Parliament, and the frantic activity here, kicked off on Monday, somewhat interrupted by the diversion of a Cabinet reshuffle. For my part, I think we have a team that is best equipped to deal with the hard work ahead – both as we prepare to leave the EU and for all the important matters of internal policy that will have to be dealt with too.
During a debate in Parliament on Monday concerning winter pressures and the NHS, I was delighted to be able to take the opportunity to praise staff at the Worcestershire Acute Services NHS Trust, particularly at the Alex, because I believe that the hard work they do is too often overlooked. They are performing a wonderful job in difficult times this winter, and I commend them all.
I was also delighted this week to welcome news that we will see more police officers patrolling our streets within the West Mercia area – which is what the public want.
Following a consultation with officers, and after extensive research and analysis of shift patterns, the force is looking at ways to best match their resources to demand from the public. This work is part of West Mercia Police’s wider transformation programme which is identifying and delivering more efficient working practices. As a result, the force has identified new shift patterns for response officers, meaning more resources available during the busier afternoons and evenings.
I know how important it is to Redditch residents that police officers are there when they need them. That’s why this is all great news for our town.
On another note, I’m fully backing West Midlands’ Mayor Andy Street’s calls to bring Channel 4 HQ to the West Midlands. He says this will be brilliant for the economy (estimated £32.4bn), it would put Channel 4 in the middle of a young and diverse society, while a national institution such as Channel 4 needs to reflect the regions – not just London. I agree with all of that and these big ideas, such as bringing HSBC and HS2 headquarters to Birmingham, can only be good for Redditch.
Finally this week, I am able to report that I have fulfilled another of my election promises – I and my family moved to a house in the constituency today (Friday). It has taken time to find the right place for us, as well as completing the transaction, but my move today is further evidence of my commitment to the people of Redditch.