RACHEL Maclean describes herself as a ‘One Nation Tory’ who has come in to Parliament not to make up the numbers but ‘to make a difference’.
She describes the Alex as her ‘No1 Priority’ but acknowledges that returning services like maternity and children are long term projects.
“This will be the defining issue for me if I am re-elected to Parliament,” she says from her campaign headquarters off Windsor Road.
The solution she’s been working on with other county MPs is simple: “When you think how long the training takes for medics, they study, find a home, their children go to school and they’re reluctant to move,” she says.
“So we’ve been pushing for a new medical training centre in Worcestershire, but this is going to take time to accomplish.”
In the meantime she says, the government is looking to recruit 1,500 more doctors and 5,000 more nurses to help ease staff shortages nationwide.
Mrs Maclean also highlights her efforts in pushing for up to £25million in Towns Fund money after Redditch was chosen as one of 100 towns in line for the cash.
“I have had a key role to play in this and for me it’s important to get all the partners in place.
“It needs to be in by the summer of 2020 which is quite a tight schedule if we are to be ready ‘to put shovels in the ground’.
“It’s also important that this isn’t just for the town centre but for the whole town.”
On the environment she’s clear that a 2030 target for the country to reach zero carbon emissions is totally unrealistic and that 2050 is not only achievable but a date likely to be reached far sooner.
“We would all like it to be done as quickly as possible and we are a national of entrepreneurs, it’s in our DNA, and I am sure we will come up with innovative things which will get us there faster.
“However I challenge anyone to tell us how they would do it sooner without making life intolerable.”
On the thorny issue of adult social care Mrs Maclean is clear that a cross party solution is the way forward.
“I’m a carer for my mum and this has to be a cross party issue as it will affect every single person in the UK.
“We need something like a social insurance policy like they have in Germany and I think there is public acceptance of this as just saying it should all be free is not realistic.”
As for Brexit, she says: “I didn’t go in to politics to go round and round about Brexit; all our candidates support the Prime Minister’s deal. If the Labour Party get in as part of some coalition then that’s another year lost re-negotiating, a year when we could be dealing with issues like adult social care.”