General Election 2017: Statement from North East Hertfordshire Conservative candidate Sir Oliver Heald

PUBLISHED: 13:21 11 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:16 11 May 2017

Conservative Sir Oliver Heald is defending the seat he has held since 1997. Picture: Danny Loo

Conservative Sir Oliver Heald is defending the seat he has held since 1997. Picture: Danny Loo

Archant

This General Election is about the choice between an effective government led by Theresa May and the alternative offer of a coalition with Jeremy Corbyn at its head.

The country faces great challenges and now, more than ever, we need strong leadership. Theresa May needs a clear mandate from this election.

I am a truly local candidate, having lived in the constituency since 1981. I know the local issues and I have a proven record of standing up for our area. I am a barrister by background and I have served as a minister in three Conservative governments, currently as the Justice Minister in charge of modernising the courts.

I have supported new school buildings projects in North East Hertfordshire and am delighted to see the great new facilities at senior schools Freman, Meridian, Knights Templar and Highfield.

I am supporting local headteachers in their call for better schools’ funding, including a national formula which is fairer to our area rather than favouring metropolitan schools.

I have campaigned successfully with Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland for new buildings at Lister Hospital costing £150m and the brand new QEII. I have pressed in the House of Commons for a local radiotherapy unit, now being planned, so that many local cancer patients will no longer be forced to make gruelling daily journeys to London for lifesaving treatment.

I back new NHS facilities at Royston Hospital to create a new Health Hub and I am working with our Conservative county councillors, who have been successful locally in providing new care homes with intermediate treatment beds.

This has taken some pressure off our hospitals at peak periods and reduced delayed discharges.

I have worked successfully with other MPs to secure the widening of the A1(M) through the SMART motorway project to be built in 2019. I am also arguing for a better rail timetable for commuters.

While recognising the need for housing, I oppose insensitive development and I have worked in parliament to protect our natural environment, including our seven chalk streams. As a result, water abstraction is being reduced on the Rivers Beane and Mimram.

I have held regular surgeries for constituents and taken up issues as MP for thousands of local people. I want to continue to campaign for our area, helping all those who live here and to be a strong voice nationally.

No-one will work harder or serve you better.

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