There has been a fundamental misunderstanding by Governments of all colours over the years that veterans’ care is a third sector responsibility and that the great British public, in all their wonderful generosity, support our troops well enough, and any new initiative is met with the response, “Well, there must be a charity for that.” That is fundamentally and unequivocally wrong.
In this parliament I want to bring about a step change in the way that care for veterans is delivered and both the role government and charities play in doing that. By constructing a more organised and efficient system, we can deliver better care for those who need it most, and that needs to be our inspiration and drive.
You can read my report into ways of improving the system here.
The great city of Plymouth, which I have been sent to Westminster to represent, has a history and stature to rival our nation’s capital. Some of our country’s defining moments have occurred in the “jewel of the south-west” that is Plymouth. It has a recent character defined in some of the darkest days of the conflicts that dominated the previous century.
I believe that Plymouth has been underserved and that we are know at a pivotal moment. I will be fighting for Plymouth every time I set foot in Westminster. Plymouth can blossom with improved transport infrastructure and continued investment that I believe this Conservative government is well placed to deliver. I will continue to apply the pressure so Plymouth gets the deal it deserves.
Improving mental health provision
Mental health provision in this country remains poor. There are some extremely dogged and determined characters who fight night and day to improve the services offered to those who struggle with mental health problems. Often, those who struggle with mental health problems cannot shout for themselves and suffer in silence because of the ridiculous stigma placed on mental health. I believe that that stigma ends in this Parliament. It is not good enough to have sympathy, empathy even, or simply to understand these issues when they affect someone close to us.
In Plymouth, we are seeing some exceptional work already in this field and I think we can blaze a trail that the rest of the country can follow for delivering great mental health care.
I believe young people in this country have been under-represented in politics for sometime and as a result, disengagement from political discourse has been growing. I felt something needed to be done to change this and reengage young people in politics in order to bring a very valid voice back into the debate.
When I stood for election I wanted to reach out to younger generations, encourage conversation and debate, to bring people in who felt outside the political process. During the campaign period I spoke at numerous events targeted at younger people and since being elected, I have made it my ambition to visit every school in my constituency to speak to students and encourage them to make their voices heard.
Younger generations will inherit the decisions we make as a society now and I think it’s only right that they should be involved in that process as much as possible.