David Lidington MP cites health, HS2 and development as three big challenges for Aylesbury

David Lidington MP
David Lidington MP

The health service, HS2 and development are the three key challenges for the Vale this new year – according to MP David Lidington.

Mr Lidington, who was re-elected as MP for Aylesbury in May, says that securing the right Vale development plan is one of the most important priorities for him this coming year.

He said: “I think the big challenge has to be development, because I think 2016 is going to be crucial for the detail of the Aylesbury local plan. That plan will determine the scale of development in the area for the next 20 years.

“Once substantial new development is approved, the next round of planning applications will look at what has already been approved, so this stage is crucial.

“These decisions will also have a major impact on what decisions need to be made with regards to transport infrastructure and services.

“It’s not just a question of a few hundred homes in this town, or 20 homes in that village, we need to think about the impact of significant growth in Aylesbury and how on earth we keep the traffic moving.”

NHS services are also high on Mr Lidington’s agenda, and he hopes to work with service providers to create better collaborations within his constituency.

He said: “In the last few months I have been visiting a number of our local NHS organisations talking to the ambulance service, the NHS trust and GPs. What it seems to me is that there is going to be a period of change for the health service.

“The long term challenge lies in changes to the pattern through which health services are delivered, one of these challenges is that people are living longer, which is great, but elderly people are the main consumers of health care in this country. This will put greater pressure on the local authority and the NHS.”

He added: “That trend is going to continue, we know that the population is getting gradually older so how do we rethink health and social care and try to avoid the blockages and turf wars within these sectors?”

Mr Lidington says the mainstay of his constituency work has been on HS2.

He said: “I’m finding that a lot of my staff’s office time is taken up with the details of individuals wanting compensation.

“We are getting better results with the new compensation scheme, and that is welcome, but I am still angry that too many people have been put through the mill and messed around before they get their compensation.”

And speaking about his role as Minister for Europe, Mr Lidington added: “It’s not certain that we will have an EU referendum in 2016, it will depend on how the negotiations go. But the Prime Minister will not want to have the question lingering longer than is necessary.”

He added: “I was in Russia last week and I think the big political challenge is to talk to Russia about things like counter terrorism and Syria without accepting what they are doing to Ukraine.”