First and foremost, thank you to everyone who voted last Thursday and to those who put their faith and trust in us in the Thirsk & Malton Constituency, our candidates in the Hambleton,Ryedale and Scarborough Council elections and, indeed, Conservative candidates right across the country. Thank you also to everyone who helped; our members, event hosts, stuffers, canvassers, campaign team, donors and those who have simply offered words of encouragement, advice and support. You all played a part in our success.
It is a great honour to have been chosen to represent the Thirsk & Malton seat and I am very aware of the commitment I have undertaken, the brevity of the role and the tough tasks and decisions that may lie ahead. However, I welcome the duties that have been given to me. I will represent the needs of all residents. I will work hard to help to build a fairer society. I will give my time and my best endeavours willingly to bring more investment and prosperity to the area.
We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Locally, here in North Yorkshire we have strong, tight-knit communities. We must preserve what we have at all costs. I am delighted to have the chance to support and campaign on behalf of local people, community groups, businesses and farmers.
Regionally, investment per head of population on transport in North Yorkshire is less than half that of the South East. Healthcare funding in rural areas gets around 25% less per person than in urban areas. Rural local authorities receive 47% less than their city counterparts. I believe that I can offer the strong leadership required to build a clear case for more investment in North Yorkshire. I will work to secure more money for our schools and hospitals. My aim is to improve the A64, deliver better, more frequent train services and bring improved broadband services to even the hardest to reach areas.
The future of the country now looks very bright. Nationally, the economy is firing on all cylinders, the fastest growing in the developed world. UK businesses have created more jobs in the last 5 years than the rest of Europe put together. This is the platform to build a fairer society that benefits all. The Conservative policy is to increase the minimum wage to £8 per hour by 2020 and to lift the threshold for paying tax to £12,500 per annum. We will protect those most in need and make sure that the NHS gets the funding so that it can continue to provide its excellent service.
Thanks to everyone for the many messages of congratulations. I promise you it will not go to my head. We have a great opportunity over the next five years to make sure we build a country and economy that works for all and a local team that does the same in the Thirsk & Malton Constituency. I will do my best to make sure that we do. There is so much we can achieve if we all work together and I very much look forward to playing my part and hope I will make you proud to call me your MP.
There are many good things in the world and much that needs to change. So I¹m happy to accept, and hope I can live up to, the great Gandhi challenge; to 'be the change that we wish to see in the world'.