The events unfolding in Ukraine are gravely concerning and I'm sure that you, like me, are following the developments very closely. While HM Government does its utmost to offer more help as our brave friends defend their homeland, it continues to work hard for Britain too.
For example, last month, the government set out its plan to level up the parts of our country that have previously experienced geographical inequality, with an aim to boost the areas that have not yet been able to share equally in our nation’s success.
Here in North East Hampshire, we are fortunate to be in area of high productivity and investment – but this does not mean that we shouldn’t also strive for further development to continue to make our villages and their surroundings the best they can be.
Progressing with this good work in our constituency is so important, which is why part of ‘Our Plan’ is to regenerate the high streets and retail centres that we use most, such as those in Hook, Fleet and Yateley. I want to see these areas meet their full potential, to create vibrant retail hubs, to use brownfield space to build more starter homes, and to provide sufficient parking to make businesses more accessible. This regeneration will protect our green fields and provide an economic and social boost that will ripple across the constituency to benefit residents.
I can’t do this alone. 93% of the respondents to my survey agree that they want to see this regeneration happen – but, to make this a reality, we need Hart District Council to listen to local people, to come up with a clear plan and to take action.
As a local Councillor in the past, I was able to transform Basing View in Basingstoke by bringing in Waitrose, so I know the power that lies in the hands of local government. Other towns like Bicester, Walton-on-Thames and Bracknell are excellent examples of what can happen when councils see the potential in their local towns and take the opportunity to invest in their futures.
I’ve done it before, and I know we could do it again, to make sure that our wonderful corner of the country goes from strength to strength. If you haven’t done so already, I strongly encourage you to share your views on this topic so that I can make the case to councils, and encourage them to get on with the job: ranil.uk/regensurvey.
As ever, I appreciate hearing your views on this and all local matters. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop along to my next ‘Tell Ranil’ event where you can raise issues with me in person. The details of this, and all my latest updates, are available on my Facebook page (“Ranil Jayawardena MP”) or on my website: ranil.uk – and you can also sign up to my newsletter for updates and straight to your inbox at: ranil.uk/newsletter.