Rutland's MP Alicia Kearns discusses policing, A1 issues and GP services
Rutland is a very special county. That is the message loud and clear from the Future Rutland conversation – the county council’s initiative to ask Rutlanders how we see our county, and how we want it to develop in the next half century, writes MP Alicia Kearns.
The word ‘special place’ is repeated through the survey – and it is a truly wonderful place to live. But it isn’t wrong for us all to want more for our communities. The county council will be using your views to do just that – and there’s still time to be involved in the discussion. I’ll be taking your responses and using them to determine my priorities so I can work with you all to make Rutland an even more special, safer, fairer, more connected place to live.
Rutland’s policing has long been a concern – I know that it’s a point of pride that we live in a very safe county, but it is not resourced in terms of policing as well as it should be. This places unfair pressures on our local police officers and under serving our community. So I’m working with the new police and crime commissioner to get extra police officers, and bigger, more visible rural-appropriate vehicles: finally some that can see over hedgerows! And I’m working with Government to impose harsher penalties on fly tippers, and to bring in new legislation on illegal hare coursing.
We all know that Rutlanders need improved access to GP services. That isn’t to say our GPs aren’t working extremely hard, but my inbox is overwhelmed with concerns and I work daily to support Rutlanders in need of help. That’s why I’m working with the CCG and our council to deliver improvements locally for all Rutlanders.
The A1 is, for want of a better word, a nightmare. Accidents on the road are far, far too common. Every week as I return to Rutland from Parliament I see the dangers of the road. I’m working with colleagues to expand the road to motorway standard. Councils and MPs along the A1 are united in our desire to make this road fit for purpose. It’s a very long-term project – but one that we can accomplish with patience and support from the Government.
It’s also vital that we empower our local businesses. Last week, I hosted an event with interiors mogul Alison Cork to encourage and support anyone who wants to launch their own business or turn a hobby into an income in our community. I’ll be doing these quarterly (watch my social channels events!), and I’m hoping to start a Peer Mentor programme to help people to make successes of their brilliant ideas.
The Future Rutland consultation is also a timely reminder that part of building a stronger local community is ensuring higher levels of investment from central government. Rutland County Council does a great job of managing limited resources, and I am fighting every day to ensure rural areas like ours get a better deal. With my colleagues I am pushing hard so that places like Rutland can have more investment, better public services and more recognition from the UK Government.
Rutland is a special place – and it always will be. Together, we’ll make it an even greater place for our children and our children’s children. And we’ll do this by fighting to preserve the great and working with Government to provide the services that we all deserve. Rutland isn’t the back and beyond – it’s the beating heart of England and together we can make it all it can be.