We need to keep the economy strong and maintain sound public finances so that we can properly fund our public services in future; increasing school budgets in real terms to give every child the best start in life; and giving our police the resources they need to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.
I firmly believe every child should have the chance to succeed in life, which starts with access to an excellent education.
I successfully got Derbyshire designated as an Educational Investment Area, securing extra money for local schools to recruit and retain top teachers in key subjects to help drive up standards.
I also campaigned hard to expand Glossopdale School, banging the drum for our area, lobbying the key decision-makers and even taking the Children’s Services boss to the site so he could see first-hand just how badly the expansion is needed.
Construction has now been completed on the expansion of Glossopdale School. The £4million expansion provides an extra 240 places on the site at Newshaw Lane in Hadfield.
The expansion is needed because the new school was built too small as the previous Council failed to factor in the increased demand and the new homes that were being built in the area. This has resulted in some local children being forced to go to school outside the area.
I am really pleased that the Council has now listened to local parents and is going ahead with expansion. This is the result of a huge amount of hard work from a wide range of local people and I am proud to have helped play a small part in this victory for children and parents. I want to publicly thank all those who have worked to deliver this.
On policing, I welcome the announcement that Derbyshire Police has been bolstered by an additional 211 officers since the Government launched its major police recruitment drive. The addition of these new officers brings the total number of police across Derbyshire Constabulary up to 1,971.
Recruitment is continuing and I am working to ensure that High Peak gets its fair share of the additional officers being recruited. For too long, Derbyshire Constabulary has overly focused on Derby and the south of the county, rather than areas like the High Peak and this imbalance needs correcting.
I am also keen to increase engagement between the Police and local people. That’s why I have organised a series of Community Policing Forums, giving residents the chance to question local police officers and share their views on what policing priorities should be in their neighbourhood.