- Saving the Marines
By campaigning tirelessly and making the case in Westminster I was instrumental in getting the decision to move the 40 Commando base at Norton Manor Camp overturned, securing it as a much valued part of our community and an important employer.
- Musgrove Park Hospital
Secured funding for new theatres plus green light for the upgrade of the whole hospital site ensuring first class health facilities for the people of Somerset for years to come.
- Taunton Rail Station and infrastructure
Drove the upgrade of Taunton Rail Station with a multi-storey car park and cycleways. It’s now open. Supported the expansion of Jnt25 and secured a second consultation on the A358 upgrade; design of the preferred route is underway.
- Wellington Rail Station
I pledged to work to bring a rail station to Wellington when I was first elected to Parliament in 2015; and the prospect of a station is fast becoming a reality I am delighted to say. Working at Government level and with stakeholders as co-chair of the Somerset and Devon Rail group the project was one of 10 schemes fast tracked by the Department of Transport.
The latest welcome allocation of £5m has just been received to develop the detailed business case which sets us on a pathway for a potential opening in 2025 which is tremendously exciting.
The station will bring multiple benefits including improved connectivity, business opportunities and crucially will decarbonise our transport network. My campaign for a cycleway linking Wellington and Taunton will also help people to reduce reliance on cars and encourage active and safe travel by bike to the proposed station.
- Town Centres and Garden Town
I was instrumental in securing £14m from the Future Highstreets Fund to help transform Taunton town centre which includes completing the Coal Orchard and Firepool Developments.
There was strong competition for funds, and I worked hard with stakeholders to attract this. I continue to work to ensure the ethos of the Garden Town design code, which I support, is integrated to make this a place people want to live, work and play in a sustainable environment.
- Wellington Monument
Many of you will know that since being the local MP, I have championed the restoration of the iconic Wellington Monument. Just a few years ago, it might have seemed an impossible goal, given the £4m cost of the restoration and the challenges involved. However, thanks to tremendous input from a myriad of people, the restoration is complete, and I am thrilled the Monument has opened once again.
It was during my first term in Parliament that I secured the initial £1m from the Libor Fund to launch the restoration project and with the National Trust’s match funding and prioritising the scheme plus additional grants, superb community support and the Duke of Wellington’s keen interest, the restoration progressed. A final injection of funds from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund meant that work continued throughout lockdown last year so we can now celebrate this exceptional achievement. Do go and enjoy it!