It's been great meeting people out and about in Dover and Deal over the past few weeks. These really are exciting times for our community with so much going on. We have the potential of developments that will renew our area – and volunteers who do so much to make things happen.
At the St James development, work continues on the building site where Burlington House once stood. Last year, after decades of dithering, the empty tower block was at last demolished. This was a huge victory – a symbol of how things are changing. It is hugely welcome to see progress being made. This project is vital in building a brighter future for Dover and Deal.
The former Dover Immigration Removal Centre at the Western Heights is another great opportunity. Seeing round this site recently, it is clear there is so much potential – it could be turned into a hotel or a quality housing development. The citadel fortress played an important part in keeping Dover and our nation safe and secure. Now it could be the engine to drive the renewal of the Western Heights.
Volunteers make a huge contribution to our community. Take Deal Centre for the Retired – a volunteer-run hub which has become a home from home for older residents in the town. Meeting residents there recently, I could see this is not only a place to relax and chat. It also offers vital services like bathing, hairdressing and meals served in-house or delivered to your door.
The centre is a testament to the spirit of people in this area. Residents are always ready to stand together, make sacrifices and work hard for those who need our support most. That is one of the great things about Dover and Deal.
Our hard-working volunteers really do make such a huge difference. In Parliament this week I hailed the invaluable work of Deal's Talk It Out group – who do so much to help people suffering from mental health problems. Government Minister Penny Mordaunt rightly commended their work.
In Parliament I make our case for the things that matter most to people in Dover and Deal. This week I held talks with industry experts about how we can make Brexit borders a success for Dover and Deal. Leaving the European Union poses challenges but plenty of opportunities too.
It's so important we embrace the clear decision of the British people and work hard to deliver a clean and effective Brexit. There is so much potential, particular in Dover and Deal, to build a prosperous future for our nation. Our famous White Cliffs are a symbol of the fortitude and courage that we must show once more in these exciting times.
Our area led the way at the front line in former times. Now we must lead the way again in making Brexit work for Britain – as well as leading the renewal of the local towns and historic regions of England.
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