Anne Marie Morris, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Newton Abbot
It really has been quite a year in politics, only two years on from one general election, we are facing another on June 8th. The Prime Minister wants, in my view rightly, to ensure we have the best possible chance at negotiating a successful Brexit. To achieve that she has asked for a clear mandate now supporting her plans at the ballot box. The economy remains strong, UK growth was second only to Germany in 2016 out of all the major advanced economies. Employment is up by 2.8 million since 2010 and is the highest employment rate on record. Unemployment by contrast is the lowest for 12 years at just 4.7%. All the forecasts of recession have not come true.
Teignbridge has really mattered and we have seen progress on manifesto commitments made in 2015. Then superfast broadband was poor with minimal coverage available even in the towns. I was concerned even more about the lack of rural coverage. Two years later we do have superfast in large chunks of our towns and new technology which does not rely on fibre cable has brought Broadband to many of our villages. Gigaclear will be starting to provide phase 2 later this year and specifically targeting the hard to reach rural areas.
Small businesses have fared better and the changes to national insurance have helped. Class 2 contributions don’t exist anymore and the employer allowance has eased the tax burden. Red tape has been cut and come the Great Repeal Bill, for which we already have a white paper, large chunks of law can be reviewed and – deleted from the statute books.
We have seen new primary schools opening in Kingsteignton and most recently in Newton Abbot and our University Technical College is going from strength to strength. While overall funding has increased, it has not been fairly apportioned and I have and will continue to hold any future government to account for a fairer funding formula which does not see areas like ours lose out.
Much work has been done to improve our healthcare system and the government has recognised the need to inject urgent funding into social care, some £2bn, very recently. The integration of health and social care has moved forward and the new Strategic Transformation. Plans should see this take shape. However as I have done during the last two years I shall continue to lobby for a health care system which works in rural areas like ours with our particular challenges of rurality and isolation.
Transport has been a good news story and everyone I talk to talks about the positive impact on journey time the South Devon Link road bypassing Kingskerswell has had. The government has also firmly committed to completing the sustainability work needed to shore up the Dawlish line. The first project will be sorting out the Teignmouth cliffs. Rock falls cause more line closures than anything else.
Article 50 has been triggered and the UK has begun the formal process of leaving the EU. We have two years to agree the best deal for the UK and I believe Theresa May can do this if we give her the support she needs. National growth and prosperity also means local growth and prosperity. I will be putting myself forward for re-election on the 8th June and I hope with your support I can continue to deliver on the promises I made in 2015 and ensure the South West and Teignbridge reap the rewards from these new opportunities.
During the election period I will continue to hold surgeries to help anyone with a problem but clearly I will not be able to assist with political policy lobbying of ministers as Parliament dissolves formally on 3rd May 2017. Please see my website for surgery times.
Promoted by Anne Marie Morris of 2 Salisbury House, Salisbury Road, Newton Abbot TQ12 2DF.