From Michelle Donelan <[email protected]>
Subject My Latest Newsletter
Date February 3, 2023 8:22 PM
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Details on my next crime forum, further investment for local healthcare, and my other recent work for our area |

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Welcome to my latest newsletter, I hope you are well. As ever, if there is anything I can do to help, or if you would like to speak to me at one of my upcoming surgeries, please do let me know.

** Community Crime Forum - A Week Today!

๐Ÿ“ฃ๐Ÿš“ I will be holding my final virtual community crime forum covering Bradford-on-Avon, Winsley, Westwood, Monkton Farleigh, Hilperton, Staverton and Holt on Friday 10th February at 7pm, joined by PCC for Wiltshire Philip Wilkinson and the Inspector Andy Lemon who covers the area.

The sessions over the last couple of months for Chippenham, Melksham, Corsham and their surrounding villages were a really useful opportunity for you to ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿš“ Raise concerns about local crime in your area
๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ Meet your local policing team, who provided updates on our latest crime stats
โ“Ask myself, the PCC and your local Inspector any questions you may have

If you would like to attend the forum to raise any concerns or ask any questions, please do email me and I will send you a Microsoft Teams link to join. You can also join using the details below:

Meeting ID: 366 125 920 021
Password: iDbMrP

** Investment for Speeding Up Discharges

๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš•๏ธ We have secured just over ยฃ3 million of Government funding for our area to purchase new beds and speed up hospital discharges, meaning our hospitals can treat more local people who need urgent care.

๐Ÿ“ฃ๐Ÿ“ˆ Iโ€™ve been raising this with the Health Secretary and the money will enable the ICB (body who allocate the money in Wiltshire, Swindon and Bath) to ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Buy more beds for those who need them
โ†—๏ธ Speed up discharges for patients who are ready to leave hospital
๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš•๏ธ Free up capacity for those who need urgent care
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป This will benefit our Community Hospitals in Chippenham, Devizes and Trowbridge, as well as our bigger local hospitals at the RUH in Bath and Great Western in Swindon.

ยฃ50 million is also available nationally for creating short stay spaces for those who may require care after a visit to A&E, but do not require a stay on a ward, as well as the creation of ambulance hubs, which will allow ambulances to get back on the road to treat those who need emergency care. ๐Ÿš‘

I will of course continue pushing to secure further investment for our local health services, including Melksham Hospital. Updates on this to follow soon.

** Free Digital Training for Local Businesses

๐Ÿ“ฒ I am running a day of digital training with Google for local small businesses on 10 March. It's completely free of charge, you don't have to be a tech whiz and you can learn at your own pace!

๐Ÿ“ฃ Since I first became your MP in 2015, I have always championed our small local, and independent businesses however I can, and this event is a fantastic way of supporting them.

On the day we will be joined by Google Digital Trainers who will๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ’ป Deliver in-person digital skills training & mentoring
๐Ÿ“ˆ Share tips and tricks on how you can improve your digital marketing strategy
๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽจ Run modules on topics like graphic design and effective social media techniques
๐Ÿ™‹ Answer any tech questions you may have

The event will be taking place at the Business Cyber Centre in Chippenham - it's a fantastic venue which was made possible with ยฃ3.7 million of Government investment and opened last year.

If you are interested in signing up, you can do so here ([link removed]) .

Please do feel free to share this with any other local small businesses in the constituency that you feel would benefit from coming along.

** Op FORTITUDE - Further Support For Veterans

We have also announced a new support scheme to end veteran homelessness this year - Op FORTITUDE. ยฃ8.5 million of funding will help deliver services in more than 900 housing units in England, where specialist help with health, education and employment needs is provided to former armed forces personnel.

No one in our society should have to suffer the injustice of living a life on the streets, deprived of shelter, warmth and the basic necessities - let alone our selfless veterans who have served the country and kept us all safe.

Working with charities, this funding will ensure a single central point for local authorities and charities to identify those in need and refer them to a network of support.

