Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, shares her latest column.

I hosted four open meetings on Saturday January 20 to hear the thoughts of residents in villages surrounding Ely about local and national matters.

Meetings were held in Haddenham (for Haddenham and Aldreth residents), Stretham, Little Thetford and Queen Adelaide (for Queen Adelaide, Prickwillow and Chettisham residents).

In Haddenham, the discussion centred around access to NHS services, including dentistry. 

I support the Integrated Care Board’s (ICB’s) long-term plan to resolve this issue.

The Government also has a dentistry recovery plan which will shortly set out improvements nationally, including via more incentives to NHS dentists. 

Additionally, the importance of face-to-face surgery appointments at Ely surgeries and booking an appointment was highlighted, which I will take up with the local health authorities.

Nationally, the Government is providing £90 million to primary care networks to improve telephone systems and £71 million for other digital tools, to help patients get the help they need.

This will help add to the 50.9 million additional GP appointments delivered since October 2019.

In Stretham, many participants spoke of the importance of good roads across the area and the issue of potholes.

Residents in Little Thetford stressed the value of broadband connectivity in the village and surrounding areas.

Under the Government’s ‘Project Gigabit’, villages and hamlets outside Ely will be some of the first nationally to benefit from lightning-fast broadband upgrades, starting in 2024.

In Queen Adelaide, residents talked about their transport needs, particularly on the bus network.

I also support East Cambridgeshire’s ‘New Bus Service Proposals’ – which includes a new service from Burwell to Ely via Prickwillow.

As well as these local issues, a range of other national issues were raised too, including the strength of the police force, support for apprenticeships and women’s access to sports, which were discussed at some length.