Charlie Elphicke has a strong record of working hard so that our corner of Kent gets its fair share of funding from Westminster. His top priority is for the people of Dover and Deal to be better off and to get more jobs and money in our area.
Charlie lives at the heart of the constituency on the seafront. Charlie enjoys nothing better than meeting people in the constituency at community days and public meetings. Charlie fights hard for Dover and Deal up in Parliament.
Like Dover's much-loved former Conservative MP, the late Peter Rees, Charlie was a tax lawyer. This means he knows a lot about our laws and about taxes and he thinks we should have fewer of both! Charlie has fought hard to make Dover a people's port, more accountable to local people. He believes local communities should have a bigger say on their futures. And thanks to a hard-fought community campaign, in 2012 Charlie stopped the port from being sold-off to the French or whoever. Since then, we've got community directors on Dover Harbour Board, while hundreds of thousands of pounds has been invested locally through the new Port Community Fund.
Stopping the port sell-off is one of Charlie's proudest achievements. He's been fighting on a range of fronts for Dover and Deal...
A fairer share of healthcare
Charlie has been battling to deliver a fairer share of healthcare for Dover and Deal. Since 2010, the new £24 million Buckland Hospital has been built in Dover. Meanwhile, Deal Hospital has been saved from the brink and its future safeguarded. We have also claimed victory in our campaign for a £30 million medical school for East Kent, so more GPs and nurses will be trained locally. A UK-first "dementia village" is being built next door to Buckland. Charlie is now fighting to bring more services to our hospitals.
Investing in Dover and Deal
Delivering more jobs and money to our area has been a top priority for Charlie. When Labour were last in power – unemployment locally was at a record high. But since then joblessness has near halved. What's more, some £500 million has been invested in Dover and Deal, with the new St James cinema and shops opening in 2018. Meanwhile, the £200 million Western Docks Revival and new marina curve are well underway.
Rail and road investment
The fast train has also made a huge difference. Yet Charlie had to fight hard to make sure it went to Deal – especially after Labour described Deal as a "village" unworthy of the fast train. Now, after a hard-fought campaign, the service sweeps through our stations every hour of every day. After the railway sea wall at Dover failed during Christmas 2015, Charlie led a task force to get it fixed. He delivered £50 million of investment and the railway re-opened in autumn 2016, way ahead of schedule.
Charlie is battling for better roads too. The hated A20 40mph speed limit was finally scrapped in 2017 after a long battle. Charlie held a public meeting in Aycliffe so residents could make their voices heard to highways chiefs. Weeks later it was at last confirmed that the 40mph limit would be axed.
Charlie is fighting for more lorry parking facilities along the M20 and M2/A2 - to prevent long queues and help battle the blight of unsightly roadside rubbish. He is also campaigning for the A2 to be fully dualled, after Labour axed plans for this much-needed work.
Keeping our streets safe is a key priority for Charlie. In Parliament, Charlie recently helped secure more funding for Kent Police – money that is going towards 200 more officers. Now Charlie is making our community's case for more police to be stationed in Dover and Deal.
When Dover town centre suffered a spate of break-ins in 2018, Charlie took immediate action. He took the Police Commissioner to meet with Dover traders to hear their concerns about security as well as street drinking. Officers are now cracking down on drink and drug problems in the town. The burglars have now been caught and face justice. Shoplifting in Dover high street is down 17 per cent. In Deal, residents want it to be easier to speak face-to-face with the police. So Charlie is pressing the Police Commissioner to double the number of hours residents have face to face access to the local force.
Charlie is also campaigning with Dover parents to crack down on 'County Lines', to stop local youngsters being lured into a dark world of crime – and to catch the drug kingpins.
Fighting for us
Since 2010, Charlie has taken up more than 21,000 cases on behalf of local residents. He has seen nearly 2,100 people in his regular constituency surgeries. Every single case matters to Charlie.
In September 2017, Michelle Fraser came to see Charlie at one of his surgeries to ask for his help. Her son Robert had been killed by deadly drug fentanyl. He was just 18-years-old. Charlie and Michelle launched a campaign for Robert's Law – for tougher sentences and to raise awareness. In June 2018, new guidance was issued putting fentanyl in the most serious category of Class A drugs for prosecution.
Justice Minister Rory Stewart said: "I really want to pay tribute to the Honourable Member for Dover and Deal. His leadership and his championing has led to important changes which I can honestly say would not have happened as rapidly had it not been for his work."
Backing the Great British high street and hard-working families
Charlie also previously worked in pharmaceutical research and ran an award-winning small business. He understands the pressures on small and local businesses and how cutting taxes and red tape can really help firms provide more jobs and investment to the local area. Charlie was delighted to see Deal High Street get the recognition it deserves and win High Street of the Year in 2013. He is keen to promote our high streets and local business whenever he can. That's why he's been fighting for online giants like Amazon and eBay to pay their fair share of tax – so our high street firms can compete on a level playing field.
An expert on tax and pensions, Charlie is concerned by the impact of high taxes on families – and particularly the least well-off. He is passionate about cutting family bills and letting people keep more of their hard-earned money. Charlie has led campaigns in Parliament to keep fuel duty down – and the tax has now been frozen for nine years in a row.
Stronger borders are a key priority for Charlie. The Calais Jungle was dismantled in autumn 2016 after his hard-fought campaign. Charlie worked closely with French officials to make sure the Calais camp was completely removed. By the time the battle was won, nearly 10,000 people had been lured to Calais, living in squalor. People traffickers roamed free, exploiting migrants and attacking tourists and truckers nearly every night.
Here at the Dover and Deal frontline, we know we cannot risk a return of the Calais Jungle. Charlie is keeping up the pressure on the French to stop any new camps from forming – before the first tent is pitched.
Believing in Britain
Our community voted emphatically to leave the EU. Charlie is working to deliver the will of the people – taking back control of our laws, borders, money and trade. Here at the Dover frontline, everyone knows how a successful Brexit is vital to our community. That's why Charlie has worked with ports, hauliers and shippers to set out a clear plan for Britain to be ready on day one for Brexit.
Most of all, Charlie cares about serving our community and the nation. Dover was known as the 'Jewel in the Crown' of the nation. Charlie is working hard to ensure that the area becomes all it can be and reclaims this title.
His political hero is Abraham Lincoln and his view of public life is summed up by Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth". Politicians must serve the interests of local people above all and always remember who their real masters are. If they don't do this, the public very rapidly lose trust in politicians and the Government.
Charlie answers every letter or email so please get in touch with him with any problems, suggestions or queries. It's really easy, just email Charlie at email@example.com, or visit his Facebook page or Twitter.