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'Whatever your politics, we should recognise Grantham’s place in history'

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This week we saw Britain’s first woman Prime Minister recognised in her home town with an impressive statue which stands moments from Edith Smith Way, named in honour of Britain’s first female police officer, says Gareth Davies, MP for Grantham and Stamford.

These women showed that when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit. So whatever your politics, we in Grantham should recognise our town’s place in history, especially when it comes to ground-breaking women.

Just as Labour’s former Prime Minister Harold Wilson has a statue in his home town of Huddersfield, as does Labour’s Clement Atlee in London, it is right that we recognise significant public service of all party colours, whether we agree or disagree with their policies.

Grantham MP Gareth Davies (55379909)
Grantham MP Gareth Davies (55379909)

I, for one, would not be at all surprised if the town were to add to its record in the future given that almost every week I am bowled over by our engaged, impressive local students. Last week was no different as I fielded questions from Year 5 students at Isaac Newton Primary School.

During my visit, I had the opportunity to outline some of my responsibilities as an MP, including as a member of the Treasury Select Committee. It is a role I take very seriously, especially given the economic situation we find ourselves in today following the war in Ukraine and global pandemic.

On Monday the committee quizzed the Governor of the Bank of England about inflation and what the Bank is doing to make sure prices are brought under better control. I know how hard things are right now for many families across our area, and am pleased government support for those hardest hit has been announced, but I do take comfort that as we heard on Tuesday that unemployment is now the lowest since 1974. This includes over 1 million more disabled people in employment compared to a year ago.

Key to future employment is making sure that young people are trained for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, which is why it was such a pleasure to officially open the new £2.6m Institute of Technology at Grantham College.

Finally, we heard this week that Finland and Sweden have formally applied to join NATO, bolstering the alliance and striking a strategic blow to Putin. In the interim, the UK has agreed mutual security deals with both countries. All of which builds on existing strong military links through the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), under which British, Finnish and Swedish troops have conducted joint exercises. This is Britain leading on the world stage, playing an active role in the security of our allies.

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