“This is our time to make this Kingdom united and our Britain great.”
That’s how Hastings MP Sally-Ann Hart concluded her maiden speech in the House of Commons this afternoon.
In her speech she thanked the local residents of Hastings and Rye for giving her ‘the honour of her life’ in representing the place she calls home. She went on to outline the priorities for her and the issues she will champion while in the House of Commons.
“Improvement of the A21 is a prerequisite to economic development in the constituency…”
“Hastings is failing to thrive,” she told fellow MPs saying they had a duty to improved the breadth and quality of education if they were to create economic growth.
Leaving the European Union was a time of opportunity Mrs Hart said, saying that taking back control of our fishing waters would “re-establish and strengthen the heart and soul of Hastings.”
Pointing to the fact that tourism accounted for 30 per cent of the local economy Mrs Hart said their remained, “huge potential for growth,” in that sector of the economy and the government, she told MPs “must focus on initiatives to maximise tourism not just in Hastings and Rye but across the UK as a whole.”
Reminding MPs that Hastings was the birthplace of television she said the town had never lost its sense of “creativity, dynamism and innovation” and said that within the town there was, “so much talent waiting to be unleashed.”
Mrs Hart makes great play of her role as a wife and mother and did not shy away from talking about that again in her maiden speech saying that being part of a loving family was the “single most important influence” on a child’s life.
She reminded MPs too that going back over 50 years, the maiden speeches of each of her four predecessors highlighted the need to improve the A21, known locally as “the snail trail” she said. Those improvements had failed to materialise but were essential if Hastings was to truly unlock its potential Mrs Hart explained.
“Improvement of the A21 is a prerequisite to economic development in the constituency,” she said.
Following her speech, Mrs Hart said “I wanted to thank every resident who supported me at the last election but also to be clear, that now I am the MP for Hastings and Rye, I’m the MP for every resident whether you voted for me or not, and I will endeavour to represent and fight for everyone.
“This was my opportunity to set out to the House of Commons my priorities for Hastings and Rye and the work I want to do to unlock the potential of every resident in our area. I am clear that my priorities for our area are to eradicate homelessness; improve the standards in the breadth and quality of our education system; and to invest in local road and rail transport.
“These are not my only focuses; in addition to my top priorities I will also stand up for fishing communities in the EU negotiations; support our outstanding local hospitals; champion the fight against crime; help protect our natural environment and habitats; support the institution of family; and ultimately to promote early intervention and support for the most vulnerable in our communities.
“There is lots to do in our constituency and I relish the opportunity to get stuck in and fight for you all!”
The Maiden Speech is the first speech that a newly elected MP gives in the House of Commons. It’s an opportunity to thank previous incumbents, outline priorities and issues they will champion and to thank residents for electing them to Parliament.
“It is a great privilege to represent my hometown and to have an opportunity now to tackle some of the big issues facing our towns, and to deliver for local people. As I have said since day one in this new role, the time for warm words is over, we now need action. There is lots to do but I relish the opportunity to crack on and fight for every resident,” said Sally-Ann.