Priority remains to deliver on my commitments to our community

Gazette and Herald Column 31 Dec 15My latest column in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times.

Astonishingly, the General Election was almost eight months ago and my priority remains to deliver on my commitments to our community, to improve our schools and education, to create opportunities for all, support our town centres and help Wiltshire thrive.

I was pleased to be elected onto the influential Education Select Committee – the cross-party group who scrutinise education policy which gives me a platform to speak up for our schools, colleges, teachers and parents. I am also on the joint Education/Business productivity committee which has been set up to look at ways in which we can increase the productivity of the UK and work will include looking at the ways to boost and improve apprenticeships schemes, vocational education and career education.

All-Party Groups (APPGs) are a useful opportunity for MPs to influence specific aspects of Government policy. I have joined a number of groups, including ones that look at issues around: skills and employment, town centres, and the voluntary sector.

We have had a number of successes in campaigns that I started long before the election. Most significantly was the fantastic news that, after decades of a ludicrous system, we will at last get fair funding for Wiltshire schools. This is a huge achievement so thank you to everyone who helped make that possible.

There have been some significant moments in this Parliament already. The recent Syria vote, Assisted Dying and renewable energy have all made the headlines. I hope that I have called it right on all these points. Again, for more details about each specifically visit my website, but naturally, there is still a lot more to do.

Looking ahead to 2016, I am working with engineering companies and local manufacturers to create the Wiltshire Festival of Engineering and Design and Technology to showcase some of the fantastic employers we have in the area to children in our schools. The aim is to inspire them into careers in science, engineering, manufacturing and design. I am also working with local companies such as Good Energy on a scheme to make our area graduate friendly and help us to retain our young people and attract skills.

No doubt there will be difficult days and issues ahead. We’re building a country that deals with its debts and lives within its means – taking Britain out of the red and into the black by 2020. That is not an easy task, but a vital one. If you have any specific concerns about any issues please do get in touch.

Whilst this is not an exhaustive list of my work, I hope it gives you a little flavour of what I am doing on your behalf. For more information visit michelledonelan.com. A Happy New Year to you all.

Michelle Donelan