On the doorstep when campaigning I heard time and again that our current relationship with the EU needs to be addressed so I have set out below my own view clearly and directly:
I have long been a eurosceptic and I voted to leave the European Union in the referendum. When I was the MP I fed in the views of my constituents to the process. I firmly believe that we can make a global UK with trade links across the world but I recognise these strong concerns felt by some of my constituents and their families. Under Theresa May the commitment she has made is too strong and stable leadership in the national interest. She is working for the best Brexit deal possible and as Prime Minister is committed to leading us through the coming months and years to see us thrive through the Brexit process and beyond. The forthcoming election, on the 8th June, is a chance to re-elect me, as your MP, and make sure we get the best Brexit deal possible and is a vote to strengthen our economy both locally and nationally for the future.
Eastleigh voted 52.5% for LEAVE.
MY ONGOING PLAN: for Eastleigh, Hedge End and the Villages:
1. Putting Eastleigh Town Centre first, backing business and improving our local economy
I'm standing up for the business community, we must cut red tape and limit bureaucracy. To stop Eastleigh becoming a ghost town, we must make shopping in the town more diverse and vibrant with cheaper car parking, giving residents an improved choice. Eastleigh shoppers deserve a better deal. I was proud to champion Eastleigh businesses in the House of Commons and I regularly met with our brilliant local employers in and around Eastleigh to make sure their views were being heard loud and clear.
2. Tackling crippling congestion on Eastleigh's roads - helping keep our area moving and thriving
We need a robust transport network, policy and action so residents get around easier. I have lobbied for enhanced M27 juctions, much needed by-passes and link roads especially for Botley which goes to planning permission this summer and likely diggers on the ground in 2018. The Chickenhall Link Road scheme was included in George Osborne's budget book in 2016 and I have worked with the LEP, Hampshire County Council and Eastleigh Borough Council to bring the application forward to the next funding round. We need buses to get to hospitals and stations from our villages and improvements to our railway sevice. I get stuck in the traffic all the time when I am out and about. Our traffic is bad for the environment and bad for constituents.
3. Housing for the next generation but listening to residents by prioritising brownfield sites
Our community must be heard. Real democracy is missing across Eastleigh in the local planning process. Our beautiful green spaces are under direct threat from the plans of the Council. We need to use brownfield land first. That is why I joined with community groups to make a strong submission to the Eastleigh Local Plan process. The Council should serve Eastleigh residents and not developers.
4. Protecting and improving our local NHS and community facilities for our health and well being
We need NHS services improved and retained in Eastleigh so residents don't have to always travel. I have taken the issue of GP waiting times to the highest level of Government and made sure that our local Clinical Commissioning Group urgently investigate the situation. The waiting times in some of our doctors surgeries are completely unacceptable and I have worked with the CCG to make sure they are addressing this.
5. Ensuring a safe and happy community where crime stays low
It's vital reported crime in Eastleigh and the villages is properly dealt with and clearly recorded. By working effectively with Police and partners, I will ensure people continue to feel safe and secure. We must deal with anti-social behaviour, speeding and the real concerns of our residents. As an MP I took a lead on a national campaign to address drug driving which so often ends up with tragic fatalities.
6. Getting local education, opportunity and support right in Eastleigh and across the Villages
In Eastleigh, we must continue to support our young people for the changing economy. I am determined to get the best for our students. It is vital to provide a mixed platform of education, skills and apprenticeships for our young people and families to achieve their full potential.