Thursday, 19 November 2009

Have Your Say on Saturday!

I started my campaign by asking: what can I do for Esher and Walton? Fortunately, you have not been shy in coming forward with ideas! I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to meet me in the constituency or drop me a line – and I hope to meet more of you on Saturday at Sandown Park. Over the last three weeks, I have heard from over twenty councillors (past and present), a dozen or so local community groups and hundreds of residents and businesses. Around six hundred of you have visited this site - and many have emailed me with questions or views.

I have heard about business challenges during the recession, from Esher’s farmers market to Walton’s retailers. I have talked to concerned parents about the pressure on local secondary school places. I have been briefed by the Campaign for rural England and a local planning expert on the impact of housing targets on the greenbelt. I have seen our councillors in action at a local surgery, and heard from the Citizens Advice Bureau about the economic and social problems facing the community during the recession.

Hard-working families feel taken for granted by a government that has taken so much in tax revenue from Elmbridge, but returned so little for local services. But, if there is one thing that has struck me above all, it is the depth of community spirit here. From historical legacies like Whiteley retirement village to volunteers giving up their time to help out - at Lower Green Community Association, Hersham Youth Center or Sunbury and Walton Sea Cadets – there is no shortage of those with a strong sense of civic duty.

At the same time, Britain faces an array of challenges – from the reckless levels of government debt, a stagnant economy and widespread family breakdown. Nationally, violent crime has almost doubled, whilst uncontrolled immigration has created enormous strains on public services in certain areas including the South East. Despite the billions spent on the NHS and education, standards have slipped and we can’t seem to get the basic rights, like clean hospitals. I have benefited from discussing all of these issues with many of you, hearing your views and explaining what I see as the priorities for an incoming Conservative government.

First and foremost, it will be the responsibility of your next MP to serve each community here - to fight for a fairer deal for local funding, champion local democracy and defend our greenbelt. That will require hard work on the ground in the constituency, and tenacity in fighting your corner at Westminster. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday - and explaining how I would make a difference in Esher and Walton.


Richard Tebboth said...

Who is the young lady?

Dominic Raab said...

My wife, Erika. We have been married since 2005.

Dominic Raab

Tim Flagg said...

Congratulations Dom, really look forward to supporting you in the campaign for the general election.

Richard Tebboth said...

Congratulations on your win. An excellent presentation - even given political hypothetifacation.

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