Happy New Year! After a year of huge change, what lies ahead for Dover and Deal? The past 12 months brought us Brexit, a new Prime Minister and big questions about the future of Britain.
Brexit brings us great opportunities. 2017 will be about making Brexit Britain work for places like Dover and Deal – not just London. That's why I'll keep campaigning in Parliament on the things that matter to families and businesses in Dover and Deal.
Let's start by making sure Brexit works for the Port of Dover – with stronger border security and trade that continues to flow freely. Everyone knows that the best way to get growth without gridlock on our roads is to boost the Border Force budget. We need a new, state-of-the-art system in place to show the world that post-Brexit, Britain means business. Investment must start here at the Dover frontline.
We need a better deal for motorists too. I head the Fair Fuel campaign in Parliament and last year we managed to stop a rise in the tax you pay on petrol. Now we will be making the case for the Government to invest in more regional road projects like the long overdue dualling of the A2.
We need to build a Brexit Britain that works for everyone – and where everyone makes a fair contribution to pay for the public services we all rely on. That's why I am campaigning to make the super-rich and big corporations pay their fair share of tax. Too often it seems like it's one rule for them and another rule for everyone else. I am working to change that and get a better deal on taxes for the hard working classes of modern Britain too.
Meanwhile, the long-running battle to get beds at Buckland Hospital goes on. This has been a really tough struggle. But there is real hope now of success.
We are also working hard to get a new secondary school on the former Walmer Science College site. Too many children in Deal are forced to travel out of town. That's why we need a new school for Deal
I continue to press Highways England to hurry up and get rid of the hated 40mph limit on the A20. They have caved in to our campaign and said they would do it by March. They need to get on with it and deliver.
Brexit was about giving the boot to Brussels. Yet everyone wants to keep Britain open for business. That's why I am working with Calais' political chiefs to deepen our trading links with France. All this means exciting times for Dover and Deal – the gateway and guardian of our land.
There's lots to be getting on with. The hard work starts now. Here's to a fantastic 2017 where we make the most of all the opportunities that now surround us.
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