This Autumn I have been focused on some of the key issues for our area, crime and transport. We have also seen the election of a new Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Rishi Sunak. His professional background of being the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the pandemic and knowledge of finance is exactly what we need right now as a nation. He therefore has my full support as Prime Minister.
I was pleased to celebrate Diwali on the same day Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, having been invited to the Indian Heritage Celebration Event at Bradley Stoke Community School with Avon Indian Community Association. At this event I learned about the traditions and great cultural significance of Diwali, especially for the growing community of people of Indian heritage in our area.
On the 14th of October I met with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Police, Mark Shelford who gave me an update on the increased police numbers in Avon and Somerset, as well as his strategy to introduce greater levels of leadership training at all levels of policing. I will continue to support police in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.
I have also focused on people’s concerns surrounding our local bus services, particularly the cancellations of bus routes and the unreliability of services, I therefore had a discussion with Doug Claringbold, Managing Director of First West of England who was receptive and understanding of my concerns surrounding service cancellations and reliability. We discussed the challenge of the shortage of bus drivers which is the main cause of these issues with First needing an additional 200 drivers for the region. We also talked about the possibility of using apprenticeships and part-time staff to reduce these pressures. I will work on an event with First Bus to help increase driver recruitment which would improve reliability and could lead to additional services in April with the next service review.
Over the last few weeks I have also been busy supporting the Poppy Appeal and was honoured to be able to help launch the Stoke Gifford branch of the RBL’s Poppy Appeal on the 28th of October at Bristol Parkway, pictured left. I am very proud to be the Vice President of the branch and volunteer for such a good cause. I am always encouraged by the great response we get from people.
As always, should you need my help with anything, my office is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm. Please telephone me on 01454 617783 or email me at: email@example.com if I can be of assistance or to book a surgery.