Ripley & Heanor Column – 11th August 2017

Parliament is in recess for the summer but that hasn’t stopped the Government making a number of announcements that will be welcome news across Amber Valley.

Firstly, the Health Secretary has announced 500 extra medical school places for next year, meaning a total increase in the number of student places at medical schools in England, of 1,500. This is the biggest ever expansion to the number of doctor training places.

The government has also pledged to ensure the places are allocated to medical schools who will work closely with their local communities to help talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds become doctors. Alongside these plans to train 1,500 more medical students, the government will also fund 10,000 additional training places for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. I welcome this news and that some of these places will be available to students next month. Committing to increase the current numbers of doctors trained a year by 25% by 2020, will help ensure our health service continues to meet increasing demand.

I welcome the announcement that homes and businesses from all parts of the UK are set to benefit from universal high speed broadband, following the government’s commitment to introduce a a Universal Service Obligation (USO).  Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary announced that BT have put forward an offer to voluntarily deliver high speed broadband of at least 10 megabits per second to every home and business in the UK.

The offer has been received after the government committed to introduce) through regulation to give every home and business in the UK the right to request a high speed connection of at least 10 Megabits per second (Mbps). That’s the speed that will meet the typical needs of a family for them to be able to stream films, carry out video conferencing and browse the web at the same time.

I will be following the progress of the proposal as it develops, which would become legally binding if accepted, to ensure that the residents of Amber Valley would benefit from such a proposal.

Finally, I’m delighted to be holding a ‘Brexit & Business’ breakfast roundtable on the 11th September 2017, from 8.30am in Alfreton.

The event is being organised with Thorntons so Amber Valley businesses can come together to discuss the upcoming possibilities and challenges of Brexit. The aims of the roundtable are to offer local businesses an opportunity to present their priorities for our exit from the European Union, learn more about the negotiation timetable, and discuss this Government’s priorities for securing the best possible deal with the EU.

I’m pleased that Emma McClarkin MEP will be speaking, and I’ve also invited a Minister from the Department for Exiting the European Union.

For further details, and to register a free place for your business, please ring my office on 01773 744341 or email me on nigel.mills.mp@parliament.uk.