I apologise to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for being slightly late. To my hon. Friend Sir David Amess, I say it is always great to hear his speeches and the tours of his constituency and, like many other Members, I wish that Southend is granted city status at some point.
It has been a very difficult year for many in North West Durham; however, they have also had a different year with a very different new MP. I have fully taken on some of the major challenges that have faced my constituency over the past few months. I am delighted that Shotley Bridge Hospital is one of the 48 hospitals that are going to get Government support, so we will be seeing a new community hospital. There is also extra money for a feasibility study for a “Consett to the Tyne” public transport link. Those two major local projects will really help to level up and transform my community, and hopefully help us to build back better beyond covid.
On a local level, I have been concentrating on the motor homes tax, and I managed to work with the Chancellor to get it reduced earlier this year, thereby saving £5,000 off the cost of a new motor home, many of which are built in my North West Durham constituency—