On Sunday, Kate and I were overwhelmed with happiness to welcome Clemmie Elizabeth Tomlinson to our family.
I am in awe of Kate as Clemmie was delivered just 4 minutes after we arrived at the GWH, with only 2 paracetamols for pain relief! We are very grateful for Maria and her team who delivered Clemmie safely, far better than I would have had we been either stuck in traffic or not able to find nearby parking! We are thrilled that Margot is very much enjoying a big sister and has been very keen to help.
This week saw HRH The Prince of Wales read out the Queen’s speech at the State Opening of Parliament. I’m sure all our thoughts are with HM The Queen and wishing her a speedy recovery. It was historic to have the Prince of Wales attend his first State Opening of Parliament as the deliverer of the Queen’s Speech.
The Queen’s Speech sets out the Government’s legislative programme to get our country back on track and ensure we deliver on the promises we made to all those who put their faith in us in 2019. It focuses on the priorities of the Great British public – priorities that this Government shares: to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families; to level up opportunity in all parts of the country and support more people into work with high-wage, high-skill jobs; to support the police to make the streets safer – so we can tackle the anti-social behaviour that blights communities; and fund the National Health Service to reduce the Covid backlogs – so our family and friends can get the care they deserve. In these challenging times, the Government will also play a leading role in defending democracy and freedom across the world, including continuing to support the people of Ukraine.
As each part of the Queen’s Speech is brought forward there will be plenty of opportunities to raise questions and suggestions. I look forward to working with a number of local residents, organisations and businesses who will be keen to shape the respective legislation.
Last week we saw the latest set of local elections in Swindon. There are good times and bad times in politics, and losing (excellent) colleagues hurts, but credit to the new Swindon Labour Councillors who have been given the wonderful opportunity to represent.
Whilst the Council remains comfortably in Conservative control, we all need to reflect and do much, much better – locally and nationally.
Locally, I am really pleased to see the successful opening of Bert’s Bookshop in Old Town. I have supported Bert for a number of years as he planned to progress his popular online website into a physical shop. On the opening day there were queues of local residents keen to see his really impressive shop and he has remained busy ever since. I’d strongly recommend a visit!
We have seen an increase independent shops, cafes and restaurants in Swindon and if we continue to support them, they will thrive and grow – a real, much needed boost for our High Streets.
Finally, congratulations to Swindon Town who held their nerve and secured a place in the play-offs. After everything the club and fans have navigated in the last 18 months, the lottery of the play-offs should be a piece of cake!