As you will have seen from the Wishaw Press I gave my Maiden Speech in the House of Commons on Thursday 16 July and I want to thank everyone who commented on it. I was delighted that it was, in the main, so well received. A Maiden Speech is where Members of Parliament get the chance to outline what they want to do in the House of Commons during their first term. I absolutely want to be, first and foremost, a good constituency MP who is easily accessible and visible in the constituency,
Parliament went into Recess on 21 July and since then I have continued to work hard in the constituency, holding surgeries and meeting folk by appointment to pursue their issues. All of this work has been greatly helped by the opening of my Constituency Office in the Dalziel Building, next to the First Stop Shop in Motherwell. I am very well supported by two excellent members of staff and I hope to appoint a third member soon. I plan to employ a Modern Apprentice in the future as well.
I have met with Gavin Whitefield, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council and discussed issues of concern including, Wishaw Town Centre, increased HGV traffic on the A71 and the proposed housing development on Green Belt land between Gowkthrapple and Overtown. The proposal is to build 900 houses here which will completely change this part of South Wishaw. The types of housing proposed will not meet the local need for more social housing and will place undue strain on local roads, schools and Wishaw General Hospital. It seems senseless to try to build here when the Ravenscraig site, which is just down the road, is still awaiting further development.
I have also met with Blane Dodds the Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Leisure and hope to do “pop up” surgeries in Leisure Centres soon. I have also had an interesting visit to see Advice in Action at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Motherwell. Police Scotland have also kept me informed about local issues and I am very pleased that the children who vandalised Cambusnethan Cemetery have been identified and will go through the Children’s Panel system.
Finally I am delighted to have been made an Ambassador for St Andrew’s Hospice and I have also agreed to help contact businesses in the area for help with the Capital Appeal the Hospice has launched to help to modernise and refurbish the facility.