My weekly column

I have received a lot of correspondence recently from constituents concerned about crime in the Corsham area and the feeling that it is not being tackled robustly.

On the back of this I organised an open forum to listen to these concerns directly and invited along elected council representatives and the police to provide people with the answers they need.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their local community and the key takeaway from the forum was that people are not always reporting crime and there remain significant challenges around the ease of reporting crime using the 101 non-emergency number.

I will investigate these issues with the Police and Crime Commissioner as a priority, as without the correct crime figures it is impossible to fight for greater funding to support the police locally or to target resources where they are most needed.

I am very grateful to those who were able to attend and share their views. This forum was held during the day and another one is being planned for those unable to attend due to work commitments which will be held in the evening and I look forward to seeing many of you there.

I was delighted to be able to visit the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon and share some of the fantastic ideas and events they have planned as part of their 20-year anniversary celebrations.

Very few people believed the centre had a long-term future when it opened all those years ago and it is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers and the creativity of the local community that we are celebrating this milestone with them.

I was particularly impressed with the work they do to inspire disabled children and young adults into music and the creative arts and the focus they put into ensuring music and art are as inclusive as possible.

I am exceptionally proud to have such a fantastic facility here in the constituency and I look forward to sharing with them everything they have planned for the next 20 years.

With Parliament in recess I was also able to use the time to increase the number of surgeries I ran to daily and held private meetings with 31 constituents over the course of the week.

I am always happy to help anyone who needs support and this week brought with it a wide range of issues from access to healthcare, support with housing needs through to concerns over local planning decisions.

I have always said it is crucial that MPs are as accessible as possible and so in the coming month I have increased the number of surgeries I am holding in the evening and weekends to better accommodate those who work during the daytime. Please contact my office on 01249 704465 if you would like to make an appointment to speak with me on any issue you have.