First, I want to say thank you for the overwhelming support and my re-election as the MP for Windsor. It means a lot to me. You have my commitment that I will continue to work hard to protect and improve our constituency and our country.
The local election results for the Bracknell Forest and the Royal Borough could also not be any clearer. In RBWM local residents have supported the Conservative team in 95% of the seats, electing 54 Conservatives to the 57 seats available.
In my work around the constituency I am struck by how fortunate we are to have so many active and vocal residents and local community groups in our area. They work tirelessly, and with great enthusiasm to do nothing more than promote and protect our beautiful area.
It is this great sense of community spirit and working together to better the local area that underpins the Coalition Government’s Localism Bill, and I am therefore delighted to have supported the Bill through its second reading in Parliament this week. The Bill will now go through to Committee Stage, where it will be scrutinised and any detailed concerns addressed.
The Bill seeks to overturn decades of central government interference and hand decision-making power back to local communities. Power will not only be devolved to local councils, but also to residents, community groups and neighbourhoods, to help local people shape and influence their local areas.
Communities will now be in charge of the look and feel of their local area. Parish councils and new neighbourhood forums of local people – rather than town hall officials alone – will lead the way in local incentives.
It’s all too easy to assume that central Government has all the answers when, in reality, our local councillors have a great deal of power to change those things that directly affect us.
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is recognised nationally as a particularly active local council and I sincerely hope that this legislation will go some way to helping them continue their good work locally.