Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach raises local issues in maiden speech

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Whitchurch Herald)

EDDISBURY’S newly-elected Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach made her maiden speech at Westminster last week, highlighting several issues in the constituency.

Broadband and mobile connections are a particular problem, and Ms Sandbach said she was holding meetings with various company representatives to discuss improving the situation.

She paid tribute to her predecessor Stephen O’Brien, saying that he served the constituency with distinction for the last 16 years before taking up a new role in the United Nations as Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs.

The MP noted the importance of the dairy industry to Cheshire, saying that dairying in the constituency is recorded as far back as 1125 by William of Malmsbury.

“The fact that it is cheaper to buy a litre of milk than a litre of water is something on which we do need to take action if we want to ensure that British family farms survive,” she said. 

“Farm diversification can be seen in Eddisbury with milk being turned into one of the oldest English cheeses, namely Cheshire cheese, and that entrepreneurial spirit continues with delicious Cheshire ice cream and yogurt.”

She mentioned The Wingate Centre in Wrenbury which provides life enriching experiences for children with disabilities and provides respite care for those that need it.

Some of the area’s main events such as the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power and the Bolesworth International Event were also highlighted.

The MP praised the numerous towns and villages throughout the constituency where small local businesses are working hard to thrive, such as high street shops, farms and businesses on the many industrial sites.

She said: “I got involved in politics as a single parent, having struggled to access childcare in the rural area in which I lived. Childcare is crucial to allow parents to make the most of themselves and also their children.

“This government’s commitment to 30 hours free childcare provides an opportunity for local councils to ensure that there is appropriate provision during school holidays and wrap-around care, which is vital for working parents and single parents in particular.”

She said that having experienced devolution first hand, it is clear that if decision-making is taken closer to those affected by it they will benefit.

“This is the benefit of the northern powerhouse to my constituents. This is the principle perhaps that we should bear in mind when considering the impact of the European Union referendum, and it seems a contradiction that the SNP seek independence yet apparently are happy to cede sovereignty to Europe.

“Whatever happens in respect of devolution in Scotland and Wales, what will be key for all of us going forward is communication. 

“Eddisbury is 631 out of 650 for mobile and broadband services and British telecom and the mobile operators have to change their approach to services in my part of Cheshire and improve them.

“Mobile telephone operators need to be aware that if they don’t take advantage of the mobile infrastructure funding to improve signal in my constituency that I will be campaigning to support proposals to allow roaming across networks. There is no part of the constituency that has an operator which provides a strong signal over all of it.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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