MP for North Herefordshire


Media Releases

Bill Wiggin MP and Brushlink join forces to tackle the crisis in dental health

Bill Wiggin MP and the dental professionals behind the award-winning oral care innovation Brushlink, have joined forces to tackle the growing crisis in dental health in the UK.

The issue is especially critical in children. Hospitals extracted multiple teeth from children and teenagers in England a total of 42,911 times – 170 a day – in 2016-17, according to statistics obtained by the Local Government Association in January 2018.

That is almost a fifth (17%) more than the 36,833 of those procedures that surgical teams carried out in 2012-13. Each one involves a child having a general anaesthetic and at least two teeth removed.

Dr Dev Patel and his team developed Brushlink to address just this problem, as well as issues in adult oral health and the oral health of vulnerable people.

Hailed the biggest innovation in oral health care since the creation of the toothbrush, Brushlink combines a smartphone app and a tracking device that transforms any toothbrush into a smart toothbrush.

The mobile phone app provides the user with real time brushing guidance and performance monitoring. Each brushing session is scored and monitored and the cumulative data can be shared with dental professionals in order to target help and advice. Data can be stored for up to three months, so there’s no need to have your phone with you every time you brush.

The Brushlink device is a tiny hi-tech Bluetooth unit that attaches easily to any toothbrush and monitors brushing frequency, duration and – for the first time – angulation so that correct brushing angles can be encouraged, reinforced and monitored to help prevent gum disease. It effectively turns any toothbrush into a smart brush at around a tenth of the price of smart brushes currently on the market.

Effective brushing is recognised as important in the maintenance of good oral health. Late last year, the team at Brushlink carried out a survey of brushing habits across the country. The survey found that half of UK adults are missing a quarter of their teeth when they brush – yet effective brushing is a simple way to avoid the tooth decay and gum diseases which is currently costing the NHS £3.4 billion a year with more than one million patients seeking NHS dental treatment each week.

It is hoped that the working relationship between Bill Wiggin MP and Brushlink will see oral health issues debated more regularly in Parliament.

Dr Dev Patel, CEO and Founder of Brushlink, commented: “We are delighted that Bill has agreed to partner with us on raising awareness of oral health at the highest levels. Tooth decay is pretty much wholly preventable, with effective brushing at the heart of what can be done to avoid the problem. To have nearly 43,000 children a year admitted to hospital for tooth extractions is shameful – we can do better and by working with Bill we hope to contribute to improvements.”

Bill Wiggin MP added: “This is an exciting and brilliant way to help people of all ages clean their teeth properly. We should embrace this technology and save our teeth.”


About Brushlink

Brushlink is a revolutionary oral hygiene product that combines a smartphone 
app and a tracking device that transforms any toothbrush into a smart toothbrush.

The mobile phone app provides the user with real time brushing guidance and performance monitoring.  Each brushing session is scored and monitored and the cumulative data can be shared with dental professionals in order to target help and advice.

The Brushlink device is a tiny hi-tech Bluetooth unit that attaches easily to any toothbrush and monitors brushing frequency, duration and – for the first time – angulation so that correct brushing angles can be encouraged, reinforced and monitored to help prevent gum disease. Brushlink was voted App of the Year 2017 at the FMC Dental Industry Awards.

Brushlink was founded by CEO – Dr Dev Patel a multi award-winning dentist who manages the Best Dental Practice in London (Dentistry Awards, 2016). Its Scientific Committee includes Professor Liz Kay MBE, Foundation Dean Peninsula Dental School (Plymouth University), Oral Health Topic Expert for NICE and President of the Oral Health Foundation.


Bill Wiggin MP visits Ledbury Big Breakfast

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, visited the recent Ledbury Big Breakfast to support local businesses.

The event, organised by the Ledbury Food Group, showcased a wide variety of local produce from over 20 businesses and attracted visitors from far and wide to the historic market town in Mr Wiggin’s constituency.

Bill arrived early, eager to sample the various offerings and to meet with business owners to show his support for the event.

Commenting afterwards, Bill said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my morning at the Ledbury Big Breakfast. It is always a joy to visit so many shops, cafes, and local businesses as well as sampling some of the fantastic local produce on offer and walking around Ledbury.

This marvellous event, brilliantly organised each year by Ledbury Food Group, proves that nobody does top-quality, locally-sourced food better than Herefordshire.

It is very encouraging to see more and more local producers getting involved with this event, and I am already looking forward to next year.”

Bill Wiggin MP welcomes extra £1.6 million grant for Herefordshire

Bill Wiggin MP today welcomed the news that an extra £1 million in Rural Services Delivery Grant and £0.6 million for Adult Social Care will be provided to Herefordshire Council in the upcoming Local Government Finance Settlement.


Speaking after the Secretary of State announced the measures, Bill Wiggin MP said: “I am delighted that the representations I made and the meetings we have conducted with the Ministerial Team in the last few weeks have been useful, and that the special requirements of Herefordshire have been recognised.” Mr Wiggin has taken part in negotiations with the Secretary of State to push for increased funding for the County, and today the Secretary of State telephoned to inform Mr Wiggin that the people of North Herefordshire will benefit from his campaign.


