- CT Scanner SavedOur permanent CT scanner at Newark Hospital was under threat of being removed so I launched a joint campaign with the Newark Advertiser to save it. The campaign was successful in changing the decision of Sherwood Forest Hospital NHS Trust to remove the CT scanner and instead, the Trust did a U-turn and decided to invest £500,000 in a new, permanent CT scanner for the hospital.
Thank you to the more than 4,000 residents who signed the petition and helped lobby the Trust. I am now calling on the Trust to outline and deliver a clear and credible long-term operating plan for Newark Hospital.
- Train Links on the East-West RailwayFrom May 2015 Newark will be better connected by rail. Starting in May 2015 there will be almost double the number of services on the Castle line which links Nottingham – Newark – Lincoln. This was the culmination of mine, Newark and Sherwood District Council, and Newark Business Club’s campaigning over many years.
It is a great success for the area, hugely improving our transport infrastructure and connecting us with Nottingham and Lincoln for the purposes of business and leisure.
- Keeping Collingham Fire Station OpenCollingham Fire Station was under risk of closure from Nottinghamshire County Council following a spending review.
However, after a strong campaign supported by myself, councillors, residents and the Newark Advertiser emphasising the remote and relatively inaccessible location of Collingham, it was decided that the station would stay open. A resounding success!
- Flood Protection SchemeThe Government has pledged £720,000 towards flood protection schemes in Southwell following the devastating impact of the 2013 floods. Other bodies to contribute funds to this cause include Nottinghamshire County Council which has pledged £600,000, Southwell Town Council with a total of £60,000 and the community is trying to raise £125,000 as its contribution through the Southwell Flood Fund. Newark and Sherwood District Council has agreed to give £250,000 towards flood mitigation measures across its area, however it yet to be decided how much of this sum will be awarded to Southwell.
The huge amount of money needed to implement flood protection schemes in Southwell at first raised questions about the feasibility of raising the money; however with the government’s large contribution getting the ball rolling we have almost reached our target figure.
- Repair and Renew GrantsIt was announced in December that residents in Nottinghamshire can apply for up to £5,000 per home or business to cover the cost of damages caused to their properties during the flooding of summer 2013.
I am so grateful for the support of Southwell Flood Forum and Lowdham and Thurgarton Parish Councils who worked with me to lobby for the extension of government support. An injustice has been righted.
- Getting Newark Moving: Road Networks ReviewIn the Autumn Statement Chancellor George Osborne announced that Newark has been awarded funding to pay for the engineering design phase of a review of road networks around Newark. Plans will look at dualling the A46 between Farndon and Winthorpe and improving the Cattle Market roundabout.
I recently hosted a Newark Traffic Summit, designed to bring together local decision-makers to address Newark’s traffic problems. The summit was attended by local County and District Councillors, the Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, the Chief Executive Officer of Newark & Sherwood District Council Andrew Muter and representatives from the Highways Agency, Police, the Newark Business Club and Nottinghamshire County Council. We have a long way to go before Newark’s traffic issues are solved, but it is a cause worth fighting for. I will continue to lobby for the support required to make the vital improvements to our road networks.
- Newark's Biggest Jobs Fair 2015The Newark 4 Jobs Fair I hosted in February was buzzing with 35 local and national employers and over 750 people seeking work or a change of career. Not only did 300 people visit in the first hour, but there was a queue of a few dozen waiting for the doors to open. I was absolutely delighted by the response to the fair – it was inspiring to see the commitment of those braving the rain and queueing to get in, eager to view what businesses had to offer. A constant stream of people filed into the Interview and CV advice room for top tips on how to get their job applications noticed, some having been offered interviews that day by businesses at the fair. The conversations I had with local employers painted an optimistic picture of the local business environment; many had struggled in the recession and some had to make redundancies but all were now recruiting and looking to the future with some confidence. Newark is blessed with a diverse range of companies, including a growing number of technology and design businesses that really are world class: like Ampetronic, the leader in hearing loop technology; Timico, a rapidly expanding data handling business; and Barcode Warehouse, the number one provider of barcodes. My small team and I, aided by Newark Job Centre, felt proud to have put it together. There is nothing more important for a Member of Parliament to do than help ensure his constituents have the security and dignity of a job. If I’m fortunate enough to continue as your MP I will definitely be hosting Newark 4 Jobs again.
- Newark Hospital UpdateAs many of you will be aware, following the devastating CQC report last year which rated Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ‘inadequate’, I have been calling for a full merger of our Trust with another, high-performing Trust in order to urgently raise standards at Newark Hospital.
Through ‘Pledge for Health’ myself, Mark Spencer MP and many local residents pledged our support for a merger and I am delighted that Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) has been named the preferred partner for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I hope that this marks a new era of delivering sustainably high-quality care and services for patients across Nottinghamshire.
- Newark Jobs Fair 2016My annual Newark Jobs Fair was a great success this year with hundreds of people coming through the doors of Holy Trinity Community Centre looking for work or a change of career.
The huge turnout is testament to the fantastic opportunities on offer in the region. I was absolutely delighted with the wide range of vacancies on offer with local and national businesses, and thank the representatives from those businesses for giving up their time to attend the fair and speak to local people about their futures in the workforce