12018Nov

Weekly Column 01.11.18

The Chancellor recently delivered his annual Budget to Parliament which was fair and will make sure people have more money in their pockets whilst enjoying better public services. I am delighted that the Chancellor has committed to an additional £20.5bn in funding for the NHS by 2023, something I have personally pushed for over the last few years.

The funding announcement will deliver a clear five-year commitment allowing for strategic decisions to be made for the future and ensuring we make sure all money is used efficiently. I am particularly pleased with the additional funding to be made available for mental health support which will transform the lives of many across Wiltshire.

A significant number of constituents have contacted me concerned with the decline of local pubs and the impact this has on communities, concerns which I heard directly when I recently visited the Rising Sun pub in Lacock.

Pubs have a vital role to play in bringing our communities together, particularly in smaller towns and villages and in tackling the growing problem of loneliness and social isolation. The Chancellor has listened to these concerns and frozen beer duty to support our local pubs and I will continue to ensure their concerns are heard.

I continually fought for more support for our High Streets and I welcome the commitment from the Chancellor for additional funds to support High Street businesses. I have held my own debates in Parliament on this and my first PMQ was in fact about more funding for market towns.

Many local residents have already welcomed the income tax cut for 32 million people across the UK and this coupled with lowering of business rates for some businesses will ensure there is more money to be spent on our High Streets and additional support for local small businesses.

I am holding a fundraising dinner in aid of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance in Chippenham with all profits going directly to the charity. Whilst the Budget allocated £10m funding for UK Air Ambulances to deal with the most serious incidents across the country, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance does rely on funding to keep saving lives.

For £15 you will get a buffet meal at the Raj Chippenham, with a drink and a talk from speakers at the Air Ambulance. It does promise to be an enjoyable evening and if you would like to book a ticket please contact me on 01249 704465 or email events@michelledonelan.com