THERE was great surprise in 2015 when the Government announced that it had accepted bids for two new free schools in Swindon - The Deanery CE Academy in South Swindon, and The Great Western Academy in North Swindon.

As North Swindon MP I had been working tirelessly with The Great Western Academy, both in Swindon and in Parliament, to secure funding and ensure that the project was successful.

In January I was delighted to see the project reach the building stage as I broke ground on the site of the £21m school, and yesterday I was pleased to see the latest stage completed at a ‘topping out’ ceremony where I was delighted to secure the final beam on the building.

Earlier this week the academy set up in my community office to hold a drop-in session in order to meet students and parents and help them to learn more about the school.

It was a busy night as a number of prospective pupils and parents spoke with Principal Graham Davis to ask questions and see plans for the school building.

I enjoyed chatting to the parents and children, and I join them in looking forward to the school opening next September.

I am very proud of the work I have done with The Great Western Academy, and it will be a vital addition for our increasingly expanding town, helping to meet the demand for school places.

On Wednesday, it’s fair to say that the Prime Minister hit a run of bad luck.

But despite the nasty cough, being confronted by a prankster and the set falling apart behind her; she persevered and completed her speech.

Believe me for those of us who have to do public speaking, these things are the stuff of nightmares!

Beyond all of the hiccups, there were some significant policy announcements, which looked to address a number of issues affecting the country today including measures to boost house building, additional support for first-time buyers, a draft bill to put a cap on energy prices and changes to tuition fees including a much needed major review of university funding and student finance.

An independent review into the Mental Health Act is also to be launched.

Currently there is concern that the current act is leading to shortfalls in services and is open to misuse. The review aims to address these problems and tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

I really do respect the PM’s candour when discussing the issues with the Mental Health Act, it is clear this is a priority. I will certainly actively support the review which will lead to improvements to mental healthcare and help to end the stigma associated with mental health problems.

Finally, Swindon Robins – wow, just wow! What a way to become Speedway Premiership Champions, after the disappointing home leg to fight back and win 90-89 was amazing!

Alan Rossiter and all the riders should be rightly proud, they’ve delivered for Swindon again – what a great boost for our town. Now we just need the new Stadium!

The frustrating and endless delays have tested everybody’s patience, but the council and the stadium owners are close to agreeing the drainage redesign, which is the final hurdle.

Everyone, especially me, wants to see the new stadium ready for the new season – a stadium fit for champions.