Having met victims of stalking, it is clear that it can have terrifying consequences and make everyday life unbearable. The need to protect victims and stop perpetrators at the earliest opportunity is clear.

In my professional life as a criminal barrister before 2010 and as an MP, I’ve had a close personal interest in this subject for many years. During my time as a backbench MP, I campaigned for new stalking laws to be introduced and as a result, the then Home Secretary and our Prime Minister, introduced stronger legislation. More recently, we doubled the maximum jail term for stalking from five years to ten.

Last week, I was pleased when the Stalking Prevention Bill passed its Second Reading in Parliament. The Bill, which is supported by the Government, seeks to create a new Civil Stalking Protection Order to protect members of the public from risks associated with stalking. The aim of the proposed Order is to ensure that more can be done to protect victims at an earlier stage that is before the stage is reached when a criminal charge can be brought.

The new order is part of a broader set of measures to tackle stalking. These include ongoing work to improve the police response to stalking, raise awareness amongst professionals, and increase the number of prosecutions for stalking offences.

There was good news for Swindon last week as Barratt Developments and Swindon Borough Council signed a joint venture to bring around 2,750 homes to the Wichelstowe development to the south of Swindon. I worked to help secure £800,000 of Government funding to enable this project to proceed. I am glad that negotiations have finally concluded.

The new joint venture will enable Swindon Borough Council to work closely with Barratt Developments to ensure that the community is an attractive place to live with all the facilities nearby that people need and value. The construction of the new district centre and secondary school in the area known as Canalside, will mean that that facilities will be there for new buyers from the start.

More than 1,000 jobs will be supported by the new scheme in the initial stages and the first residents will move in during 2019.

I held a busy advice surgery at Waitrose in East Wichel on Friday, where I had the opportunity to discuss the new venture with local residents, as well as discussing a variety of other issues.

Following my advice surgery on Friday, I met with local charity, Artsite to discuss how I could help with their work to support young artists in the town.

Artsite manage three building in Theatre square, which includes thirteen artist studios, one theatre or art gallery space, one exhibition/workshop space and one private workshop space.

You can find out more about the local charity and how to get involved, as well as events taking place by visiting http://artsite.ltd.uk/

Finally, I am pleased that Prime Minister, Theresa May has announced the appointment of a New Loneliness Minister. As part of my campaign to tackle loneliness, I held a Loneliness Summit last year and following the success of the Summit, I am in the process of organising a second event along with Swindon Seniors Forum. At the event, we will be sharing thoughts, ideas and comments about the changes that have been made since we first came together back in the summer.

Speakers will include Seema Kennedy MP, Chair of the Commission on Loneliness set up by the late Jo Cox MP. If you would like to find out more about this event, please email me at robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk