From Michelle Donelan <[email protected]>
Subject My Latest Update - February 2023
Date February 21, 2023 11:55 AM
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My Campaign to Upgrade Melksham Hospital, my latest Community Crime Forum and my other work for our community |

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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.

** Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology

This month has been very busy but extremely exciting - I started a new role as head of the newly created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

This new department is a huge step forward to achieve the ambitious priorities we have for our constituency and our country. Some of the things I plan to get done include:

๐ŸŒ Make Britain the most innovative economy in the world.
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ”ฌ Ensure the UK is leading the world with scientific solutions to healthcare, climate change, transport and more.
๐Ÿ’ป Turbocharge tech jobs, tech skills and tech innovation.
๐Ÿ“š Make the UK the best place in the world to learn STEM skills.
๐Ÿ’ช Work to deliver the British peopleโ€™s priorities of economic growth, prosperity and opportunity.

** My Campaign to Upgrade Melksham Hospital

๐Ÿ’š The next stage of my campaign to Upgrade Melksham Hospital is to build the business case for investment, so that we can show an upgraded site in Melksham would be viable, and to bring the community together to find the best way of making it happen.

๐Ÿ’ฌ I met the Integrated Care Board (who manage local NHS services and the budget) last month to make the case to them again, I have invited the Health Secretary to visit the site, and I am also due to sit down with him in the next few weeks to discuss it.

๐Ÿ“ˆ Iโ€™ve been campaigning for more funding for our local health services since 2015, and we are putting more money than ever before into the NHS to tackle the problems caused by the pandemic, something I am very supportive of.

๐Ÿก Melksham, however, has had more than its fair share of housing over the years, and local health facilities have not grown in line with these new houses. This has led to local people experiencing difficulties and long waits getting the treatment they need.

โ†—๏ธ Many also have to travel to larger hospitals in Bath, Bristol and Swindon for routine tests and procedures, which can be time consuming, expensive and inaccessible for those relying on public transport to get treatment or visit loved ones.

๐Ÿ”ป The minor injuries unit at Melksham was closed back in 2002 and the last ward was shut in 2007 under the previous Labour Government, something I have always believed would cause capacity issues further down the line.

๐Ÿ“ˆ Securing investment to upgrade the site is a long-term goal for Melksham and the wider area, and whilst it wonโ€™t happen overnight, we know that more equipment, staff and services would make a real difference for accessing treatment, as well as increasing capacity for urgent care at our larger hospitals. The campaign also has the support of Melksham's Conservative Councillor candidates.

๐Ÿ“ฃ Now we need to build the community case for investment, and show that an upgraded site in Melksham is viable, so I am going to create a steering group to look at the best way of making it happen. I will also be raising it at every opportunity with the Department for Health and the ICB over the next few months, so do look out for further updates.

** Bradford on Avon One Way System

You may remember I attended a meeting back in November to discuss the traffic issues affecting Bradford-on-Avon - I am now urging the Town Council to end any further delays on progressing a one-way system, by agreeing the offer on the table from Wiltshire Council.

This would allow a scheme to reduce the townโ€™s traffic and congestion issues to actually move forward, but with the modelling to ensure it works for areas like New Town.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Wiltshire Council have agreed to fund 1/3 of the cost of modelling needed to progress a one-way system to the next stage, with the Town Council contributing the other 2/3
๐Ÿ‘‰ This offer is in line with other towns and villages in the county like Lacock and Marlborough, who have also needed traffic surveys
๐Ÿ‘‰ At a meeting last month, the Town Council agreed to fund 1/2 of the cost of modelling in principle, rather than the 2/3 needed
๐Ÿ‘‰ Progress on a one-way scheme cannot move forward without an agreement, so local residents are stuck without progress and the traffic problems remain

This is something I have been pushing for progress on for years and the Town Council's decision is causing further delays on delivering a solution for Bradford on Avon.

Whilst no scheme will eliminate congestion altogether, a permanent one-way system would make a significant difference to traffic levels, improve pedestrian safety with wider pavements and reduce the impact on the environment.

