Two months into the job, the LibDems’ Sarah Dyke takes a moment in her first column to look back – and to outline her plans for the future
It has been just over two months since I was elected as the new MP for Somerton and Frome – a whirlwind experience but also the honour of a lifetime.
I would like to use my first BV column as an opportunity to reflect on my first few weeks in office, and to set out my aims.
I am determined to stand up for our area and to fight to ensure my constituents get a fair deal.
Since being elected I have been active throughout the constituency. I held a village tour earlier in the summer where I met with as many people as I could and listened to their concerns, both local and national. I will be holding regular surgeries and you can also get in touch by writing to
Hit the ground running
On my first day in Parliament, I pressed the Secretary of State for Education on the RAAC crisis and I also raised the deep local concerns over the lack of NHS dentists and GP appointments by writing to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. I have asked for a meeting with the Secretary of State to discuss these issues and to hear about the steps his department is taking to resolve the shortage.
Everyone should be able to access an NHS dentist if they need one – and no one should be forced to pay hundreds of pounds for private care.
The Liberal Democrats have called for proper workforce planning for health and social care – including provisions for dentists and dental staff – to be written into law. I believe this is crucial in order to provide the level of overall care people in Somerset (and everywhere else) deserve.
I also want to use my position to campaign on the state of our natural environment. I am seriously concerned about the health and welfare of our rivers, which have been massively polluted over recent years.
Our natural environment has to be something that we can all take pride in, and I will fight for this to be the case. I have written to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to urge him to support Somerset Council’s bid to introduce modular water treatment units at wastewater treatment works.
This project will help to unlock vital housing in Somerset while ensuring that our natural environment is protected.
Finally, can I take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who supported me at the recent by-election? I will continue to work hard for our local community and to be your voice in Parliament.
- The Somerton and Frome constituency may be a Somerset one, but it naturally overlaps with the Blackmore Vale area, stretching as it does north of Sherborne to Milborne Port and Henstridge up to the A303