I was incredibly lucky to have been picked in a ballot of MPs to be able to stand on the pavement outside Parliament during the Coronation procession. An experience I will never forget.
Parliament Square was lined by standard bearers from the British Legion, two of whom were from Essex and one from the Chelmsford Branch. Thank you to all the people of Chelmsford who took part in the service, the procession and the planning and the 500 members of Essex Police who helped at Stansted Airport making sure that the leaders of other countries arrived and left safely.
I spent time in the run up to the local elections chatting with people across Chelmsford. Thank you to everyone who took the time to talk. Congratulations to Cllr Susan Sullivan, one of the new councillors for Chelmer Village and Beaulieu Park.
Over the past seven years, there has been a very significant drop in serious crime in Essex. Rates of homicide, antisocial behaviour and burglary have all more than halved. Police officer numbers in Essex are at an all- time high, with 900 more officers today than in 2017. This is thanks to local efforts and delivering on the 2019 election promise for 20,000 more police nationwide.
The Government has also provided extra GRIP funding helping police to focus on targeting Hot Spot areas. In Chelmsford there has been a large amount of work to reduce violence against women and girls. Following conversations with young women, I have asked for there to be more female police officers available in the city centre during the night-time economy.
There has been a spate of thefts of bikes from near the train station, therefore I was pleased to hear that two individuals were recently arrested and charged. It is extremely important that people report incidents so that the police can build an intelligence picture, identify Hot Spots and make arrests.
A Chelmsford resident sent me a picture taken from an aeroplane flying over the new train station at Beaulieu Park. It is very impressive to see the work that is underway both on the station and on connecting the bridge to the new relief road.
Thank you to everyone who is working so hard to cut NHS waiting lists. In Mid and South Essex NHS Hospital Trust the number of patients waiting 78 weeks for treatment or alternative care has reduced from around 1,800 patients in November 2022 to 20 patients at the end of March.
I continue to work for all the people of Chelmsford, focusing on delivering on local issues as well as improving things nationally. It is important to tackle economic priority issues such as halving inflation, reducing debt and getting our local economy growing as well as cutting NHS waiting lists. A priority of the Prime Minister is also to stop the small boats, I know many people locally care about this issue too.
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