THIS month has been busy in the House of Commons, but I recently had my first walk along Lyme Regis seafront in months.
The Prime Minister backed my call for railway investment to improve regional connectivity at Prime Minister’s Questions, which I want to use to focus on the Heart of Wessex line.
With the ‘Yeovil South Chord’ we can connect Bournemouth and Dorchester to Exeter and achieve Dorchester to London journey times down to two hours and 15 minutes.
A boost in rail will help keep cars off the road, particularly the A35 where a reduction in road traffic is much needed between Lyme and Bridport. I again pushed for investment in faster broadband for Dorset.
I have been working hard for months to secure government funding for broadband for rural Dorset and I specifically asked the Minister to top up the fund for a full-fibre spine for Dorset – we then got the news that Dorset is top of the list for funding in Project Gigabit, which will be a game-changer for connectivity in Dorset.
It’s been a year since I introduced my Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill to parliament, which will change the law to ensure proper punishments for those who abuse animals by raising the maximum sentence for the worst offenders from six months to five years.
Having navigated various hurdles presented by coronavirus, my Bill completed its passage through the House of Commons and is now in the House of Lords. I’m hoping it will receive Royal Assent in May.
I went to Clapham Common to pay my respects to Sarah Everard, which gave me many insights.
The press has taken a particular dislike to the Metropolitan Police over the events at the bandstand, but the review has since found that the police did act appropriately in the face of abuse and provocation.
It is worthwhile, I think, for all of us to know the full facts before reaching any conclusions.
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West Dorset MP
*Please note, this column was written before the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on April 9. Mr Loder has since written to Her Majesty the Queen sending his condolences on behalf of West Dorset constituents.