Elected Representatives for Hungerford

Elected Representatives for Hungerford

Contact

  • Richard Benyon M P
  • 01635 551070
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
6 Cheap Street
Newbury
RG14 5DD

About Us

Hungerford' elected representatives are Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury (elected 2005), and West Berkshire Ward Councillors Paul Hewer (elected 1997) and James Podger (elected 2013). In a new monthly section on LoveHungerford each will discuss how they are tackling major issues affecting the town and all are eager to hear your views and concerns using the contact details supplied.

RICHARD BENYON MP

NHS IS THE JEWEL IN OUR CROWN

I hope you have had a happy and healthy start to 2015. Whatever health you enjoy you will have no doubt been aware of recent politicised headlines about the NHS.

As we enter a period where opinions are formed through the electioneering fog, it is important to remember that our NHS is without doubt the best in the world and must not be put at risk by any competition for sensational headlines.

West Berkshire should be proud of its achievements. Spending on local NHS treatments is to rise by seven per cent this year. A new renal dialysis unit is also to be constructed this year, together with a further £7 million cancer unit proposed for West Berkshire Community Hospital. This save patients and their families from the need to travel further afield for care and support services. What is more, cardiac patients at the Royal Berkshire Hospital are now receiving the fastest treatment in the country.

It is one of my campaign commitments at the forthcoming General Election to improve outcomes for those with mental health problems and in March, I will be attending the Mental Health Strategy Meeting at West Berkshire Council to discuss the local Crisis Care Concordat – a national agreement between services and agencies involved in the care and support of people in crisis.

The NHS is an extraordinary success story. Here are some facts to cut through the election fog. More money is being invested in clinicians. Over the past four years 7000 more doctors, 4000 more nurses and 1000 more midwives have taken up post. The NHS copes with the demands of an extra 1 million patients every year. Locally, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust preformed 1313 more operations in 2012/2013 compared with 2009/2010.

COUNCILLOR JAMES PODGER

Home address: The Coach House Charnham Street Hungerford Berkshire RG17 0EP

Mobile: 07802 841403

Bus. email: jpodger@westberks.gov.uk

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AIMING FOR TOP OF THE CLASS EDUCATION

It’s fair to say that this time last year, Bridge Street was looking in a pretty sorry state. Rows of empty front shops were clear evidence of the impact of lack of access and parking. This was a particularly difficult problem to tackle but little by little we did and this area is beginning to flourish again.

Both Bridge Street and Hungerford High Street are now both in good shape and the town has always been clever at giving local people what they want and doing everything possible in helping independent retailers to survive. The key to this is very simple – accessibility. This was why Paul and myself were very supportive of the provision of new coach parking in Charnham Street to help boost tourism. I have also offered to donate a small area of land to provide a safe new crossing for the enlivened Bridge Street so no parking will be lost.

Hungerford’s retailers have also proven to be very resilient against online competition. While online shopping may be convenient there are still those who want to look at products themselves before they buy. It is these customers who the town has cleverly tapped into, the sociable types who want to talk to someone behind a counter, have a meal and look around.

Business aside, Paul has already highlighted many of Hungerford’s most recent success stories but I’d like to make particular mention of the £500,000 investment for a new classroom at Hungerford Primary School and the additional £1,2 million towards the building programme at John O’Gaunt School which is now underway. This marks a major milestone in educational modernisation for the town. West Berkshire has very favourable results for education in comparison to other local authorities and we are committed to offering the best opportunities here from birth through to the end of secondary school in Hungerford. If this is what we can achieve in the space of a year we can only be positive about what the future will bring and I know that residents and businesses alike will continue to pull together to ensure we achieve further successes to be proud of.

COUNCILLOR PAUL HEWER

Home address: 22 Priory Avenue Hungerford Berkshire RG17 0BE

Phone: (01488) 686065

Bus. email: phewer@westberks.gov.uk

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LOOKING BACK WITH PRIDE AND FORWARD WITH EXCITEMENT

As we approach election time, we are aware that residents will be starting to look back over the town’s progress over the past few years to help them make a decision come polling day on May 7.

We have much to be proud of and it is the community itself which has made Hungerford flourish. Take for example the determination of the residents of Hungerford Newtown who did not want to see their local pub lost forever to development. They rallied to ensure the Tally Ho was re-opened as a Community Pub and it’s now thriving as a popular watering hole for villagers and Hungerford people – myself included!

We also know that there are many public areas which are cherished by locals which is why we were so committed to supporting Hungerford Town Council’s takeover of Croft Field and Triangle Field so this essential local space was protected for the enjoyment of the townspeople.

Sensible and forward thinking planning decisions have also ensured that all local needs are met, such as the opening last year of the Extra Care Priory Development, Redwood House and Lindley Lodge in conjunction with Sovereign Housing. The proposed re-development of Fairfields and North View Heights will also contribute to further high quality social housing.

And while James has spoken about the town’s business success stories, the future Garden Art “Artisan” development deserves special mention given the additional new business this will bring in.

So much to be proud of and so much more we can still achieve to ensure Hungerford and its residents continue to thrive and prosper.

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