Richard Foord www.msn.com
I’m proud to live in our beautiful part of the world – and to be elected to represent my neighbours in Parliament. Having been born in Somerset, I served our country in the Army for over a decade. I was promoted to the rank of Major after completing tours in Iraq and with the United Nations in Kosovo.
When I left the Army in 2010, my wife and I chose to move to Devon in order to settle down and raise our family. From rolling hills, to hospitable towns, to beautiful beaches – we really do have it all in our part of Devon.
But I can see how our area has been let down by the Government. Their focus is on winning over people in the north of England, rather than paying attention to places like Devon.
People feel particularly let down by Boris Johnson. He lacks the moral courage to lead and do the right thing, with many lifelong conservative voters switching their support to the Liberal Democrats as a result.
On Thursday last week, people in Devon spoke for the country and made history by electing me to represent them in Parliament. For the first time in 100 years, Tiverton and Honiton does not have a Conservative MP. This is a political earthquake and sends a clear message that our communities won’t be taken for granted any longer.
I am deeply humbled by their support and will work tirelessly for everyone in our area. Indeed, on my first day in Westminster I got straight down to business by tabling a motion calling for a cut to rural fuel duty.
This cut would bring down the price of fuel in rural communities like ours by 10p a litre. This would reflect the fact we are more reliant on our cars than those living in urban areas and would help ease the cost of living pressure people are feeling.
I hope other West Country and rural MPs will join me in this cross-party campaign, because it is the right thing to do for the people we represent. On top of this, we need to see greater action taken to help those struggling with the cost of living. With families struggling to put fuel in their cars and food on the table, Liberal Democrats are calling for a cut to VAT and a cap on the cost of heating oil.
The Government is raking in £40billion extra in tax due to rising prices, so it’s only right they give some of that money back to you. Cutting VAT would bring down prices in the shops and put £600 back in your pocket.
Many people in our part of the world rely upon heating oil to keep their homes warm. Yet there is no cap on the price of heating oil, meaning we’re seeing eye-watering price rises without any support from the government.
A cap would keep costs down, by ensuring the Government steps in to shield people from sharp rises in prices. We also need to see action to bring down ambulance waiting times, improve local dentistry services and stop water companies dumping raw sewage in our rivers.
I promised to be an active and vocal champion for our part of the world – and I meant it. I will continue to bang the drum for Devon and make sure the issues we face here are raised loudly in Westminster. The Conservatives have taken our part of the world for granted for far too long. As your Liberal Democrat MP, I won’t take anyone for granted.