FOLLOWING yesterday's announcement that the public will head to the polls to vote in the general election on June 8, Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall has put forward his case for re-election.
As someone who lived in South Gloucestershire all of my life I am delighted to be re-seeking election on 8th June so that I can continue to ensure that our community is heard right at the top in Westminster on the keys issues that matter to us all.
As a community we have made steady but positive progress on some of the key issues facing our area.
As part of my ‘Get South Gloucestershire Moving Campaign’ we have finally began to see an interest and commitment from Government for important transport projects such as funding of £500,000 for a new Junction 18A on the M4, investment in our railway for a 30 minute service to Bristol, and backing from the top with bids currently in the process for funding to reduce congestion in the Yate area possibly by reopening the Road to Nowhere, completing our road system in Yate. Our area is finally being listened too on the issue where it has wrongly been overlooked in the past.
The Government is making progress on its commitment to its broadband roll out in our rural areas, shown as recently as a £200 million investment in UK Broadband by the Chancellor in the latest budget.
As our MP I have continually being pushing the Government to do more, not just in the money that it provides, but also in the delivery technology that is used such as Fibre to the Premises, which can guarantee the speeds we need for our children to their homework, for the rural businesses to continue to thrive and to ensure that everybody has a good connection.
As someone who grew up in rural South Gloucestershire, I know the difference it can make but know more needs to be done.
On Thornbury Hospital, in the short two years the plans to improve our Health Service in Thornbury has come on leaps and bounds. After so many years we finally have firm plans for Community Hospitals in Thornbury and Frenchay, joining up Adult Social Care within our community, and I have wasted no time in making sure those at the top in the Department for Health under no illusion that this cannot be another false start.
It is not only about the community Hospitals however, we still have more to do. After fighting hard in Westminister we are on the verge of also securing a redeveloped Health Centre, and have already secured £100,000 for the project. We must not be complacent and we must keep up the pressure to get the services we deserve.
Our area is also facing a huge challenge in the current proposals for future housing in our towns and villages.
We all want to see more affordable homes in the right locations, with the right transport plans in place and with the services to match however with thousands of Houses and a new village planned in Thornbury, Buckover, Charfield and Coalpit Heath, we need a strong voice who will take up the fight to the heart of Government and continue to work critically with South Gloucestershire Council to stop many aspects of the plans.
I have already made a difference in ensuring the Government will not be supporting Buckover Garden Village, but the job is not done. The request to put a halt on the plans is currently with the Secretary of State after a strong case was made with your help in my recent survey. We must continue with this momentum and risk not being heard when on this issue just as we are making an impact.
These are also issues that we must continue to keep up the pressure on such as having a strong voice here that can work with Theresa May’s Government to ensure we truly get the fairer funding for our Schools we were promised, as one of the worst funded areas in the Country.
The last Government has made moves in addressing the balance where neighbouring Bristol gets almost £1,000 more than a pupil here in South Gloucestershire, but we need a strong voice in Parliament to speak up for our area, and importantly someone with the experience and who will be listened too at the heart of Government.
Ours is a key constituency in deciding the outcome of the coming election – there has never been a Conservative majority Government without a Conservative MP here.
The choice at this election is between strong and stable leadership in the national interest with Theresa May and the Conservatives ensuring we make the very best success of Brexit- or a weak and unstable coalition government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
As our MP it has been greatest honour of my life to serve our area. I hope that together we can all continue tackling the issues we face head on ensuring that all we have achieved is not put at risk.