Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Military deserve action on their justice system

My question to the Cities Minister about the Swindon and Wiltshire local enterprise partnership bid for a city deal wasn’t reached last Tuesday, so I cornered the Minister in the lobby to tell him of my support.

It could prove invaluable locally in attracting jobs to redeveloped redundant Ministry of Defence land and securing funding for university places in Wiltshire.

I stayed in Parliament beyond our normal finish time last Thursday to speak in a delayed debate in Westminster Hall.

I put to defence ministers the experiences of constituents in dealing with the service complaints and military justice system.

We ask an enormous amount from servicemen and women, and they go out of their way to protect others, so it is of great concern to hear reports of instances of our armed forces being unable to protect their own.

Those who speak out can face social isolation, delays in the process and hearings behind closed doors. Our service personnel deserve action to restore their confidence in the operation of the military justice system; strengthened independent oversight would certainly help.

On returning to Wiltshire, I spent a day focussed on the health and care of local residents.

I saw the investment in facilities at the old Melksham hospital which has brought improvement in Wiltshire’s NHS wheelchair service.

From there to Bath, where I met bosses at the Royal United Hospital and was reassured that despite the recent cold snap our NHS is coping well with winter pressures this year.

Air quality was the focus in Bradford on Avon, where I saw newly-installed monitoring equipment in Masons Lane and joined residents and the council for the launch of the Bradford on Avon Air Quality Alliance.

I was also shown a new zero emission electric vehicle which may have a part to play in solving this problem.

My next surgeries will be held at Melksham Town Hall on Friday, February 15, from 10am to 11.30am, and Saturday, February 16, from 10am to 11.30am at my constituency office in Avonbridge House, Bath Road, Chippenham.

Recognising that these times do not suit everyone, I am experimenting with a later surgery on Tuesday, February 19, from 6pm-7.30pm, also in my constituency office, which may suit those who work on a Saturday and during the week.

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