Eastleigh MP Mims Davies has vowed to fight for better transport infrastructure and health services in the constituency during her maiden speech to Parliament.
Mims, who made the address on her 40th birthday on the 2nd of June, said she would also work hard to ensure less traffic pollution.
“Eastleigh is very close to the M3 and the M27, which puts pressure on our community, with pollution and other pressures,” she told MPs.
“I will use my time in this House to fight for the infrastructure that is needed: the Chickenhall link road; the Botley bypass, which we have waited decades for, and the upgrades to Hamble Lane and the Windover roundabout.
“We need smart motorways in Hampshire, noise reduction and junction improvements on the M27.” Mims also said she would like to see Moorgreen Hospital in West End enhanced and retained so that local people do not have to go to Southampton or Winchester for treatment.
“There are no acute services in Eastleigh; there is no walk-in centre or community hospital,” she said. On a lighter note, Mims paid tribute to O’Briens coffee shop in Eastleigh which she said, “provides the best coffee in a town centre that anyone could find”.
She also said that Eastleigh College and Barton Peveril Sixth Form College were both a tremendous success.
In closing, the new MP for Eastleigh heartily praised the work of one Eastleigh Borough Councillor and spoke of her pride at being voted in to represent the whole constituency.
“I am very proud to represent Eastleigh and I am also very proud to stand alongside Cllr Godfrey Olson, who is one of my local councillors and has celebrated 60 years as a councillor.”
Mrs Davies vowed to work extremely hard for the community and to try to echo the service Cllr Olson has given to the area.
— MimsDaviesMP (@mimsdavies) May 27, 2015
You can also view Mims’ speech online.
Full transcript of Mims Davies’ maiden speech in Parliament
A full transcript of Mims’ speech is below.
Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con): It is a pleasure to follow such fine maiden speeches by the hon. Member for Bristol West (Thangam Debbonaire) and my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Caroline Ansell), as well as the fine words of my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr Jackson).
It is an absolute pleasure to join this House today and to represent the constituency of Eastleigh. I am the first female Conservative MP for Eastleigh—the first Conservative, in fact, for 21 years—and the opportunity to speak today in the debate on Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech is one that I shall very much enjoy for the next six or so minutes.
Six is key in my speech, because this year it is 60 years since the Eastleigh constituency was formed. When people ask me where Eastleigh is, I say that it is the long strip of bacon that sort of runs between Southampton and Portsmouth. If anyone is still not quite sure where it is, they should drive to the bottom of that long strip and end up at Hamble. That is always a good place to be because it is the home of the King and Queen pub, one of the most famous pubs in the world and recently voted the finest sailing pub in the whole of Britain. Janet Bradley, the owner of the King and Queen, has asked me to remind the Chancellor that he is welcome at any time to come and pull a pint; in fact, she has offered him a job swap.
The famous Eastleigh tan
Eastleigh constituency is also the home of the famous Eastleigh tan; the last few months have certainly been quite enjoyable when the weather has been fine. For nearly 40 years, Eastleigh was a Conservative seat held by Sir David Price. He fought 10 elections and in his hands Eastleigh was a very safe Conservative seat, most wonderfully kept, and this year I received kind support from his daughter on the eve of the election. I was told, “Please win it back to Conservative hands for my dad”, and I am very pleased to report that I did. I know how much family support means when it comes to this job. I have young children and a fine husband, and without such support people could not campaign, let alone sit in this House.
Eastleigh is a growing constituency and has some lovely villages, one of which is Bursledon. Bursledon is the home of “Howard’s Way” and the Jolly Sailor pub. There is also the village of Netley, with its abbey and castle. In fact, there are more than 180 listed buildings and eight ancient monuments in the constituency, as well as the newly refurbished Bursledon windmill, which people should certainly visit.
Eastleigh town is home to O’Briens coffee shop, which I would argue provides the best coffee in a town centre that anyone could find. Eastleigh also has a history as a railway town. In fact, it goes back to Saxon times and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
Mike Thornton and his contribution
Modern Eastleigh was formed around the original Bishopstoke Junction railway station in 1838, and that is now where my predecessor, Mike Thornton, lives. He is well known to this House, and was warm and kind during the election campaign. He is also well known locally as a fine local councillor. I pay tribute to his hard work since the by-election that he won, and I know he will give me any helpful advice or guidance I need. During the election campaign, we duelled in slightly different ways. Of course, one way was at the hustings, but the most memorable time was on a very hot Sunday morning in the Eastleigh 10k race. He pipped me then—I ran marathon pace, by the way—but as I came over the finish line I hoped that that would be the last time he did so, and it was. I wish Mike all the best and I know that he will continue to support the local community, and I wish him well in his new adventures—maybe a half-marathon.
Eastleigh aerodrome was the home of the Spitfire aeroplane; the Spitfire first flew out of the aerodrome, which is now Southampton international airport. Eastleigh is now home to Flybe, G W Martin and Lubetech, and B&Q has a little toe in the constituency, and has what was formerly the Pirelli factory, now Prysmian Cables & Systems Ltd. Eastleigh was also formerly home to Mr Kipling.
Eastleigh is also the home of Benny Hill. He worked in Woolworths on Leigh Road before becoming a milkman. Yes, he was “The Fastest Milkman in the West”, based at Factory Road, where he worked with a horse-drawn carriage. We know that that song was also made famous quite recently on “Desert Island Discs” by our Prime Minister. Benny Hill Close is now full of lovely new homes.
Colin Firth’s chosen college
Eastleigh College is a tremendous success, with more than 4,000 apprentices. Barton Peveril Sixth Form College is also a great college, and it was the choice of Colin Firth. In addition, Eastleigh is famously the home of the Naked Rambler, but I will not say any more about that.
Eastleigh is very close to the M3 and the M27, which puts pressure on our community, with pollution and the other pressures from living nearby on the peninsula. Sadly, we have some very polluted areas in the constituency, so I will use my time in this House to fight for the infrastructure that is needed: the Chickenhall link road; the Botley bypass, which we have waited decades for; and the upgrades to Hamble Lane and the Windover roundabout. We need smart motorways in Hampshire, noise reduction and junction improvements on the M27.
Very proud to represent Eastleigh
In this debate today, we are talking about the NHS and its five-year plan, which will integrate healthcare and social care, improve access to GPs and prioritise mental health. I was a carer for my mum and dad in their older age, and I was a member of the “sandwich” generation—someone looking after younger children as well as unwell parents. I would like to see us supporting people better. Carers week is coming up and I will be supporting Eastleigh and the One Community in that.
Finally, I would like us, in the NHS and the Bill we are considering, to bring through the technology and new practices that are so badly needed, and which I saw from the other side, by using it. I would like to see Moorgreen hospital enhanced and retained. There are no acute services in Eastleigh; there is no walk-in centre or community hospital.
In closing, I am very proud to represent Eastleigh and I am also very proud to stand alongside Godfrey Olson, who is one of my local councillors and has celebrated 60 years as a councillor. If I do can one tenth of the work that he has done in Eastleigh in this House—today is my 40th birthday, so do the maths—I will be here for a long time. I vow to work very hard for Eastleigh.
Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, for giving me the chance to speak.