In My View - 13th April 2017

The House of Commons is now on Easter recess and it’s been wonderful spending more time here in Somerset. My family and I had a really good visit to Ham Hill - I understand we are due to have a prolonged spell of good weather and I thoroughly recommend it. Also being here allows more time in the diary for useful local meetings and my advice surgeries for constituents. Thanks to all who got involved with my meeting about broadband at Lopen Business Park. Hopefully we are getting closer to getting that sorted out. After recess I have further discussions scheduled with the groups involved with the push towards getting the full coverage that we need for every one of our businesses and homes.

You may see a few more politicians and aspiring politicians knocking on doors over the next couple of weeks as it’s local election time. This is not a political column so I won’t go into detail about the excellent Conservative candidates but I would say that it’s really important that everyone goes out to vote and have their say. A lot of people think that what the Council does isn’t really relevant to them but whether it’s school places, roads or housing, all our lives are better with a well-run local authority. I’d also like to say that I have the utmost respect for the hard work being done by candidates and volunteers from all political parties, all of whom are giving up their time, often with little chance of success, to make our democratic process more complete and worthwhile. Knocking on doors is actually one of my favourite parts of the job and there is no substitute for it. If you feel strongly about our community and want to get more involved maybe think about standing next time!

Since the terrorist attack on Westminster, events overseas seem increasingly unstable and give great cause for concern. We will never know for sure what effect earlier intervention in Syria may have had but we cannot become isolationist in the world and it is only through ongoing cooperation and mutual support that we will overcome Daesh and other threats. Resourcing of our intelligence forces and military must remain top priority and as we look at changing our border systems to prepare for leaving the EU we must do so in a way that gives us maximum security. The attack in Sweden, a country not involved in conflicts in the Middle East or a member of NATO, shows how indiscriminate the threat has become. I will continue to press for strong armed forces and a robust, internationalist position.

As always if you’d like to get in touch about any of these issues, have a problem you would like help with or want to share your thoughts on a topic, please email or call my office on Yeovil High Street on 01935314321. You can also follow my work on Facebook and Twitter.