2022 will mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It offers an opportunity for us all to pay our respect to the extraordinary service of the Queen and also to celebrate within our towns and villages across the country. Here in South Devon, work is already underway to set up events in every town. From music festivals to art exhibitions and galas, there will be no shortage of opportunities to become more immersed and involved with the local community.
In Brixham for instance, four days of events are being planned to mark the occasion. Such events, whether big or small, are a huge draw for residents and visitors alike. Perhaps most importantly, they also offer a huge opportunity for us to reignite our community spirit. One can only hope that these events will signal a much-needed return to normality.
Levelling Up Fund
This week I will be meeting with officials from the Department of Levelling Up to discuss Brixham’s recent bid. It was, of course, disappointing to be knocked back on the first attempt. But our ‘try, try and try again’ approach will surely offer us the opportunity to claim a slice of the £4.8bn pot.
Understanding where our bid failed will be key to our resubmission and to how we can improve our request for funding to support the fishing sector and local high-tech industries. We should be used to this as Torbay’s bids for the High Street Fund and the Stronger Towns Fund were both denied on the first attempt and then accepted in the second round. We have so much to offer, and this funding will be the ingredient to help us turbocharge growth across South Devon.
Independent Lifeboat Association
The UK has over fifty independent lifeboats. This means they are not under the RNLI and act independently. Over the last two years, I have gathered together the UK’s independent lifeboats and am intending on setting up an Independent Lifeboat Association (ILA).
This association will allow the independents to speak with one voice to Government and to frontline services, as well as helping to improve procurement and training processes. As we move forward to registering the ILA with the Charity Commission, I am hopeful that we can ensure that our independent lifeboats’ future will be secured and greater recognition of their work will become commonplace.
Local Health Care
The demand for the NHS has been incredible over the last two years. The work of our incredible doctors and nurses has shown how fortunate we are to have them. Compared with eighteen months ago, there are now 4,800 more doctors and 10,900 more nurses. It is great to see so many more people entering into health services.
But with this swell of new NHS heroes, we must also ensure that our healthcare structure does not disintegrate. Minor Injury Units, Health and Wellbeing Centres and at-home care services will be essential to ensure that every resident in towns and villages has access to the necessary care. If this pandemic has shown us anything, it is that a decentralised healthcare model works to help alleviate the pressure on hospitals.
My constituency surgeries are up and running. If you have an issue you would like to discuss, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.