Ensuring we have good quality infrastructure is so important. As the MP for Dover, Deal and the villages, I have made infrastructure improvements one of my key priorities. Roads, rail, housing, broadband, at the port and for businesses – it’s infrastructure that drives and connects our community. I have been pleased to work on and visit so many places across our area where these improvements are taking place.
Broadband connects people across our community. From talking to friends and family wherever they are, to a new generation of workers working from home, to reliable and fast broadband for businesses. On my visit with Openreach engineers in Deal I was able to see the fantastic work taking place to bring ultrafast full fibre broadband to our area. Over three-quarters of Deal now has ultrafast full fibre broadband – which is 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection. The Deal exchange serves from Walmer and Deal through to Eastry and Sandwich. So it’s connecting our villages too.
I hope to see work starting in Dover soon. I will also continue to press for all of our rural villages to have access to reliable broadband.
Digital connectivity and skills will be further improved by Dover’s successful Levelling-Up digital campus bid. The £18.1 million award will not only expand opportunities to enter the creative and digital industries but will also redevelop the brownfield Bench Street area of Dover and create up to 100 new homes. I am looking forward to seeing brownfield sites in our towns and villages regenerated and more homes and businesses open up in our community too.
I recently visited Barratt Homes’ Richmond Park development in Whitfield. I have spent much of my earlier career advocating for good quality and affordable housing. I was incredibly pleased to see a development which seeks to put residents needs first. The homes look to be a good quality and well planned. As our population grows, good quality developments like this will ensure that our area has the local homes it needs.
Whitfield is an area which has seen some significant changes in recent years. The new housing developments have come hand in hand with an ‘infrastructure first’ approach. The upgrade to the A256 together with the construction of an access road and a new fast track bus route. I am continuing my work on pressing for upgrades to the Whitfield roundabout and to ensure we see the A2 upgraded too.
Infrastructure creates connections. In our corner of the country making sure our area is well connected is key to meeting residents’ needs and to enable our community to grow and thrive. Be it road or transport connections, broadband connectivity or homes, I will continue working hard to see that Dover and Deal has the infrastructure it needs for the years ahead.