General Election 2024 - meet the Solihull West and Shirley candidates: Dr Neil Shastri-Hurst - The Solihull Observer

General Election 2024 - meet the Solihull West and Shirley candidates: Dr Neil Shastri-Hurst

Solihull Editorial 13th Jun, 2024   0

This General Election is about Solihull West and Shirley’s future. And your vote will decide it.

Over the next few weeks, you will hear lots from the political parties which you will weigh up in the balance before casting your vote. But you will also be making the decision as to who you want as your next Member of Parliament. And being your MP is a big job, so who does it really matters.

At its heart, politics is about people. And the more we trust people, the stronger our communities become. I believe passionately in society as a force for good. I know how much we can achieve by working together. From community projects to social enterprise, from bustling high streets to maintaining our green spaces; these all create and enhance our sense of place and belonging.

I was brought up in a tradition of public service. My father worked as a GP in south Birmingham for three decades. Together, with my mother, a nurse, at his side, they not only provided my sister and me with a loving home, but also instilled a deep sense of public duty. It was that sense of duty which drove me to enter public service, both in the NHS and in the British Army.

My military career had a profound impact upon me. I had the honour and privilege of leading and serving alongside some extraordinary individuals, who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The motto of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is Serve to Lead and this exemplifies the values and approach I will take as your MP. Serving our local community to maximise opportunities for all residents and leading our area through the challenges of the future.

As a former NHS surgeon, I have seen the best and worst of life. Working at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust I have witnessed first-hand how hard our dedicated healthcare professionals work day in and day out. But I also know how difficult it can be for patients to access the healthcare services they need, when they need it. That is why I will be fighting for more investment in our NHS, championing for the re-introduction of A&E services at Solihull Hospital, and delivering more doctors, dentists, and nurses for our area.

I have had my own setbacks in life. I developed a neuropathy that cut short my surgical career. However, with the support and love of my family I retrained as a barrister, working in Birmingham. So I know how to build an argument. And I will be advocating every day for the residents of Solihull West and Shirley to ensure you all have your fair share.

Over the years, under a Conservative Council, we have made huge progress here. From the redevelopments of Touchwood and now Mell Square to our aspirational green agenda. From sustainable housing to job creation. However, there is more to be done.

That is why I have an ambitious plan to tackle crime, back our high streets, and deliver more affordable homes. I want to work with you and the Council to combat climate change and reduce your energy bills by retrofitting homes, protect our green belt, and invest in our local NHS. And, as the father of a young child, I want to ensure each and every child in Solihull West and Shirley has the best chance in life, irrespective of their background. So, I will be lobbying central government to secure more funding for Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision in order that every child can access the curriculum

As your MP, I want to be a strong voice for our area. Putting Solihull West and Shirley first. I will not play party politics but roll up my sleeves and get on with the job. For me that is what public service is all about.

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