Last month in the House of Commons I spoke about ‘building back better’ for West Dorset as we plan our local recovery from the coronavirus crisis. In my response to the Chancellor’s statement on the economy; and in my direct lobbying of individual ministers, I have repeatedly called on Government to invest in our rural West Dorset community as a priority.

That is why this week I am particularly pleased to share a major success, with the news that Kingston Maurward College has secured £3.5 million as part of the Getting Building Fund, representing one of the biggest Government investments in West Dorset for many years. This is a huge boost to local education, skills development and training and clear evidence that Government is now listening to our needs here.

In other news, this week sees the launch of the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme until 31st August, aimed at supporting our local hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafés. This sector, which Government has also supported with a temporary cut in VAT, is a major employer in our coastal towns, and one of the hardest-hit by the pandemic. I was pleased to support The Volunteer Inn in Lyme Regis on Monday, on its first day of opening since March. Manager Matt Puddy and the team there have done a wonderful job of refurbishing this historic pub and it was great to see it back at the centre of community life once more.

Finally, the House of Commons is in recess until 1st September and I’m planning visits throughout the constituency during August. Contrary to what some presume, recess is most definitely not a holiday – more a welcome opportunity to spend more time working here rather than in Westminster. Please do remember to let me know about any events you are planning this summer and I will do my very best to support them, you can email me at: