Constituency chat on new PM is a timely one, says MP

North West Norfolk MP James Wild writes for the Lynn News, July 28

A constituent stopped me to say hello this week and asked: “How’s the Prime Minister getting on?”

We agreed these are challenging times but that he was focused on improving things. It was a timely chat as just before Parliament went into recess, the Prime Minister met MPs and was reflecting on the eight months since he took office. A lot has happened.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak

On the economy, getting inflation under control has been and remains the top priority. It is essential to help ease the pressures people are facing from higher costs. Last week the rate fell again. That shows the plan is working but there is much more to do through controlling spending and borrowing, cutting energy bills, and getting more people into work.

Taming inflation is key to achieving sustainable economic growth. Boosting investment and trade are also important. Joining the £11 trillion Trans Pacific trade partnership will create new opportunities for exporters and consumers.

Japanese companies recently committed to invest £18 billion in our economy, coming on the back of £14 billion from the US, while Jaguar Land Rover has just announced the biggest ever investment in British car manufacturing with a £4 billion gigafactory. These investments demonstrate confidence in our economy.

James Wild MP
James Wild MP

There has been some progress in cutting waiting lists with waits over 78 weeks virtually eliminated. Industrial action has hampered these efforts – hundreds of procedures have been postponed at QEH.

The government has accepted the independent pay review body recommendations and the latest demands being made are simply unaffordable. On the positive side, the biggest health news in North West Norfolk was confirmation QEH has been added to the new hospitals programme and we will have a new hospital by 2030.

On crime, the government has met the pledge for an extra 20,000 police officers – including 244 in Norfolk. They must focus on continuing to cut crime – latest ONS figures show since 2010 crime is down 17 per cent overall with violent crime down 46 per cent and a 77 per cent fall in robbery.

One of the big issues in my mailbag is illegal migration. That’s why the Prime Minister brought forward legislation to help break the criminal people-smugglers business model and stop dangerous crossing in small boats.

Last week it became law so those arriving illegally will not be able to stay here and will instead be removed either to their home country or a safe third country. This will free up capacity so the UK can better support those in genuine need of asylum through safe and legal routes.

In addition, new strike legislation to ensure minimum service levels in sectors such as transport has been passed. Hundreds of retained EU laws have been binned. UK children have been rated the best at reading in the Western world. The first new nuclear power station in a decade has been approved.

Despite challenging times, the government is focused on getting inflation down, growing the economy, reducing debt, cutting waiting lists, and stopping the boats. None of it is easy – but by delivering on these priorities it will benefit everyone.