Gazette & Herald Column: A series of challenges and successes over the year

It has been another very busy year in Westminster and locally, with some significant challenges and great successes. In this downtime between the Christmas festivities and the start of the New Year, I thought I would take the opportunity to look at some of the highlights of the last year.

The Devizes Integrated Care Centre is one of my top priorities, and over the last few years, I’ve worked very closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group and GPs to make the case to Health Ministers for new investment in local primary health services. I was delighted when earlier in 2018 we were awarded £10.2m for a new Centre, which is expected to open by 2021. As well as providing a range of community and health services, it will help reduce hospital admissions by enabling local people to receive same-day treatment for urgent conditions.   

Another of my local priorities is to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure and support services are in place for the military families relocating to the Salisbury Plain area under the Army Rebasing programme. 4,000 soldiers and their families will move to the area and the Ministry of Defence is investing over £1 billion in homes and other infrastructure. I am working very closely with GPs in the Salisbury Plain area as they move ahead with provision for the military families who are expected to register at the practices when they move to the area.

I am also committed to ensuring that more children are taught in Good and Outstanding schools, but of course there are no great schools without great teachers, and the Government is committed to making sure that teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession – including additional funding announced earlier this year which all local schools will receive to fund a welcome and well-earned additional increase to teachers’ pay.

My other local priorities include the campaign to expedite the roll-out of superfast broadband across the Constituency. I have also secured our rail services at Bedwyn and Pewsey, and the funding for the new bi-mode trains which are now in service on the mainline to Pewsey. From next year new trains will also form the local services at Bedwyn, following the extension of the turnaround siding.

Finally, I am very sorry to say that from the New Year, the Gazette & Herald has decided not to continue to carry MPs’ columns.  However, I send out a weekly e-newsletter which you can sign up to here: www.claireperry.org.uk  and you can also keep up to date by liking and following my Facebook and Twitter