Opinion: ‘Working hard to deliver your priorities’

Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton, writes..

By John Mason
Friday, 21st January 2022, 1:22 pm
Melton Borough Council leader Joe Orson examines the route of the approved Melton Mowbray Distributor Road (MMDR) with Rutland and Melton MP, Alicia Kearns
Melton Borough Council leader Joe Orson examines the route of the approved Melton Mowbray Distributor Road (MMDR) with Rutland and Melton MP, Alicia Kearns

When I was elected as your Member of Parliament, I promised you that I would do everything I can to ensure Melton has the support and future it deserves, and give you peace of mind that I am fighting for us all.

This week, we are getting closer to building on the real achievements that I have been working for since the day you placed your trust in me to represent you in Parliament. In the past week alone, I hosted a meeting with officers of Leicestershire Police to make the priorities of Meltonians clear. We now have a phenomenal rural crime team, and I continue to work to secure the equipment they need to make it possible for our officers to make our rural communities even safer. That means proper boots issued to officers and 4x4 vehicles to properly patrol areas with high hedgerows.

The Government is putting rural crime towards the top of the agenda. Last week I was delighted to secure tougher penalties for hare coursing, which I campaigned for and the vast majority of local farmers told me was a top concern of theirs. This will make this scourge on our farmers, which sees them threatened, their land trespassed on and their crops destroyed, easier to prosecute. Farmers across Rutland and Melton have told me about how much a problem this illegal trespassing is, and the tougher sentencing, as well as the new powers announced for the police, will make it easier to get convictions for those who have been hare coursing.

Fly-tipping is another concern for residents of Melton and the Vale – and after achieving tougher sentencing guidelines last year, and the placement of more fly-tipping cameras in the Vale – this week the Government introduced a new plan to introduce new high-tech tracking systems to make it easier for the police to find, and arrest, the perpetrators. I fully support these measures – and I’m proud that I have been pushing the Government to get tougher on fly-tippers – and prevent this disgusting destruction of our beautiful countryside and communities.

I’m also launching a survey today on my website, asking you to help me find where fly-tipping hotspots are in our communities, so that we can help our councils and police target their resources to catch perpetrators. If you have seen fly-tippers, or the detritus they have left, please let me know at aliciakearns.com/fly-tipping.

The MMDR is continuing apace – and there’s the very real prospect that spades will be in the ground in the next few months. This bypass is so long in the waiting, and is possible thanks to knocking heads together, and us all working together to focus on what matters: making our town the best it can be for residents, businesses and the wider communities. This project has the potential to unlock up to £160 million in inward investment into Melton, which means more jobs, more opportunity and better security for our communities across Melton and the Vale.

Melton Borough Council is working to make sure we get the social housing allocations that we need. And most importantly for Melton, a second surgery remains my priority for this year. There’s been a lot of necessary and complicated work, surveys and planning to get it started. This year we need action – and together with the Clinical Commissioning Group and the council, I’m confident we can make it happen.

All the while, our vaccination effort continues to be astonishingly effective at protecting us from Covid-19. Through the work of the Government, the Vaccine Taskforce, the NHS, the individual clinicians administering the jabs and the wonderful volunteers who make the process so smooth and, most importantly, to all of you who have been boosted so far – 78 per cent of adults across Rutland and Melton have now had their booster jab.

I hope that you and your families have an excellent week.