MP Bob Seely has publicly praised the efforts of IOW NHS Trust boss Maggie Oldham in taking the Trust out of special measures following its inspection this summer.
Addressing Ministers in the House of Commons he said: “I want to put on record my thanks to Maggie Oldham at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, who has taken the trust out of special measures. It is now rated as good.”
Mr Seely went on in his speech to address various issues relating to the Chancellor’s budget including the Government’s decision to approve the Isle of Wight’s levelling-up bid which will see East Cowes receive £5.8 million in Government funding for a series of projects including improvements to the Columbine building in East Cowes, development of the barracks nearby and the building of a new community square.
He said: “I congratulate the Government on their decision to back the Isle of Wight’s levelling-up bid last week and moving it up into tranche 1, accepting my arguments. I am most grateful for that.”
Referring to the specifics of the bid he said: “That £6 million is going to buy quite a few things, but most importantly it will buy the capability to be able to lift 240-tonne ships out of the water at East Cowes. It will be a massive boost for jobs and for Wight shipyards and aluminium boats.”
Mr Seely also pressed Ministers on the need to invest further in the Island’s shipbuilding industry by commissioning the building of next-generation Border Patrol vessels at Wight Shipyards.
He said: “The Isle of Wight may well be putting in the only UK bid, and it will be a highly competitive one. Those boats have been made in Holland before. It would be nice to see them made in the UK and preferably on the Island, bringing that wealth to the Isle of Wight and also along the south coast.”
Responding to the Government’s amendment to the Universal Credit taper rate – which governs the amount of money that claimants receive should they earn above a certain threshold – Mr Seely said he welcomed the change.
He said: “I congratulate the Government on the universal credit decision… we are enabling our constituents to make work worthwhile, getting work into families and giving them prosperity and hope. That may well be the most important thing that has come out of this Budget, and it may be influential for years to come.”
By lowering the taper rate from 63% to 55%, working families that receive assistance from Universal Credit could see their income increase by over £1000 a year.
Concluding his speech, Mr Seely also urged the Government to look at stronger measures to protect the public interest over Solent ferries and also added that he hoped negotiations over the fair funding formula would come to a positive conclusion.