Today (12 September) marks the completion of nine months since the historic election night of December when I, along with a whole swathe of new enthusiastic conservative MPs were elected.
Finding your feet in parliament, learning the ropes, and delivering on my plans came to a crashing halt as we went into lockdown and tackled the pandemic.
At this point in time people can rightly ask “what’s he done for us?”, and this milestone is useful chance review just in fact what I have done despite the disruption to normal business.
Well we got Brexit done, a key manifesto promise.
We have provided unprecedented support to the people of Darlington with over 12,000 people receiving income under the furlough scheme, and over many thousands of businesses receiving SEIS grants, Business support grants, rates holidays and providing access to bounce back loans – of which some £33m has been granted to Darlington businesses.
I have visited our hospital twice and look forward to my third visit very soon and was delighted to have secured a further £3.76m for our Accident & Emergency Department.
I’ve been out on patrol with the police on two occasions and continue regular contact with key officers in Darlington. Some of our new recruits from the 20,000 new officers are already on the beat here in Darlington.
I’ve spoken with the head of every school and college or visited and have launched the Darlington Debates competition in conjunction with the amazing Darlington Rotary Club.
I’ve hosted Zoom calls for Scouts, helped pack bags for the bread and butter thing, organised and participated in numerous litterpicks, helped establish the new friends of North Cemetery and attended their first clean up, worked with neighbourhood watch as they seek to grow and lobbied network rail to smarten up their bridges which serve as a gateway to our town.
I have met with and worked with incredible third sector organisations across the town.
These relationships with the heads of organisations throughout the town are key to my being able to serve you effectively, building effective networks with every organisation enables me, on your behalf to be able to pick up the phone and
In parliament, much of the work takes place away from the chamber, and I have had the immense privilege of being part of the team that steered the landmark domestic abuse Bill through committee. I serve on the Women & Equalities Select committee holding the Government to account on equalities legislation. I have led the APPG on Social integration and am working on establish a new group to review High St banking for personal customers.
I know I and my team have helped hundreds and hundreds of people across Darlington who sought my help as a last resort, they know how I have lent a sympathetic ear, offered practical suggestions, and raised matters on their behalf
As I approach number 6,000 in my caseload numbers since December, I, along with every MP across the country have been handling previously unseen volumes, each one requiring a detailed response or intervention and action. My office team have worked incredibly hard to turn things around and I am confident that we are delivering a good service to the people of Darlington. I have worked hard to gain this job and have worked hard at it since being elected. I am here for every single resident of Darlington regardless of how someone voted in December.
I know I and my team have helped hundreds and hundreds of people across Darlington who have sought my help as a last resort, they know how I have provided a listening ear, offered practical suggestions, and raised matters on their behalf.
A Conservative Government, A Conservative mayor, a conservative Council and myself are working hand in hand to build a better Darlington and I know that better days lie ahead. Stay safe.