Residents of Wanborough and the surrounding villages will be relieved to see the appeal against the refusal of planning permission for an industrial development and so-called Science Park at Inlands Farm was refused earlier this week.

I have worked closely with Coun Gary Sumner in opposing this development as we both felt passionately that the location was entirely unsuitable, particularly as the site immediately adjoins the North Wessex Downs Area of Natural Beauty.

Alongside Swindon Borough Council, I will continue to support Wasdell in their efforts to remain in Swindon and to find a suitable location for expansion. With the former Honda site being redeveloped by Panattoni, we are not short of suitable alternative opportunities.

I am incredibly proud of the success of the UK’s vaccination and booster programmes and on Saturday I was back at Steam helping to volunteer with the rollout here in Swindon. We know that vaccines work, provide a strong protection against Covid-19 and have saved thousands of lives.

As the local MP, I use my time in Westminster to passionately make the case for government investment into Swindon and since first being elected in 2010, I am pleased to have developed a strong track record in this area.

By working closely with Justin Tomlinson, the North Swindon MP, I am delighted to have helped secure the necessary funding to enable the council to invest more than £100 million in our town over the next few years.

This funding, which comes through the Towns Fund, the Future High Streets Fund and other government funding streams, will pay for projects including public realm improvements, like the new bus interchange along Fleming Way which will be built later in the year.

The Towns Fund Board has also earmarked funding for major regeneration projects which aim to restore important heritage buildings and make them more attractive to visitors, as well as increase jobs and skills through a new hub for learning, creative and digital technology industries in the historic Carriage Works.

Alongside ensuring that Swindon remains a priority for Government investment, I am able to use my time in Westminster to speak up on behalf of residents on a wide range of local and national issues.

This includes leading a debate in the House of Commons last week on the detention of people with autism and other lifelong conditions under the Mental Health Act. These are people who have committed no office. They are not even alleged of having committed an offence. They are simply being detained for what is still defined as a mental disorder.

At the end of November 2021, there were 2085 people with autism or a learning disability in in-patient units, 200 of whom were under the age of 18. The average length of detention in 5.4 years, some people having been detained for more than 20 years.

Behind the statistics are real-life stories of people whose lifelong conditions have led to the system, however well-intentioned it might be, ascribing a lower value to their quality of life. This is an issue I worked on during my time as Justice Secretary and will continue to do so on from the backbenches.