What a fantastic year 2018 has been for our thriving town and what a success story Telford now is fifty years on.
The local economy has been flourishing as new jobs come to Telford. We have the lowest unemployment since 1975 and youth unemployment has dramatically fallen as apprenticeships doubled. We saw the Plaza office buildings become fully let for the first time as businesses took on extra space.
There has been significant Government investment with new business space, road networks, a new bus station and of course the iconic new bridge connecting our town centre to the station.
It has been a turbulent year politically but that hasn’t knocked Telford off its stride one bit.
As Telford’s MP I have used every opportunity to speak up for our town and to raise the issues that matter most to people in Telford. For example, I began this important year for Telford by launching a cross party group to champion New Towns in Parliament.
In March, the Government announced a record £312m for an overhaul of our hospital services in Shropshire. We don’t yet know how this money will be spent, but we must keep up the fight to ensure Telford gets its share.
I have been fighting Telford’s corner on rail services. The service is unreliable, overcrowded and failing to keep pace with our changing needs. That is why I have set up the Telford Trains Taskforce and I will be carrying this initiative forward to make sure that our rail services keep up with our rapid growth.
I continue the campaign to get the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Telford up and running, so that victims, survivors and our community can get answers. People are rightly angry that almost a year on no Chair has been appointed. This is not good enough and I will not let it go.
I was impressed by how our community came together to ensure that our A&E stayed open at night. The hospital management handled this appallingly. It was no surprise they were rated inadequate and placed in Special Measures. As Telford’s MP I will continue to demand better for Telford.
Whatever the New Year holds, our town will continue to thrive. I want to thank everyone who has worked with me to do the best by our town.
I wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and a successful 2019.