As readers know, I mainly use this column to discuss important local issues and to highlight the successes of local individuals and the myriad of local organisations and community endeavours that make Woking the special place that it is.

But in this week’s column, I think it’s appropriate to focus attention on the King’s Speech – the first King’s Speech in over 70 years, following the passing of our late Queen.

In recent years we have faced massive national and international challenges – firstly the Covid pandemic, then the war in Ukraine, followed by the huge global economic dislocations in the immediate aftermath of those two crises. These events have exposed some underlying issues for our country, and that is why the government is determined to implement the change this country needs.

So in the King’s Speech the government has announced plans to deliver a brighter future for our nation under four key headings; growing the economy, strengthening society, keeping people safe from crime and promoting our national interests. These were further set out in 21 newly announced Bills, that will hopefully become law over the next year.

The government will continue working to bring down inflation, to cut debt and to grow the economy – including by modernising regulation so the biggest tech firms can grow and compete in the UK. A series of Bills will be introduced to regulate the actions of the world’s biggest tech firms – covering everything from social media giants, to supporting new emerging technologies like driverless vehicles, AI and machine learning.

I have long supported local campaigners in trying to ban live animal exports. So I am delighted that we will promote animal welfare and protect livestock from distress and injury with the Animal Welfare Live Exports Bill.

We will help keep people safe by making sure the police have the powers they need, criminals get the punishment they deserve and society is protected from terrorism. 

This will be achieved with four new Bills, including ones to introduce tougher sentences and greater police powers. For example, a new Criminal Justice Bill will give the police the tools they need to prevent new and complex crimes, such as digital-enabled crime and child grooming.

We will continue to back our Armed Forces and protect national security. 

This will be achieved by investing in our world leading Armed Forces, ensuring that they have what they need to protect our country and keep people safe. By working with our international partners we will support Ukraine, strengthen NATO and safeguard our national security.

In each of these areas I believe that the government is taking the right long-term action to deliver change and a brighter future for everyone in the United Kingdom.

I am happy to support the government as it continues to tackle inflation, to prioritise higher growth over extra borrowing, to reduce debt, and to improve our NHS with initiatives such as the new diagnostic centre at Woking Community Hospital. And as your local MP, I will continue to be a strong voice in Parliament, pushing hard at all times to deliver on your priorities.