The beginning of a new year sees Parliament back in session once again to pick up the vital legislation from the previous year as well as set new priorities for our nation. Parliament has kicked off 2023 with energy, vigour and direction and I will continue working hard this year to ensure we pass legislation that is right for Dover and Deal.
The Prime Minister has set out his five key pledges for 2023; halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting times and stop the small boats. It is right that stopping the small boats crossings is one of the key priorities for this year, following on from the 45,000 migrants who made this journey last year. This is a matter I have always taken incredibly seriously. With the Online Safety Bill being debated in the House of Commons this week, I have tabled amendments to tackle the TikTok traffickers who promote illegal Channel crossings online. It is high time tech bosses were held to account for content that encourages people to make this dangerous journey, given that so many lives have been lost in the last 15 months alone.
Access to quality healthcare is so important to everyone in our community, and the Government is committed to taking decisive action to ensure waiting times are cut. While it is vital to free-up hospital beds where possible we must also ensure we have step-down support for those ready for discharge. I attended meetings with Health Ministers about the Government’s plans to help patients leave hospital into settings such as care homes so their recovery and needs can be appropriately addressed, while also freeing up hospital beds for new patients.
Returning to Parliament has further energised my aim to ensure good quality, affordable housing nationwide. I am working hard, both on the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee as well as the Supported Housing Bill Committee to ensure that homes, local authority or private rented sector, are of a good quality – and that shoddy rented housing is made a thing of the past. In speaking with constituents, I understand the need for this in Dover and Deal and I have made sure these voices were heard at each committee session.
Parliament has begun 2023 with energy and purpose to tackle the major issues facing our country. As our support for Ukraine in the ongoing war continues, we must continue to support people at home with the cost-of-living pressures. From chatting with constituents over Christmas and New Year, I am clear that I want to see real progress on the key priorities for our area – stopping the small boats, ensuring we have better healthcare and building the right infrastructure to meet our area’s needs. I will continue to be a strong voice for Dover and Deal in 2023.