Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Time is right to set my priorities for year ahead

After a lovely local Christmas which featured carols and mince pies in my local church, lots of cycling and a road trip to Bristol in a decorated camper van, it is time to recover from the festive excesses, ring in the changes for the New Year and plan priorities for 2014. This is always an imprecise science as new local issues emerge during the year but it is good to have a set of targets towards which I can work. This is therefore going to be the year when: 1. We celebrate a firm commitment to build a new primary care centre for Devizes. The need for more investment in the town’s medical services grows by the day and it will be my campaigning priority to get the plans firmed up and under way.

2. We secure the future of our long-distance train services. Last year our campaigning resulted in an agreement from the Department of Transport that electrification to Bedwyn was sound economic sense and this year I want to see a firm date for the investment and a public commitment from the franchise holder to at least maintain current services.

3. We celebrate, protect and invest in our local high streets. While out doing my Christmas shopping, I was struck once again by the variety and quality of goods and services on offer in Marlborough and Devizes.

I am already working with town councils and local retailers to explore options to boost trade but there are so many other things we can do, like ‘free after 3’ parking, loyalty schemes, or more help for start-up businesses. Central government money and rate support is available to support these improvements but I want to go further and help build a groundswell of local support and investment.

4. We secure government money for our City Deal bid to train and support those leaving the Armed Forces into private sector jobs.

5. We finally notice the rollout of super high-speed broadband in Wiltshire. I keep reading press releases about the imminent implementation of the project and applaud Wiltshire Council for securing government funding for the investment but with glacially slow download speeds at my house in the Pewsey Vale, the promise seems a long way from reality. Without a fast robust digital infrastructure we will not see local growth and business investment. Finally. I look forward to meeting as many constituents as possible in the next 12 months. Please let me know how I can help.

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