It’s vital that our area across Dover and Deal has the right services and infrastructure to support our community. We have seen positive developments showing this is heading in the right direction for policing, broadband, water and roads. While there is still more to do, I am pleased at how this work is taking shape.
I have been working hard alongside Matthew Scott, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, to make sure he knows what issues our area has so he can shape the right policing response for us. He has listened to residents and has taken a number of steps to make Dover, Deal and the Villages even safer. A new Neighbourhood Policing Model is being rolled out that will mean that every ward will have a named officer. Moreover, steps are being taken to further prioritise rural crime to keep the villages safer too. The Government’s Uplift Programme has secured an extra 532 police officers to Kent. Whether shoplifting in Dover, youth gangs in Deal or noisy motorbikes in Nonington, the new model of community policing should help to tackle the issues that residents tell me they want sorted out. I also met with our area commander, DCI Keith Taylor, who has an impressive record in Kent Police dealing with serious crime and brings a wealth of policing experience to our community.
Last week, I had an update meeting with the Deal Water Action Taskforce to discuss the ongoing progress. The Southern Water team are preparing an update for residents shortly, which will include details on the works at the Golf Road pumping station to improve the longstanding flooding issues around Albert Road. Southern Water are rolling out an upgrade to water pipes in Deal. In addition, a dedicated project manager will oversee further work across the area to ‘Slow the Flow’ and reduce flooding and the use of storm overflows.
Kent Highways have been fixing potholes, supported by £40 million of Government funding. If you see a pothole that needs fixing, please do report it on the Kent County Council dedicated page for pothole reporting. This helps KCC work out where and how to manage pothole repair works best.
Openreach is continuing to make excellent progress in bringing ultra-fast broadband to our area, with more than 75% of Deal now connected. Yet it is equally important that villages, such as Wootton, are included. I am working with Openreach to ensure that local voices are heard and see what more can be done to improve broadband reliability and speed. I am grateful to residents who are continuing to share their experience with local infrastructure and services with me. Recent work has seen marked improvements across the constituency, and I am continuing to work hard to ensure we keep this pace to improve our community for the years to come.