I am delighted to be penning this month’s column as the re-elected Member of Parliament for South Norfolk.
I was first elected as your MP in 2001 and it remains a deep honour to serve the people of South Norfolk.
You can be assured that I will keep on working hard for local people, both in South Norfolk and in Parliament
Thank you to everyone who voted for me last week. However, I want to assure readers that I will work as a Member of Parliament for all local people, whether they voted for me or not.
If you live in my constituency, regardless of how you voted or which political party you support, then I am here to serve you and my door is always open.
In terms of the result, of course, I would have much preferred the Conservative Party to have a majority in the House of Commons.
However, as democrats, it is incumbent upon all MPs, regardless of party, to make the verdict of the British people work as best we can.
You can be assured that I will keep on working hard for local people, both in South Norfolk and in Parliament.
A140 LONG STRATTON BYPASS
While there may be much froth and lather in the Westminster village at present, it’s south Norfolk’s villages and market towns that I want to focus on right now.
One of my top priorities for this Parliament is to see the A140 Long Stratton bypass move forward.
We are closer now than we have ever been and I will be working hard to ensure the bypass goes ahead.
As you may know, the road will be financed, in part, by development, and I pay tribute to the residents of Long Stratton for seizing the opportunities this will provide in terms of extra amenities for the local community.
I will continue to work with local people and the parish council to ensure that Long Stratton’s services keep pace with growth.
The A140 is the principal road link between Norwich and Ipswich, but the bypass must first and foremost serve the needs of Long Stratton’s residents and businesses, highlighting the best that the village has to offer.
I will be working hard with like-minded parties to ensure this happens.
HOUSING & SELF-BUILD
One thing every major political party agreed upon during the General Election campaign was that more new homes are needed urgently.
Even the Campaign to Protect Rural England has said that the countryside is facing a housing crisis.
That is why I will be continuing my support for innovative, community-led housing schemes and, in particular, self-build and custom housebuilding projects, across South Norfolk and beyond.
If you are looking to build your own home in South Norfolk and you are looking for advice, I am happy to support strong self-build planning applications in my constituency.
However, I will also continue to support those residents opposed to speculative housing applications which fly in the face of everything which they want for their community and which add nothing to the place where they have made their homes.
I want to support communities in bringing forward their own neighbourhood plans.
If you are a parish or town council in south Norfolk and you want to bring forward a progressive neighbourhood plan that looks to harness housing growth to the benefit of all, then please do get in touch.