Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Tomlinson MP

MP For North Swindon

Swindon Advertiser Column - One Year On From The Coronation

Just over a year ago, crowds lined the streets of our nation, joined by millions of onlookers from around the world, to watch as King Charles III was officially crowned as our monarch.

20 million people across the UK tuned in to watch the ceremony and celebrations, which were a fantastic display of British pomp and ceremony. The Imperial Crown and Robes, the beautiful and historic Westminster Abbey, and the carriage procession through London, were all a sight to behold and a spectacle that only Britain could produce. The coronation showcased our rich and unique history, with many of the items seen in the ceremony having been used for centuries to crown our monarchs - including the 700-year-old coronation chair on which the King was seated during the ceremony.

Sadly, the last year has been somewhat turbulent for the Royal Family, as they, like many families, found themselves confronted by the scourge of cancer. Within a month of each other, the King and the Princess of Wales announced that they would both be receiving treatment for cancer. The announcement was a shock to many people, and a sobering reminder that cancer is indiscriminate, paying no attention to wealth or status.

However, it has been heartening to see the King carry out official engagements over the past couple of weeks. I was, like many others, delighted to see the King looking well and in good spirits as he met with fellow cancer patients. Hopefully, both the King and Princess of Wales are well on the mend and will be back to full health shortly.

This week also saw the government announce future plans for a common-sense approach to recycling.

It has long been an issue that there are often overly complicated and confusing recycling rules on households. As such, these new government measures will simplify bin collections, ensuring that the same materials can be collected from homes, workplaces and schools and allowing councils to collect plastic, metal, glass, paper and card in one bin in all circumstances. Likewise, food and garden waste will also be allowed to be co-collected.

This will help reduce the confusion over what items can or cannot be recycled, ending the need to check what a specific council will accept for recycling. These measures will make bin day simpler and will crucially help boost recycling rates, and I will support them when they are brought forward.

Finally, there was good news this week for three local charities, as it was announced that they would receive grants from The People’s Postcode Lottery. The Open Door Centre has been awarded £15,000, Phoenix Enterprises will benefit from £10,000, and Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool will be boosted by £25,000 of funding. I have worked closely with all three charities and have seen firsthand the lifechanging work they do and their importance to the people they support.

The Open Door Centre and Phoenix Enterprises both provide crucial support for people with learning and physical disabilities, offering vital social opportunities and helping them build their confidence. The Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool helps improve the lives of people with physical disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy, or those recovering from injury, by using hydrotherapy to ease pain and aid rehabilitation.

This funding is thoroughly deserved and will enable these fantastic groups to continue their brilliant work supporting the local community. I have already been pro-active in promoting these charities and publicising their appeals for donations, and I am once again asking people to also consider supporting them – every little really does help.

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