the Minister if he will work with me and the National Centre for Rural Health and Care to expose the real rural healthcare deficit, which is so masked, and work with us to rectify the situation and provide the appropriate care and medical support necessary by putting in place a robust and accountable rural health and care strategy and plan. I was pleased to hear the Minister commit to working with us on this very important issue.

Parliament has now risen for the end of term. Summer recess gives me time to get out and about in the constituency, catching up with local businesses, community groups and constituents. I have a packed schedule of local events, surgeries, and meetings and I am looking forward to being back at home in Devon, enjoying the glorious sunshine.

My next surgery is on Friday 2nd August in Newton Abbot. Please call my office on 01626 368277 to arrange an appointment.