Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Uttoxeter Echo. This column was originally featured in the 18th January print edition.
Earlier this month, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, set out five promises for the year ahead. These were promises recognising the priorities of the British people and what the Government must focus on over the next twelve months. That is to halve inflation, grow the economy, get national debt down, cut NHS waiting lists and to legislate to stop small boats.
From my own post bag, I know just how strongly my constituents in Burton and Uttoxeter feel about all of these issues and how important it is that the Government focuses on these priorities. It is absolutely right that the Government, first and foremost, does all it can to ease the cost-of-living pressures many are facing, giving families financial security. I will continue to work with local councils, community leaders and others to ensure that those entitled to the targeted additional support receive it.
In Uttoxeter, at the heart of growing our local economy must be making progress on improvements to the town centre, particularly the Maltings, to ensure that our High Street businesses are supported and people are attracted to visit. In addition to this, this month, I am convening a meeting with representatives from the Department for Transport, along with Midlands Connect and other Staffordshire MPs, to push for investment for improvements to level-up the A50, including Project B which would see a new junction built to the east of Uttoxeter to ease congestion and improve road safety.
On another matter, there is no question that the NHS is under significant pressure right now with the usual winter pressures but also with additional challenges of higher cases of flu, Strep-A and tackling the backlog from the Covid-19 pandemic. I have been monitoring the situation locally across our primary care settings and our neighbouring hospitals.
Since my election, a priority for me has been campaigning for more health and care services to be delivered closer to residents and this will be key to reducing pressure on our local hospitals ensuring that people can get the care they need more quickly. This should also mean empowering pharmacies to be able to do more, and I know that this is something the Prime Minister also feels passionately about.
There are a lot of similarities between national and local priorities, which shouldn’t be surprising, but I am committed to using this to our advantage so that we can continue to deliver on the people of Burton and Uttoxeter’s priorities and level up our local area.