A New Parliament - My Priorities

There is a huge sense of optimism as MPs return to Parliament to take their seats. It brings to an end an extended period of paralysis where Parliament was hamstrung and nothing could be achieved.

There has been a complete refresh of the make up of Parliament and the Conservative Party has changed for the better.

I was one of only 5 MPs to win Labour held seats in 2015: now I am joined by vast swathes of other MPs representing similar constituencies and together our voices will be stronger. Swearing in for a third time today, I feel privileged as an established MP, to be able to finish the work I started in earlier Parliaments.

Telford cannot continue with uncertainty over the future of its hospital. The Future Fit plan was signed off in the dying days of the last Parliament when it should not have been. That decision cannot be allowed to stand. The political landscape has changed. This is a Government committed to the NHS. This is a Government committed to levelling up. There is no way that this new Government can, with any credibility, allow the closure of the Women and Children’s Centre and a 24 hour A&E in an area with significant pockets of deprivation, widening health inequalities, poor health outcomes and a growing population, and transfer these resources to more affluent leafy shires, where health outcomes are above the national average. That is not the new Conservative Party.

No Health Secretary in this new Government would approve such a proposal. I commit myself to ensuring the local Hospital Trust revisits this plan and comes up with an alternative plan that serves the needs of the whole community, particularly those most in need. An NHS that allowed the Future Fit debacle needs radical, fundamental change.

I will also be here to ensure Telford's Child Sexual Exploitation Inquiry goes ahead and is not kicked into the long grass because those in authority would rather it did not happen. It seems extraordinary that even though we have a Chairman in place road blocks still exist preventing him from moving forward with the work of the inquiry.  I have already joined the Department of Justice support group to ensure that the legislation preventing the early release of serious sexual offenders passes through Parliament at an early stage in the Parliament.

As someone with a business background, working in manufacturing and business turnaround, I want to ensure that Telford continues to thrive as a centre of advanced manufacturing supplying the 'just in time' supply chains of major manufacturers and that trade deals are achieved that secure the future of our local businesses, jobs and growth.

I will continue my work on the challenges faced by New Towns around infrastructure, the activities of developers and ensuring access to services and good connectivity.

During the election I promised that my first Urgent Question would be on the baby deaths scandal, the scale of which came to light during the campaign and to which Government was unable to properly respond.

There is much work to be done. But I feel confident that the experience I have gained over the years, both outside and in Parliament, and the strong mandate I now have to represent Telford with 60% of the vote, I will be able to achieve a great deal in  for our town and that is what I intend to do.