Some changes are needed to the temporary one way scheme based on resident concerns, and so that is why the modelling is important.

We now need this to move forward so I would urge the Town Council to get on and agree to the offer on the table.

** Short Story Competition 2023

๐Ÿ“ฃ To celebrate World Book Day this year and the value of reading and creative writing I have launched my 2nd Annual Short Story Competition!

Children who are in Year 6 in primary school (10-11 years old) and live in the Chippenham Constituency.

A short story no longer than *500 words*
I am particularly looking for creativity ๐ŸŽจ and imagination โœจ in the fiction genre but it can be about anything and everything!

๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ / ๐ŸŽง CATEGORY TWO:
There is also a category to enable children who may find it easier to tell their story through images by drawing or painting or audio etc. Again Iโ€™m looking for creativity and it can be on any subject but make sure the story is fiction. No more than 7 pages max for artwork and 500 words again for stories told.

The Corsham Bookshop and Edwards Stationary in Melksham are providing vouchers for the winners, alongside additional prizes I will be buying from Parliament.

Thursday 2 March

๐Ÿ“ง โœ‰๏ธ HOW TO ENTER:
Please send your stories via email or drop them into my office 61 New Road, Chippenham, SN15 1ES. Please include your name, school/ stipulate home educated, age and contact details.

** Bradford on Avon Community Crime Forum

๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿš“ My fourth and final virtual community crime forum which I organised this month was a useful opportunity for you to raise concerns and ask questions about crime in Bradford on Avon and the villages nearby. We covered a number of topics including concerns about sexual assaults in the area, rural burglaries and speeding in some of the villages, issues our local officers are very much across.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, Philip Wilkinson, and local Inspector Andy Lemon were also able to update us on crime figures for the area - we have seen a reduction in most crimes overall, which is encouraging news.

Some of the actions and initiatives your local officers will be using going forward mentioned across my four crime forums include ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿก Attending every burglary in the area, in line with our new national Government policy
๐Ÿ‘ฎ Increased patrols with dogs and night vision cameras to clamp down on drug use
๐Ÿš— Deploying community speed watch and enforcement officers in the areas directly where you are reporting speeding to myself and the PCC
๐Ÿ“š More engagement with schools and the community more widely to reduce anti-social behaviour
๐Ÿš” Deploying mobile police stations so rural areas and villages can have a point of contact and a recognisable face for raising concerns
๐Ÿ“ฒ Improvements with IT systems and efficiency, so that our local officers can spend more time on the beat
๐Ÿ“ Greater flexibility with recruitment, and reforming how officers are organised to target resources where they are needed

Thanks to all of those who have attended the sessions over the last few months covering the whole constituency, and thank you to the PCC and our local officers for their time too.

** National Apprenticeship Week

๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒธ I marked National Apprenticeship Week last week with another fantastic visit to Wiltshire College and their Lackham Campus, meeting the horticulture apprentices who work on site, plus catching up with Principal Iain Hatt.

๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŒพ The campus is an award winning leader in agri-tech and land-based teaching, benefitting from ยฃ9 million of Government investment which I helped to secure. The Horticulture apprentices talked me through their work and how much their apprenticeships have meant to them. I was particularly impressed with the scannable QR codes ๐Ÿ“ฒ they are adding to all of the plants - a great learning initiative ๐ŸŒท!

โš™๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ”ง Iโ€™ve been a huge champion of apprenticeships over the years, including during my time at the Department for Education - think they are such a brilliant way of getting our young people into a quality career path that is right for them and their skills.

๐Ÿงฐ๐Ÿงฌ I have also pushed for additional investment into skills and opportunities, and we are increasing Government funding for apprenticeships to ยฃ2.7 billion by 2025, something I am very supportive of.

You can search for apprenticeships and find more information here ([link removed]) .

** Resident's Surgeries

It was lovely to see so many people from the village at my recent surgey with Cllr Johnny Kidney in Winsley - lots of different topics raised and issues which we'll picking up.

I hold surgeries all round the constituency and regularly at my office in Chippenham, so do let me know if you'd like an appointment.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest newsletter, if there is anything I may be able to help with 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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