SINCE being your MP I have been working hard on a wide range of projects to ensure the people of Taunton Deane continue to get the high-quality care they deserve.

Having played my part in attracting £79 million to build the new theatre complex at Musgrove Park Hospital and £11 million towards the health transformation services across the area, I have been supporting the hospital in recent months to make the case to Government of the need to upgrade facilities across the whole site, including the antiquated maternity unit where I had my three children and it was old then.

The excellent care offered at Musgrove Park Hospital should be matched by world class facilities and I am pleased to say that the Health Secretary has recently informed me that the hospital will be awarded a substantial amount of funding to achieve just that. I am delighted to say it has been included in a nationwide £3 billion project to improve 40 hospitals.

Initially, the hospital has been given the go-ahead by Government to develop its plans for a £450 million upgrade of the site and seed funding has been allocated for the Trust to develop its business case for this. This is really welcome news and gives the security needed for planning to begin on this substantial project and I am proud to have played my part.

Connectivity is vital for individuals and businesses across Taunton Deane. It is therefore deeply disappointing that Connecting Devon and Somerset’s broadband roll out has been delayed further.

This is an unacceptable situation for so many and on hearing the news, I convened an urgent meeting in Somerset with the Digital Minister which took place recently to look to the future.

I’ve had questions from constituents about provision from other operators and regarding voucher schemes and whether or not to accept them. I agreed with the Minister that a programme of engagement through parish councils, direct communication and other means should start to help residents and businesses decide how best to act.

I am having a further meeting with the Minister in the coming weeks to discuss next steps and I will keep you updated.

Taunton Deane MP