From Michelle Donelan <[email protected]>
Subject Election December 12th
Date November 3, 2019 6:35 PM
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** Election December 12th

In just over four years we are going to have had three General Elections! Believe me I know that this is frustrating when Brexit remains undelivered and it feels like important issues such as our health care system, education, crime and the environment are not always getting the discussion time that they deserve.

The Conservatives have already begun to shift the dial back and the two things I think are particularly important are the recruitment of 20,000 police officers and the £14 billion into our schools over the next three years which includes £780 million extra for high needs pupils.

However, there is no denying that the last few years have been dominated by Brexit - this must change. We must honour the referendum result and deliver Brexit. With a hung parliament we needed some opposition members to vote for the deal but they have repeatedly refused to, which means the only answer is an election.

I want to see a particular focus in this election on the NHS. We must always seek to protect and invest in our NHS. Like you I have used the NHS throughout my life and a couple of months ago I was quite ill which was picked up by my doctors at Rowden Surgery in Chippenham. I do not really like referencing anything too personal but I have always found Rowden Surgery and the RUH to be fantastic - including on this occasion - and I think it would be wrong of me not to mention it when talking about the NHS. I know however it is only one example of the amazing work of our NHS staff.

I do appreciate that locally there can be too many delays with access to doctors which is why I have listened to concerns and have pushed for this to be a focus in our manifesto. I have also raised this with Matt Hancock the Health Secretary and specifically the challenges faced in market towns and areas like Wiltshire with recruitment and retention.

The NHS is a priority for me - it is a life saver which I get only too well and I do want you to know that I shall always fight for more investment into our health service.

Earlier this year the Prime Minister announced a £1.8 billion cash injection for the NHS to ensure frontline services have the funding they need. This includes a £850 million package for 20 hospitals to upgrade outdated facilities and equipment, helping to improve patient care and save more lives.

This is in addition to the new funding announced last year, where the Conservative Government pledged an extra £33.9 billion to the NHS by 2023-24 – the biggest cash injection in its history. We have made our health care system a priority because it is one of the best and fairest systems in the world and we want to keep it that way. The NHS is receiving more money than it has ever had in its history.

Locally in Wiltshire we have some amazing ‘cottage hospitals’ and I have been working with the local Clinical Commissioning Group and government to preserve and protect these as well as work on plans to develop/ upgrade them where appropriate.

This election must not be about Brexit alone but also the domestic issues that affect day to day lives. The NHS must therefore be at the heart of any campaign and I want you to know that if you re-elect me as your MP I shall continue to prioritise safeguarding and improving our NHS.

With the election coming up I would love to hear your thoughts So do get in touch. In addition if you would like to get involved in my campaign or display a poster then please do email [email protected] ( or call 01722 333141 (tel:01722%20333141)

If you would like to take part in my 2019 survey then please visit ([link removed]) and let me know what matters to you.

The next General Election is on the 12th December. I am standing to continue as your Member of Parliament.

I need your help to do this - are you able to do any of the following?

- Deliver leaflets
- Put up a poster
- Make a donation
- Knock on doors with me
- Help in the political office

If so please email [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Election%20Volunteer)

The upcoming General Election will be on December 12th. You can still apply for a postal vote in case you are busy or it is dire weather [link removed] ([link removed])

This is the National week for care leavers and on Friday last week I was privileged enough to meet with local care leavers and their Personal Advisors in Monkton Park. Care leavers face significant challenges when making the transition from care to independence. As Minister for Children and Families I am determined to ensure that they have all the support they need and the new measures that I am helping to introduce are an important step towards achieving this.

Along with a £19 million package we have formed a government Taskforce which will ensure that the needs of care leavers are given the focus and priority they deserve and across all of government.

The young Wiltshire care leavers I met were an inspiration - I was taken aback by their strength and resilience and appreciated their frankness about what helps and what needs to change.

My visit comes at an exciting new chapter for Wiltshire’s Children’s Services after the local authority has been on a 7-year improvement journey which has elevated the local service from being a relatively poor system comparably to being one of the best in the South West today. Because of my dedication to this cause, the Prime Minister has appointed me as the Minister for Children & Families which is an incredible honour. I am determined to make sure that we continue to go from strength-to-strength locally and make Wiltshire a shining example for other counties to follow when it comes to making sure our care leavers are themselves cared for.

