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I am proud what I have done for Plymouth in 2023 but will not stand still

January 8, 20240

While it is easy to be distracted by the constant churn in politics, I have been laser-focused in 2023 on long-term delivery for Plymouth, MP Johnny Mercer writes. I am determined that Plymouth achieves its extraordinary potential we all know our City has had for some time now; that it truly becomes the best place to live, work and raise a family. In this column, I will lay out the progress we have made on flagship policies for our City this year.


This year, we have seen a massive £126m downpayment on the first phase of the new Derriford Hospital – the Emergency and Urgent Care centre. I also stepped in to save the £25m Community Diagnostic Centre at Colin Campbell Court which has now been given the green light by planning officers. Even dentistry which is in a dire state and has proven to be the toughest nut to crack has seen a significant breakthrough with the University of Plymouth Peninsula Dental School’s offer of dental appointment for primary school children which I helped facilitate. There is much more work to do in this space. I am alive to the challenges which our health services face this time of year and will continue to help them in any way I can. 


In 2017, I promised that I would try to expand Devonport Dockyard for the first time in a generation. By working hard to wring every pound of support out of Government, that pledge has now been delivered. In the next 12 months, there will be a MOD infrastructure investment in Plymouth worth £2.2bn, offering a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to support Plymouth’s future growth ambitions. In a recent column, I laid out the new jobs and investment materialising at Plymouth’s new Freeport. Since then, we have seen a further £20m invested from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. 


School standards continue to rise. Since being elected in 2015, I have both visited and invited a Plymouth school to Westminster every week – something I have carried through to this year. I am immensely proud that as of this Christmas, almost 90 percent of our children are in good or outstanding schools in my constituency – higher than the national average for the very first time. Just last month, I visited Tor Bridge Primary School which has soared from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Outstanding’ in one fell swoop. 


Key improvements have been made to our transport links. Huge work has gone on – improving the main A386 up the centre of the constituency; the £54m Forder Valley link road, which together with station improvements – strategic builds I campaigned for are now a reality. Looking forward, Network North will deliver a new line to Tavistock, road schemes, resurface roads, complete the South West Resilience Programme and extend the £2 bus fare, as outlined in another Herald column. 


I am proud of this record of delivery for Plymouth but will not stand still. Speaking to constituents every day, I know that this will be an incredibly difficult Christmas for many. I want to hear what more you think I can be doing for our City in 2024. Please contact me via or 01752 876979. Surgeries can also be booked with me through these channels. Furthermore, if you would like to be notified about what I am doing here in Plymouth, including when I next write an op-ed for the Herald, please sign up to my mailing list here. Happy New Year.

Luke Jones

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