Good news on investment to boost security and local jobs

Good news on investment to boost security and local jobs – my latest column in the Wiltshire Times and Wiltshire Gazette & Herald.
Wiltshire Times Column 08 Apr 16

A key pledge that I made to local residents during the election campaign was to champion our communities, and our towns. A key pledge that the Conservative Party made was to protect our national security. This week, both came together in an important announcement for Corsham that the Government will spend over £40 million on a new Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) at MOD Corsham.

The CSOC will be the UK’s base for the security services who help to combat the modern communications technology that is now being used by criminals and terrorists, to help them to execute their plots. Not only will the CSOC further strengthen the UK’s cyber defences, locally it will be an important high-tech jobs boost for our area. With highly skilled, well paid jobs could come even more investment for the area and it is important that the whole of Corsham can capitalise on the new Cyber Security Centre.

We have seen in the national media the plight of the 15,000 Tata steelworkers at Port Talbot. I hope that a solution can be found to secure their jobs, and the UK steel industry’s future, but the situation does highlight the exposed situation that towns and communities are in if there is an over-reliance on a single industry or company.

Wide-spread and diverse investment in towns is the key to their thriving future, as are good transport links, and I believe that the Corsham announcement will further strengthen our case for a new station in the town. The Ministry of Defence will almost certainly want the site to have good rail connectivity in order for the best and brightest workers to easily access the town.

A new station should therefore be a no-brainer and it will be my job to ensure that the Ministry of Defence join our campaign and help to pressurise the Department of Transport to make it happen. Locally, we have formed a Town Team to steer the campaign, we are pressing ahead with a ‘GRIP’ study which must come as part of any new station project and I am arranging for more meeting with the Department of Transport to keep the pressure on.

I believe that the new Cyber Security Operations Centre will be a catalyst for more jobs and could also spark improvements to the high street and bring more infrastructure. I will be working with the Government, local residents and our councils to ensure we make the most of this significant boost for the town.

As always, please do contact my office (01249 704465 or michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk) if you have any issues or concerns which I can help with.