I have long supported our local veteran community over the years, raising veterans' issues in Parliament and I was very supportive of the addition of a Veterans Minister to Cabinet last Autumn.

Over Christmas a temporary scheme was in place to ensure that no veteran slept rough, and we will be building on this progress through Op FORTITUDE to ensure that we end veteran homelessness for good this year.

If you know of a local veteran who may need some assistance, veterans can access Op FORTITUDE through a dedicated charity helpline, on the number 01748 833797. Please do also email me at [email protected] if I can help in any way.

** Access to Dental Treatment

โžก๏ธ I know that there are difficulties accessing NHS dental treatment in the area, and last month I arranged a meeting with the practice owner and senior dentist from Clove House Dental Care in Corsham, as I was extremely concerned to learn that the practice can no longer provide NHS dental treatment from 1st March.

๐Ÿ’ฌ Clove House have been struggling to recruit an NHS dentist.

๐Ÿ“ฃ This is something I was already working on given the challenges accessing NHS dentistry caused by the pandemic. I have previously helped to secure ยฃ4.5 million of Government investment in dental services in the South-West through raising this.

๐Ÿ“… I raised the notice period that they gave patients and the other specific issues brought to my attention.

๐Ÿ‘ง Iโ€™ve had lots of questions re children - the practice clarified they will treat children under the age of 5 for free, ยฃ5 a month for 5-11 years old, then ยฃ7 a month for 12-16 year olds.

โœ๏ธ I know how difficult is at the moment with the cost of living, and additional pressure is not what anyone wants and many local people are having to pay to see a private dentist. I have now written to the Minister again to flag the specific issues with this case and requested a meeting ASAP.

๐Ÿ“ฉ Please do email me if you have any more local concerns and I will bring these up directly with the Minister when we meet.

** Benefits Check Drop In Session

๐Ÿ“ฃ Are you getting all the support you are entitled to? I know that this is difficult time at the moment, so I am running a Benefits Check In session at my office in Chippenham in February to make sure people arenโ€™t missing out on support that may be available.

From Pension Credit to Universal Credit, I know that it can be difficult to understand the various schemes and what you may be eligible for.

Over 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit, for example, but many do not know they are eligible and are missing out on claiming this extra financial help, which can be worth over ยฃ3,300 a year.

I'll be joined by a local advisor from the Department for Work and Pensions who will be at the session to help with any queries. We can also pick up any casework and raise it from there.

At the session you can ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ’ฌ Speak to myself and the advisor to find out what support may be in place
โ“Ask questions about how to apply
โ†—๏ธ Check that you are receiving all of the benefits you may be entitled to.

The session is open to everyone in the constituency, so please do email me if you would like to book an appointment.

If you canโ€™t make the session in person please do email me, and I can raise your case with DWP - [email protected]

** Other Recent Work

Just some of my other recent work over the last few weeks includes:

- Held residents advice surgeries at my office in Chippenham, in Semington and in Winsley, it was great to see so many folks there.

- Supported ยฃ2.2 million of investment over the next two years for Wiltshire Council to help tackle and prevent homelessness, as part of a further ยฃ654 million Government package.

- Attended the opening of the new village hall in Berryfield, it was such a lovely community celebration and the new building looks fantastic.

- Visited Ark Data Centreโ€™s Spring Park Campus in Corsham earlier this month, who are doing fantastic work for the area and the local economy, including ยฃ500 million of inward investment into the Corsham site with 150 high quality jobs for local people.

- Held Democracy Workshop at Staverton Primary School and at Forest and Sandridge Primary School - interesting range of questions as always!

- Met the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust to get an update on projects they are working on this year and how I can support them.

Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter, as ever if there is anything I can do to help, or if you would like to speak to me at one of my upcoming surgeries, please do not hesitate to let me know,

Best wishes,

Michelle Donelan
Member of Parliament for Chippenham Constituency
Email: [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
Telephone: 01249 704465
Write: Michelle Donelan MP, 61 New Road, Chippenham, SN15 1ES.

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