There was excellent news this week as the latest Centre for Cities report showed that Swindon continues to have one of the best-performing economies in the country. Swindon is ranked seventh in Britain when it comes to the rate of productivity per worker – up three places from a year ago. The town is also outpointing many large towns and cities in terms of its employment rate. With an employment rate of 80.6 per cent, which significantly higher than the national average of 74.2 per cent. Skill levels are a key component of the success of a city economy, according to the Outlook report, and Swindon fares well in these indicators coming out with the fourth lowest percentage of residents with no formal qualifications (3.9 per cent). The national average is 8.3 per cent.

Since 2010, I have fought hard to maintain and grow a strong local economy that is supportive of businesses and creates jobs and these encouraging figures show that Swindon is a great place to do business, with a skilled workforce and house prices significantly below the national average. Swindon’s economy is vibrant, booming and better than ever.

Lydiard Country Park is very important to many of us in Swindon. Like many fellow residents, I often enjoy a walk around the grounds and sometimes a Parkrun on Saturdays too. I want to see its rural character maintained, which is why I am supporting further protection for the Park. Shaw Residents’ Association have written to Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire County Council urging them to protect Lydiard Park estate’s essential setting and heritage by strengthening current planning policies.

Over the years, I have campaigned alongside local residents and opposed plans such as the Taylor Wimpey proposals to build 48 homes within sight of the historic St Mary’s Church. Following fierce opposition from local residents, community groups and heritage campaigners in November 2016, Taylor Wimpey decided to withdraw this proposal.

Shaw Residents’ Association should be commended for trying to find a way through this problem, by looking to the long-term and making sure that as Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire County Council develop their local plans, new ways are developed to further protect the land around Lydiard Park.

I am extremely supportive of more housebuilding in Swindon in accordance with our Local Plan, such as the new joint venture between Swindon Borough Council and Taylor Wimpey for around 2,700 new homes in Wichelstowe. I think that we need to get the balance right between town and country so that we can be genuinely proud of Swindon as it continues to develop in a sustainable way. I will continue to support Shaw Residents’ Association as they seek to find ways to protect the rural setting of Lydiard Park.

I was delighted to pay a visit to Tregoze School on Friday where I took part in an assembly and spoke to pupils and staff about my role in Parliament. Following the assembly, I took part in a question and answer session with the school council. I was very impressed by the varied selection of thought-provoking questions that I was asked.

Finally, I am pleased that another nine terror-related offences have been added to the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme.

In my role as Solicitor General, I work weekly to review criminal sentences referred to me under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. This scheme gives the victims of crime, their families and the public the opportunity to challenge sentences which they believe are too low.

From this week, anyone found guilty of crimes such as tipping off terrorists about an investigation, or flouting terror prevention court orders, could see their sentences increased if victims or the public think the punishment is too light.

The move is the latest in a series of steps taken by the government to ensure that we have the most robust counter-terrorism powers possible, and that sentences reflect the devastating impact terrorism has on victims and communities.