Mims' Weekly Column in the Eastleigh Times

What a great start to last week being greeted by the vital news that Hampshire County Council is now inviting views on a preferred improvement scheme for Hamble Lane. Being based in Hamble,  it’s a wonderful place when you get there! I like so many even before the new housing have wasted many hours of my time sat still in traffic on Hamble Lane, and regularly heard from constituents and businesses who faced the same day in, day out.

It is for this reason that I am SO delighted that Hampshire County Council has heard us all and from the meetings with them, the council last week launched this consultation over its proposals to improve journeys in and out of Hamble. I have worked REALLY hard on this issue, facilitating meetings between Councillors, businesses, Hampshire County Council and Highways England, raising it directly with Treasury and Transport Ministers on numerous occasions as well as raising it in the Commons Chamber. This is a KEY step forward, and I would urge everyone to take part in the consultation which closes at 11:59pm on Sunday 14 October 2018. Please do have your say!! 

While on the subject of roads, as many of you will know, I previously worked in road safety, and wanted to bring to your attention that new measures are being brought forward that could see those driving with poor eyesight immediately losing their driving licence. As a quick reminder to us all, when driving you should be able to read a number plate 20 metres ahead of you. If anyone reading this article would like further information about this then please don’t hesitate to get in touch via mims.davies.mp@parliament.uk

On Tuesday, I was so thrilled to take part in the Breast Cancer Now ‘Wear it Pink’ Campaign and talk to campaign representatives. More than 55,000 women and 350 men in the UK alone are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. That’s why I’m so passionate about encouraging everyone across my Eastleigh constituency to take part in Wear It Pink Day on Friday 19 October, and also why I have arranged a fundraiser for the Haven (Tichfield) at the Botley Centre on Wear It Pink Day this year!

On Thursday, I spent the evening with so many inspiring people at the Animal Hero Awards. Having worked very closely alongside Ministers at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) I have devoted much of my work to animal welfare. Lucy’s Law – which will end puppy sales in shops - increasing sentencing for those who abuse animals and bringing forward the Ivory Bill are just a few pieces of the legislation I have supported and campaigned for this year. It was a lovely to meet the special campaigners, who, like me, care so much about animals on Thursday evening. This is just one of many Animal Welfare events this year as DEFRA’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference to help End Wildlife Crime is just around the corner with in a months’ time. I’m excited to meet more welfare campaigners and work towards making further progress then too!

Towards the end of the week, amongst my Whip and Ministerial duties, I was fortunate enough to get glammed up for my 209 Women shoot! This brilliant initiative aims to mark the 100 year centenary of women’s suffrage and I feel really honoured to be a part of it, and of course it was a pleasure to meet Alicia Clarke – one of 209’s many fabulous and talented photographers. Needless to say I can’t wait to see the end result!

And finally for this week’s column, despite being unwell at the end of last week thanks to a back to Westminster bug – I had been so looking forward to Eastleigh Pride ever since it was announced, and so pulled myself out of sick bay to officially open the event alongside Eastleigh’s Mayor, Cllr Tennet and what an honour for us both! Needless to say I was glad I did, marking this really important FIRST for our area! Pride events have become key to celebrating the LGBTI community across the country and around the globe, while also highlighting the work that still remains if we are to achieve true equality. As a former member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, and having worked so closely with the local LGBTI community here in Eastleigh, particularly our lovely trans community fronted by local superstar Tara Maclachlan, it was really lovely to see people from across Eastleigh and further afield celebrating with us all! My HUGE thanks to EastleighBID and all of the organisers and supporters. I for one can’t wait for next year!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.