I’m not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions, however, I find the New Year a good time to reflect and I certainly have some high aspirations for the residents of Hastings and Rye in 2019.
We are only a couple weeks into the year, and already this government has taken some decisive action to ensure we create a Britain fit for the future.
I am proud that throughout my time as MP we have achieved a significant drop in the number of people claiming out of work benefits across our towns since 2010. I hope to continue and further improve this success over the year, through my role as Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions.
I continue to champion my pledge to fight for lower rail fares for local commuters and welcome the government’s announcement to freeze ticket prices in line with inflation for the sixth year in a row. The introduction of two new rail cards, one for 16-17-year olds which provides 50% off rail fares, as well as the 26 -30 rail card that will give three million people a third off their travel. These measures will make life easier for hard working commuting families in our towns who contribute so much to our economy both locally and across the country.
I am pleased to hear of the plans announced by the Education Secretary this week to train 900 new social workers for children. This will help support some of the most vulnerable children and families in the country. I’m excited to join the national literacy trust and the Hastings Opportunity Area for the Get Hastings Reading launch later this month. We’ve seen some great initiatives set up under the Opportunity Area funding and I can’t wait to hold my first ever debating event in March.
The NHS was at the forefront of news last year for its 70th birthday. The autumn budget announced our plans for extra funding of £20.5 billion – certainly a nice present for any birthday! It is important we provide a sustainable future for the NHS and the Long-Term Plan which sets out how the health service will ensure effective use of the extra funding, ensuring the NHS is always there for families. With a focus on prevention and modernisation I am proud that this government are, as always, at the forefront of change.
I would like to wish everyone in Hastings and Rye a Happy New Year!
Amber Rudd MP
Hastings and Rye