TENDRING TALKS is Giles Watling MP's regular column in the Clacton and Frinton Gazette.
8th February 2024
It’s been a very difficult time for our community recently, and I want to start my column this week by sharing my deepest sympathies to the family of Esther Martin who was tragically killed in Jaywick at the weekend. I have been in constant liaison with Essex Police from the moment they became aware of the situation, and want to commend the Officers who responded at the scene for their tremendous character and fortitude in doing everything they could. This tragedy cannot be allowed to happen again, here or anywhere. The Government has legislated, rightfully, to control the breed responsible and I was a firm supporter of this action. I hope that owners will comply with legislation to avoid consequences for them, their dogs, and for potential victims.
I also want to send my well-wishes, as I know many of us will of course, to His Majesty The King after the recent news about His Majesty’s health. I saw first hand with my own family the impact that cancer can have, and I wish His Majesty – and the Royal Household – all the best as treatment commences. I hope that this news also is an encouragement to people up and down the country to get checked if they have concerns about their health. God Save The King!
Many of you came to visit me at the Tesco and Asda in Clacton in the last few weeks for my pop-up surgeries, to share your thoughts and raise issues with me and my team. Thank you to everyone who came to see me – it is vitally important for me to understand the issues affecting residents and their mood on the topics of the day! I’ll be hosting more surgeries in the coming weeks and months, including another Out & About bus surgery travelling the constituency. For the most up-to-date information on this, as well as to find out where I will be in the future, be sure to check my social media - @GilesWatling on Twitter, Giles Watling MP on Facebook, my website www.gileswatling.co.uk and my newsletter, https://www.gileswatling.co.uk/join-clacton-conversation - for updates!
Meanwhile in Westminster, I am busy working away. After a number of meetings with the Minister for Dentistry and our local NHS board, I am proud to announce that we are within a hair’s width of a real breakthrough in the fight for more NHS dentistry in the constituency. I have been pushing for this since Summer last year, cutting through NHS red tape and “computer says no” responses that have sought to frustrate us. I know how important this issue is to you – it’s the top local matter in my postbag - and I will hopefully be able to write in my next column to outline the tangible details and benefits that are coming to our community in this field.
I’ve also been talking to the Department of Levelling Up about the funding for our community. As you know I’ve been able to secure over £78m worth of investment for our community to level up Clacton-on-Sea, our hospital, the wider Clacton constituency, and more. I particularly want to see more funding for Jaywick, more money for our hospital if we can get it, and investment in local services. By going directly to the Ministers responsible I hope to be able to cut through any blocks to levelling up our constituency, and secure the investment – private and public – that our community needs to achieve its full potential. The Community Boards that oversee this funding locally are being formed as we speak, and I look forward to working with them to ensure this money is spent fairly and properly.
In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with my at my office if I can be of active assistance to an issue affecting you. You can reach out to me via my email, firstname.lastname@example.org – I look forward to hearing from you!