Rutland MP Alicia Kearns discusses county's independence
Friday marked 25 years of independence for Rutland, and it’s a great time to reflect on the county that we all love so much, writes MP Alicia Kearns. From Rutland Water to our fabulous market towns to the hundreds of villages dotted around our rolling hills (and many with the most wonderful pubs imaginable!), Rutland is one of those places that can’t help but steal the heart of anyone who visits. For those of us who can call it home, we are truly lucky.
I always say it, but it’s always worth repeating: I’m so proud to have the privilege to represent our communities in Parliament. Our county motto is much in little, but there is nothing little about the wonder, the passions and the strength of our communities and our county.
Rural communities like ours have special needs – and for months I’ve been lobbying the Government to ensure that Rutland residents who access health services outside our county have their records shared across NHS services in different parts of the country – the clinical commissioning groups.
Too often, our healthcare can seem as though it’s trapped in a faceless bureaucracy – the ‘computer says no’ element preventing us from getting the healthcare that we deserve. So I was delighted that last week, in the House of Commons, it was confirmed that there will now be a legal requirement for CCGs to share our data across borders whenever, as is so often the case, we choose to access healthcare outside Rutland. This will take some time to come to fruition, but I’m so pleased that the hard work has paid off.
Mallard Pass continues to be an important issue – especially for those villages nearby. The proposed solar plant is so big that it’s designated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure project – which means it bypasses local planning and goes straight to the Government.
Mallard Pass has stated that they want to bring the community with them on these proposals – and it was in that spirit that, months ago, I invited them to a ‘town hall’ meeting on April 7, so that residents, the vast majority of whom are against the development, have a chance to tell the developers directly about why they do not want this solar plant on their doorsteps.
With a week to go, Mallard Pass pulled out of the meeting. Of course, the meeting will go ahead regardless – residents views are the most important matter in this proposal, as far as I’m concerned. By the time you read this, the meeting will have taken place, and I look forward to updating you further about it in due course. However, you can stay up-to-date on what I’m doing to stand up for residents against Mallard Pass at www.aliciakearns.com/MallardPass.
I must end with a thank you to all those Rutlanders who have signed up to host Ukrainian families seeking sanctuary.
It really does show the spirit of our county that so many are willing to open their home to refugees in need.
I know from hosting four Ukrainian MPs in Parliament in March how much the support of everyone in the UK means to Ukrainians – and so much of that is the individual acts of kindness.
As we enter spring, I’d like to wish you, and your families, a very happy Easter when it comes.