Richard Holden MP lets his constituents in on his top 10 highlights of being the MP for North West Durham.
On 12 December, Richard Holden MP wrote:
"Two years ago, voters across our towns and villages decided to do something that had never been done before and put their trust in a new Conservative MP for the first time ever (see come pictures of that campaign below!)
For me, that campaign was just the start something huge. And there is not a day that has gone by since that I’ve not been fighting for the people of North West Durham. I am determined to repay that trust you’ve placed in me.
Top Ten Highlights
- Brexit Done. Within a month of being elected, I voted for the key legislation to get Brexit done - and help the U.K. move on - after Parliament had prevaricated for three years.
- Motorhomes Tax. Within 100 days of becoming your MP, I’d managed to convince the Chancellor to reverse the gold-plated EU #MotorhomesTax - this saved up to 100 jobs locally that were otherwise totally viable (LINK: https://www.webuyanymotorcaravan.com/the-ncc-wins-battle.../)
- Covid Support Measures. Covid struck a few months after I was elected and I backed the unprecedented support measures to protect jobs via the furlough scheme & grants for businesses. Something no other Government in history has done.
- 16 beds for Shotley Bridge. After downgrade after downgrade of our local healthcare facilities over decades, I went toe-to-toe with many people to campaign against a “zero-bed replacement” for Shotley Bridge and instead got the Government to commit £10 million more (a 50% increase) for a 16-bed unit (double the current 8 beds) with more services (such as chemotherapy) to be delivered locally and for it to become part of the Government’s 40 new hospital building programme. The replacement became the 40th new hospital commitment of the programme and is now well on with planning and development stages (LINK: https://www.gov.uk/.../pm-confirms-37-billion-for-40...)
- Capped Bus Fares. In Local Transport I’ve backed the ‘Bus Back Better’ changes - which will mean a £4 daily cap (lower than London) in County Durham for using our local buses, with more cleaner new buses coming forward from next year. I’ve won two feasibility study bids for looking at improved public transport via Consett -> Tyne and to examine a new passenger service from Weardale and Crook to Darlington. I’ve also been part of the campaign to keep fuel duty down (with no rise in fuel duty for cars and vans since the election)
- Lower Beer Duty. I’ve led a national campaign to get a lower rate of duty on on-sales of beer and cider to help our pubs and hospitality sector. This will kick in next year after the consultation on implementation ends.
- Banned Virginity Testing. After hearing about the horrific practices of so called ‘virginity testing’ and Hymenoplasty, I’ve led a cross-party campaign to change the law to ban these practices in the Health and Care Bill currently going through Parliament and also backed the raising of the age of marriage from 16->18.
- Banned Credit Card Online Gambling. As per of the APPG on Gambling Related Harm, I’ve pushed for action from online gambling companies to ban the use of credit cards (Done), raise the age at which you can play £350 a week online on the lottery and buy scratch card from 16->18 (Done) and I’m working cross party on the broader review into the 2005 Gambling Act for further changes.
- Protecting Local Schools. I’ve launched on-going campaigns for local schools, including to stop the permanent closure of Wolsingham 6th form (Done) and I’m fighting for better facilities for Witton-Le-Wear Primary, a look at what can be done for Alternative Provision via Delta North and am regularly visiting local schools to hear from staff, pupils and heads about their concerns.
- Toft Hill Bypass. I’ve backed Dehenna’s levelling-up bid for the Toft Hill Bypass on the A68 (Done & it’s happening) and am submitting my own levelling up bid for high street regeneration for Crook/Willington/Tow Law in the new year.
In addition my team and I have completed over 17,000 pieces of casework, battling for people on everything from getting the DWP to look again at support, to helping people in really difficult situations get housing, to helping push the council to get bin collections sorted.
If you ever need me and the team, just message via www.richardholden.org.uk/contact
Two years ago was proudest moment of my life. I’ll continue to work as hard as I can and stand up for you whenever I can.
Politics is sometimes tough but I want to say thank you to everyone who supports me couldn’t do it without you.
Richard Richard Holden MP."