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OPINION: Julia Dockerill, MP for Hornchurch and Upminster

PUBLISHED: 11:41 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:41 24 July 2017

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We must lasso hopes and talents of people

An MP’s first ever contribution to a parliamentary debate is known as their maiden speech.

Some choose to make their maiden as soon as possible, others are more tentative – I am told someone from a previous intake took nine months to make their speaking debut!

It is now exactly two weeks since I made my own maiden speech, and I used the opportunity to challenge the relentless gloom dominating public debate about our nation’s post-Brexit prospects and encourage a greater sense of resilience and ambition as we leave the EU.

After all, one year on from the referendum, the UK is attracting record levels of inward investment while trade talks with the US, Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to begin this summer.

I know motorbike and pedal cycle crime has been of real concern to residents so I used my second parliamentary contribution to request a debate on whether police have the powers they need to tackle it. I am also in touch with our Borough Commander and Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, about their summer crackdown against moped gangs.

Out in the constituency, I have been focusing on housing, education and congestion. The government has just announced £6.1bn investment in England’s roads, and I am hopeful we can get some of that cash to relieve problems on the A12, particularly around Gallows Corner.

I have been talking to Havering about regeneration plans for some of our estates.

I have met fantastic students from our local schools and talked about how we might unleash some of their own career ambitions, and I have also had several meetings with Education Secretary, Justine Greening, about how to improve our secondary school performance. I am delighted by her announcement this week of significant extra investment to the core schools budget.

It is the pressing duty of this generation of politicians to lasso the hopes, ambitions and talents of British people of every background.

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