Opportunities for Young People

David used his maiden speech to highlight the exodus of young people from Somerset – currently three quarters leave the area after they complete their full-time education.

Improving train links

David has been campaigning for improved train links for this area for the past two years. As a candidate he brought successive Rail Ministers to the constituency to impress upon them the need for a new station between Taunton and Castle Cary. This stretch of track is the longest without a station in the whole of the West Country and David was delighted by the reopening of the New Stations Fund announced in the Budget.

Equality in education

As a former teacher, education is among David’s biggest priorities. He used his maiden speech to highlight the inequity of the current funding system which sees urban schools receive more funding per pupil than their rural counterparts. Working with the F40 group of local authorities, David is campaigning for a new, fairer funding system which gives equal resources to children in Somerton and Frome – and ends this imbalance which advantages urban schools at the expense of those in Somerset.

Boosting broadband

Somerton and Frome currently has the fourteenth lowest rate of broadband connectivity in the country – and this is something David believes needs urgent improvement. Since being elected in May, David has been working with other South West MPs and Connecting Devon and Somerset to ensure that this problem is recognised and the situation improved. While a candidate, David brought the Communications Minister Ed Vaizey MP to Beckington where they talked with local business owners about the challenges of running a rural business without adequate connectivity.

Protecting local bus services

David has been campaigning with community groups and local residents to protect local bus services. Last year, he joined with the Rode Business Forum and local campaigners to prevent First Bus from cutting the 267 route and as a result of this campaign, First agreed to continue running the service.

Supporting Somerset Cider

As one of his first acts after the election, David joined with CAMRA to lead a campaign against the potential removal of the UK duty exemption for small cider producers. This would have a devastating impact on countless small producers across the South West and David delivered a 26,000 signature petition to 10 Downing Street and tabled an Early Day motion which attracted significant cross-party support from MPs as politically diverse as Jeremy Corbyn, Zac Goldsmith and Caroline Lucas.