Constituency matters… a weekly column by the Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe, Damian Collins 19 May 2022
Last week I was glad to welcome the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, to Folkestone. We met with Sir Roger De Haan and Alastair Upton, the Chief Executive of Creative Folkestone, at The Quarterhouse theatre and visited different locations in the town’s Creative Quarter, including the new F51 urban sports centre in Tontine Street.
Folkestone has become over the past decade a great example of how with the right investment and a strong locally led plan, coastal towns can be leaders in regeneration and levelling up. This is an ongoing project with still much more to be achieved and we briefed the Secretary of State on the progress made so far, and what is planned for the future.
Kwasi Kwarteng also joined me to meet with representatives from other local businesses at an event at the Three Hills Sports Centre. This diverse group included social care providers, logistics specialists, and those in the tourism industry. I also took the opportunity of his visit to make the case, once again, for Dungeness to be chosen as a location for one of the new small modular nuclear reactors being developed by Rolls Royce. Given that there is rising demand for safe, reliable, and low-carbon energy, and that Dungeness already has the necessary infrastructure and local support in place, I believe it would be an ideal location.
The Queen’s Speech
Last week in Westminster, The Queen’s Speech was delivered for the first time by the Prince of Wales, who was representing Her Majesty. There were thirty-eight new Bills announced for the coming parliamentary session, which runs until April next year. As we move on from COVID-19 and address the many serious issues presented by Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, our focus is now squarely on easing the cost of living for households, strengthening our national economy, improving delivery in the NHS, and making our streets safer for all.
Brexit Freedoms Bill
In particular The Queen’s Speech contained a new Brexit Freedoms Bill to strengthen the economy by getting rid of unnecessary EU regulations. The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will shift power to local leaders who are best placed to make decisions on revitalising their communities, the Energy Security Bill will deliver a more sustainable and resilient homegrown energy network, in turn, reducing costs. The Social Housing Regulation Bill will ensure better quality homes, and the Schools Bill will raise standards for students and reform school funding. Finally, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill will give the government new powers to take on the criminals who defraud others and abuse our economy.
The Conservative Government’s central mission is to deliver on the priorities of the British people, including everyone in Folkestone and Hythe. There are continued challenges ahead, but I believe that our agenda will strengthen the economy, support people into high-skill high-wage work and make Britain the best country in the world to grow up and to grow old.