Since his re-election in December 2019, Alec has been working hard to deliver his 6-Point Plan for Elmet & Rothwell. He recently updated his plan to tackle new challenges arising from the global COVID-19 pandemic and keep pace with new opportunities in Global Britain.
Re-launching his updated plan, Alec said: “Now we have got Brexit done and building back from the COVID pandemic, I want ‘My Plan for Elmet & Rothwell’ to focus on how we can build back better and level-up areas that need additional investment to access new global opportunities”.
Alec's Plan for Elmet & Rothwell
1. Improving access to world-class healthcare
In a survey of residents in Elmet & Rothwell, 85.7% of respondents said they’d had a positive experience when they recently used a local NHS service. This is positive news, however, Alec is determined to see this figure improve further so more people have a good experience of the NHS. The global pandemic brought additional pressure to the NHS, but with huge investment from government our frontline workers acted heroically to keep us all safe and protect lives. Alec is working with Boris Johnson to deliver a long-term plan for the NHS that will boost spending by £20.5 billion a year. This additional funding for local NHS services will deliver more nurses, better cancer care and an additional £2 billion investment in mental health support.
This injection of funding delivered by the Conservatives in Government means the NHS will receive an extra £400 million a week as promised. Alec has already secured further funding into our local NHS, with new healthcare facilities meaning significantly modernised hospital buildings in Leeds.
2. 20,000 more police officers fighting crime
Backing the government’s new policing strategy with 20,000 additional police officers to tackle crime and keep us safe.
Serious and violent crime is low in our area but residents are right to be concerned about anti-social behaviour and cyber-crime, which often targets elderly and vulnerable people in our communities.
With the nature of crime is changing, we need to change the way we tackle crime. So, whilst we still need police officers on patrol and able to react to emergencies, we also need trained officers dealing with online crime and intelligence to beat serious organised crime.
3. More good jobs and stronger wages
We need to build back better from the pandemic. To do this, we need to fix the structural problems in our economy.
Unemployment in Elmet & Rothwell reduced by 60% between 2010 and 2020. Over 1,000 new jobs were being created every day as businesses were feeling the benefits of economic growth and investing in jobs and skills again. But the pandemic highlighted weaknesses that need to be addressed if we’re to take advantage of new opportunities provided to us now we have left the European Union.
In 2010, Alec promised to make “jobs, jobs, jobs” the focus of his efforts as the local Member of Parliament for Elmet & Rothwell. Since then – by working closely with local businesses and banging the drum for investment in jobs and apprenticeships – we’ve seen unemployment in our area fall 60%. As we recover from the pandemic, helping businesses bounce back will remain a priority.
4. The UK’s first Dementia Friendly constituency
Over 1 million people are reported to be living with Dementia in the UK.
In one way or another Dementia affects all our families and – as was the case for Alec's own family – a lack of knowledge about how to deal with it often means the last few years of a loved one’s life aren’t always as happy as they should be.
That’s why Alec organised a Dementia Summit, bringing together those who know the most about Dementia care into one forum with the aim of making Elmet & Rothwell the UK’s first Dementia Friendly constituency.
Shortly afterwards, Alec published the first Dementia Directory, signposting local families to advice and support.
Read Alec’s Dementia Directory here.
5. More outstanding schools and academies
Here in Elmet & Rothwell we have some of the best performing schools and academies in Leeds and there are now more pupils in good and outstanding schools than ever before thanks to a record of amount of money now going into the schools budget.
Looking ahead, we’re investing even more money in local schools. A recent statement by the Chancellor announced a guaranteed minimum of £4,000 per primary pupil and £5,000 per secondary pupil.
To support working parents Alec supported Government proposals to introduce 30 hours of free childcare for young children.
6. Protecting people in the workplace
Alec is leading a national campaign to ban unpaid internships, a practice whereby employers take on young people for up to a year at a time for no salary.
Campaign group Intern Aware and a number of other Conservative MPs are backing Alec’s motion.
According to a YouGov poll, 43% of 18 to 24 year olds believe unpaid internships act or have acted as a major barrier to getting a job. Former MP and Poverty Tsar Alan Milburn’s 2012 report into social mobility found that over 30% of newly hired graduates had previously interned for their employer, rising to 50% in some sectors.
In the Commons, Alec argued that unpaid internships restrict social mobility as they aid young people from wealthy backgrounds who can afford to work for free, but restrict entry to the workplace for the majority of young people in the UK.
Alec drew reference to his own early employment doing manual work in engineering factories and as a kitchen and bathroom fitter as he explained why he thinks unpaid internships should be banned.
Alec’s motion called for an amendment to existing National Minimum Wage legislation to redefine the term “workers” and offer greater protections to young people entering the workplace. The motion called for a common sense approach to ensure than no work experience should last longer than four weeks without pay; at which point an individual should become an intern and be paid the National Minimum Wage as a minimum.
Most recently, Alec led a debate on workplace support for women suffering from endometriosis, a medial condition causing crippling pain and often leading to fertility problems.