The other month I revisited Dorothy House Hospice Care again to catch up with staff, volunteers, patients and carers and the interim Chief Executive Wayne de Leeuw. Rated as outstanding Dorothy House is locally so important and valued. It is not just there for patients, they also provide an immeasurable support system for families and friends who are comforted knowing that their loved ones are as cared for as possible at the end of their lives.

I met with some inspirational patients and staff. The chances are that we will all experience some form of end of life care at some point so I know that this is an issue that is very close to many people’s hearts and I felt this needed to be heard in Parliament. As a result, I have repeatedly lobbied the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care for a new funding boost so that the UK’s end of life care is an example to the rest of the world. The Prime Minister listened and recently announced an impressive £25 million funding boost for hospices and palliative care.

This will support over 200,000 people at the end of their lives and ensure that everyone can access high quality care when they need it. This is on top of a separate £25 million grant for children’s hospices for the coming four years announced earlier this Summer. This extra funding will allow hospices to upgrade their equipment, hire more staff and give patients even more choices over how they want their care delivered. I have always wanted the UK to set the global standard for how we treat people at the end of their lives and this will go a long way to making that a reality.

Recently, I was made aware that the Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been effectively grounded as a result of paperwork needing to be processed by the Civil Aviation Authority.

As many reading this will be aware, I have been a key supporter of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance having raised thousands of pounds and awareness across the constituency about the importance of the service.

Every day that the service is grounded is a day that may cost someone their life, which to me is unacceptable. So I wrote an urgent letter to Richard Moriarty, CEO of the Civil Aviation Authority, asking for the paperwork to be immediately handled so that the Wiltshire Air Ambulance can get back in the air where and saving lives. I am pleased to say that Mr Moriarty has asked his CAA colleagues to look into the issue as a matter of urgency, but I will be following this up daily to make sure that we get our air ambulance back up and running.

We are making serious progress in tackling climate change and protecting our precious environment on a national level but we must never forget that we can, and should, make a difference as individuals. How we live on a day-to-day basis really does matter and this means thinking about the things we buy, the things we throw away and the things we recycle. It means reducing our carbon footprint and reducing our reliance on single-use plastics, it means looking after the local wildlife and ecosystems and spreading awareness of all these incredibly serious issues.

There is an awful lot we can do on the international stage to tackle these global issues but there is also considerable work to be done locally. This is why I am so supportive of voluntary groups like Zero Chippenham who are committed to working with the local community to cut CO2 emissions, and of energy companies like the Chippenham-based Good Energy PLC who supply entirely renewable electricity to my office and many other organisations in Chippenham.

Even by simply making our green spaces more vibrant, by making our gardens more bio-diverse, we encourage local wildlife and create a range of sustainable habitats which protect pollinators and many other species. It is so important we live in harmony with the natural world rather than in contest with it, to care and look after the local ecosystem which includes everything from bees to trees and to set a personal example, as I try to, of a more eco-friendly way of living.

Looking after our local environment is so important and we must all take responsibility for how we treat it, but one thing we can do as a community is to support the roadside verges initiative. This is a fantastic idea which allows Britain’s wild flower habitats to flourish whilst massively increasing biodiversity. I have therefore written to Wiltshire Council asking for a comprehensive and coordinated working system so we can bring our verges to life and build upon our status as the leading county for combating climate change.

This is one small area in which we can support local wildlife and fauna which will not only make our county more beautiful to live in, it will create more pollinator habitats for the likes of bees and restore the much-loved wild flower habitats across Wiltshire.

I recently met with Mark Gurrey, CEO of Wiltshire Safeguarding People Partnership, to discuss Wiltshire’s safeguarding plan. Wiltshire’s safeguarding plan sets out the intention to work together and with wider partners and communities to safeguard the vulnerable in Wiltshire.
Email: michelle.don[email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
Telephone: 01249 704465
Write: Michelle Donelan MP, 61 New Road, Chippenham, SN15 1ES

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