Happy New Year to you all and I wish you and your families the very best for 2020.
I wanted to start my column this year with a huge thank you to everyone who came out and voted for me at the General Election. I feel truly honoured that you have re-elected me as your Member of Parliament and I will do everything in my power to represent you to the very best of my ability.
2020 has just begun and with it we have a brand-new Parliament. This week is the first proper week back since the General Election, but over Christmas my team, and I, have been planning so we can hit the ground running. The priority for the Government this month is once again Brexit, but unlike last year, we will pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, fifth time lucky…
Our future trading relationship with the EU will still dominate a huge amount of parliamentary time, however, I am looking forward to moving on to deliver on key areas which are important such as our NHS, social care, school funding and tackling crime, including rural crime. Another key priority of mine is climate change, we will be bringing forward legislation to ensure we meet, or beat, our net-zero carbon target by 2050. To stay up to date with my work on the environment visit my website: gilliankeegan.com.
I am still serving as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and I will continue to work behind the scenes on my campaign to get investment in Radiotherapy cancer services in Chichester. I will also be supporting the Government in their work to improve social care services that desperately need reform and better integration across the health service.
Locally, I am still pushing to get investment in the A27 for an all options consultation so we, as a community, can have an open and transparent consultation about the options for the road. This week I am also meeting with eleven parish council representatives to hear their concerns on local housing plans. Although I have no direct role in planning, I am supporting both the communities and the District Council as they review the Local Plan’s housing allocations.
Education will continue to be a focus of mine at every level, from nursery through to higher education. Although we have had several successes and have secured more funding for West Sussex schools there’s still much to do. My main concern now are two rural primary schools which are under consultation for closure against the wishes of teachers and parents.
This will be a busy year and I feel privileged to be back working for the Chichester constituency! If you want to get in touch I hold regular surgeries, pub tours, and open meetings, all the details are on my website, gilliankeegan.com.