'I hope together we can achieve great things for the town in my remaining years as your MP'
Column by Nick Boles, MP for Grantham and Stamford
While I regret the final disintegration of my relationship with my local Conservative Association, there is no reason why this should affect the way I serve the people of Grantham and the surrounding villages. On Monday, I met with the Government chief whip and he agreed to my request to remain as a Conservative MP in Westminster. In Parliament, I will represent the 100,000 people who live in my constituency as the progressive, liberal Conservative that I have always been.
The main implication of the decision that I took last weekend is that I will not be standing as the Conservative candidate for Grantham and Stamford at the next general election. This is not due for three years, until 2022, but it could of course come sooner. In the time that I have left as your MP, these will be my priorities in Grantham.
I want to leave Grantham as a better place to live, work and raise a family.
My first priority remains Grantham Hospital. I want to work with local campaigners and Dr Dave Baker from the local commissioning group to ensure that the community health trust opens a truly 24/7 service and does not force people to rely on the 111 phone line when they have a fall in the middle of the night.
I also want to make sure that by the time I stand down, Grantham relief road has been built. I was pleased to be able to help Lincolnshire highways supremo Councillor Richard Davies get the necessary sign-off from the Secretary of State. I stand ready to help remove any other bureaucratic blockages as they arise.
Grantham needs to enhance its appeal to families looking for a day out. So, I applaud the bold and dynamic leadership of Councillor Matthew Lee and welcome the council’s commitment to bring leisure facilities like a swimming pool back into the town centre. Together with the new cinema and the Margaret Thatcher statue, serious investment is going into making Grantham a more interesting and enjoyable place to visit. There’s a long way to go but real progress is being made.
There is so much more to Grantham than first meets the eye. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to represent it for the last nine years and I hope that together we can achieve great things for the town in my remaining years as your MP.