During the 2017 General Election campaign, one of Robin’s key pledges was to secure more funding for our local NHS and the expansion of the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Robin was pleased when the £26.9million was approved that year and is happy to see more funding coming from the Government to support Worcestershire services, all of which is making a considerable difference across the county’s Acute hospitals.
Improving care for patients at the Royal is a key priority for Robin and he was pleased that the Secretary of management and staff on the ground to better understand the challenges facing the Royal and the Trust as a whole.
Together with hospital management, Robin is committed in seeing through the changes the hospital needs and delivering the extra capacity that has been needed for so long.
Robin will keep campaigning for continued investment in our hospital and in its staff to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients across the entire county, building on the £29million of investment in the hospital for a new ward, which has delivered 94 new beds to the Worcester.
Robin has led the f40 cross party campaign in Parliament to secure fairer school funding for the lowest funded areas. This campaign changed the way that school funding works and helped to ensure that rural schools get their fair share.
He has been Vice Chairman of the campaign and led a number of backbench debates to press for a fairer system of allocating funding. Robin has worked tirelessly to secure fairer funding, striving to achieve cross-party support.
After a debate in the House of Commons, the then Minister for Schools, David Laws said:
“We have had a short but on the whole excellent debate. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr Walker) on his leadership of the campaign, on opening the debate, and on putting the case so powerfully and in a way that sought to unite Members across the House.”
Robin maintains committed to respecting the referendum result and wants to see the UK leave the EU with a withdrawal agreement and a future relationship.
He continues to support the party’s 2017 manifesto commitment and will continue to support a deal that will deliver on it. Robin voted to reject a ‘people’s vote’ or a second referendum and is clear that the UK should leave the European Union in an orderly fashion as soon as possible.
Over the last three years Robin has undertaken a huge amount of work within his capacity as a Minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union to secure the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
During Robin’s time as a Minister at DexEU, securing the rights of UK citizens living in the EU and vice versa was of the utmost importance to Robin and he was honoured to sign the historic bilateral Treaty of Spain which secured the respective rights of British and Spanish citizens to vote and run in municipal and local elections. Robin was pleased to hear the Prime Minister stress the protection of the rights of EU citizens who have made the UK their home, even in the case of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ and hopes the EU reciprocates these assurances for UK citizens living on the continent.
Robin has always been clear that it would be preferable to leave the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement but leaving without a deal would be preferable to not leaving at all.
Worcester has suffered from a slow train service to and from the capital for far too long. Robin has been campaigning alongside local MPs, Councils and the Worcestershire LEP for a reduction in journey times, more doubling of the track and better trains so that Worcester can get a two-hour service to London on the Cotswold Line.
Robin has campaigned for the new Parkway station for many years and was pleased with the announcement of the Worcestershire Parkway Rail Station. This will mean passengers have much easier journeys as they will be able to catch regular long-distance cross-country service, which currently pass through the County on the Bristol to Birmingham route without stopping. It will also give Worcester residents who live outside the centre of the City an easier and more convenient way to catch services on the Cotswold line. This station is due to open in late 2019. Robin will continue to lobby to ensure that the target of a two-hour service between Worcester and London becomes a reality.
Work has begun on the final phase of the much-anticipated dualling of the Southern Link, a vital project to facilitate the flow of traffic around the City and take pressure off the City Centre.
The commencement of work on this project is the culmination of years of campaigning and will enable the final section of road from Powick roundabout across Carrington Bridge to the Ketch to be dualled, thus completing the entire stretch of road to and from Junction 7 of the M5.
The dual carriageway which will assist in both connecting the M5 to the west of Worcestershire, and Herefordshire and provide a bypass to Worcester City Centre to ease congestion cutting average journey times along the A4440 in both directions during peak hours in the opening year.
Robin has long been an advocate in Parliament for increasing the quality as well as quantity of apprenticeships, supporting the Parliamentary 100 in 100 campaign spreading awareness of the opportunities that apprenticeships offer to both young people and businesses, as well as regularly meeting with local apprentices and employers in Westminster and Worcester.
Robin has long championed apprenticeships and the impact they have on individuals, businesses and the local economy. He remains committed to providing our young people with the best start to get on in life and have a rewarding career. Speaking on Robin’s commitment
Since 2014, 12,330 apprenticeships have been completed in Worcestershire, with 2,230 completed in Worcester, helping to ensure that young people are better equipped to enter the workforce.
Investing in and, where necessary, revitalising Worcester’s High Street is an area in which Robin takes great interest. Last year, the City was shortlisted for the Great British High Streets Award and although 2018 was not the Faithful City’s year, Robin is working hard to showcase the excellent range of businesses and local initiatives across the City all year round; when festive footfall fell in towns and cities across the UK, Worcester saw a significant increase.
There are many exciting ongoing developments within the City, earlier this year we received great news of a £3million boost into renovating and repurposing eight railway arches for creative and dynamic business space and this fresh bid for a share of the £1billion High Street Fund, if successful, would prove life changing to many residents in the city; from consumer to employee to employer.