Amber Rudd used her maiden speech in the House of Commons (on Thursday June 17th) to press for road and rail improvements and for a fairer deal for local fishermen.
All new MPs must make a ‘maiden speech’ before they are allowed to participate in debates. Amber used the occasion to praise the work done by her predecessor (Michael Foster), provide a brief outline of Hastings and Rye and highlight some issues of particular concern.
Amber described Michael Foster as “ an immensely popular MP ” who worked hard for his constituents, but “ unfortunately for him,” she added, “ his popularity grew in inverse proportion to that of the Government he served so loyally for 13 years.”
She used the opportunity to celebrate the regeneration that has taken place so far in Hastings, but lamented the resulting lack of economic progress and pressed for improved transport links. Stressing the importance of both the Link Rd and improving the A21 and rail service in order to open up the economy of the area.
Amber then went on to praise Hastings as the “custodian of England’s most famous date” and urged her fellow MPs to “spend their holidays with us. Not only exploring the source of modern English history, but also enjoying superb local produce, top quality entertainment, fresh air and exercise, and, for more sedentary MPS, fish and chips and slot machines.”
She was also highly critical of the way the previous Labour Government had abandoned local fishermen, and called for the Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon MP, to take immediate action in making changes to the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy that will ensure their survival.
“I feel very strongly about this,” said Amber. “I am determined to keep drawing attention to the plight of our local fishermen in the House of Commons. We need to protect our old trades as well as trying to develop new ones.”