Mr Wiggin added, “Herefordshire Council will receive an extra £1.6 million next year in the Local Government Finance Settlement, which is much needed and will help Herefordshire Council deliver rural services and Adult Social Care in our County. I have discussed with Ministers the difficulties faced by a rural local authority in providing services to all areas of our extremely rural and sparsely populated County, and they have listened and increased the amount of overall funding for the Rural Services Delivery Grant by £16 million across the whole of the UK. I am delighted that we in Herefordshire will receive £1 million of this extra funding. In addition, the Government has provided for £0.6 million extra for Herefordshire’s increased Adult Social Care needs.”


The Rural Services Delivery Grant is a pool of money which is provided to the most rural and sparsely populated local authorities in order to help face the challenges of delivering vital services to large, less well connected areas.


Mr Wiggin continued, “In the 2017 General Election, I campaigned on the promise to continue to fight for better rural services in Herefordshire, as well as to improve transport links, and so I am delighted that only 9 months after the Election, I have brought the Secretary of State for Transport to Herefordshire to discuss our transport priorities, and now my representations on rural services have resulted in an extra £1.6 million for Herefordshire in 2018/9.”Headshot July 2014

Bill Wiggin MP Article On Brexit Implementation Period Policy

It is absolutely imperative that the two-year implementation period which begins on 30th March 2019 must not continue a day later than 29th March 2021. The ‘implementation period’ must not become a semi-permanent solution where we remain half-in and half-out of the EU, following the rules and regulations, but with absolutely no say on their creation. It would be bad for this country and bad for our businesses, who need certainty more than anything else.

The implementation period has two main benefits. The first, as was so clearly set out by the Prime Minister in Florence and in the House of Commons, and by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union as recently as last week, is to put in place the institutions, structures and mechanisms which will control our new relationship with the European Union.

The second, and perhaps more important, is that the two-year period allows us to prepare and draft trade agreements with our friends in the Commonwealth and around the world, which can enter into force on 30th March 2021. Businesses depend on certainty, and the security of a date when agreements will come into force is a great benefit of the implementation period.

Of course, such an implementation period also carries a great risk. It must never become a tool through which those who seek to derail Brexit, or push for a Brexit which looks exactly like membership of the European Union, can achieve their ends.

To counter this risk, I believe there are two conditions on which such an implementation period must rest. The first is that it must be strictly time-limited. Not only does this ensure certainty for business, it calms the fears of those who could see the ‘implementation period’ becoming a semi-permanent state where we continue to live under EU rules and regulations, but with no say in their creation or enforcement.

The second condition is that trade negotiations with the European Union must be completed before the beginning of the implementation period. There is no value in an implementation period if there is nothing to implement. Likewise, if the European Union have not offered a deal which is good enough for our Parliament to accept on 29th March 2019, we must leave immediately, and not be beholden to EU laws and restrictions whilst we form our trading relationships with other countries.

I would further add that it would be irresponsible to allow such an implementation period to carry on until the next General Election. To allow the negotiations to fall into the hands of Jeremy Corbyn, and his Brexit team who have different opinions every day about their own position on leaving, would be extremely dangerous for this country.

As such, I believe that we must now continue to work together to ensure that Brexit, voted for by the people, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, takes shape as it must – not Brexit-lite where we remain part of the EU institutions we voted to leave and under the jurisdiction of the Court we showed our displeasure about in the ballot box; but Brexit as leaving the European Union.

This is not a ‘hard Brexit’ position. This is stated Government policy, as set out by the Prime Minister in Florence, in the Conservative Manifesto, and in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister. The Conservative backbenches are soundly behind the policy of the Government, and the Government would do well to remember this.

Brexit will provide opportunities and risks, and the greatest risk of all is the betrayal of the British people by not carrying out the result of the referendum. An implementation period is acceptable, and perhaps even desirable, under strict conditions, but ones which must be met to satisfy all those who believe in respecting the will of the people.

Bill Wiggin MP

If you would like to read the article on the Conservative Home website, please click on the link below:

Bill Wiggin MP welcomes record levels of employment

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today welcomed figures that show unemployment remains at a record low.

The latest figures show employment at 32.08 million, a rise of 325,000 from last year and a rise of 3 million since 2010. The employment rate stands at 75.1 per cent, a figure close to record highs.

Unemployment stands at 1.42 million; a fall of 182,000 from this time last year and over 1 million since 2010.

Furthermore, youth unemployment has fallen by 416,000 since 2010, there are almost 3.5 million disabled people in employment (a rise of 600,000 in the last four years) and the rate of women in work is 70.8 per cent – close to a record high.

In Bill Wiggin MP’s North Herefordshire constituency, the total number of unemployed claimants in November 2017 was 455.

This represents a rate of 1.1% of the economically active population aged 16-64, the 549th lowest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.)

The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.5%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.3% between August and October 2017.

The number of claimants in North Herefordshire constituency is 60 lower than November 2016 and 10 lower than October 2017.

Commenting on these latest figures, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I welcome these figures that show that, under this Conservative Government, unemployment continues to fall both in my North Herefordshire constituency and across the UK, meaning more people are in work, taking home a pay packet and are able to provide for their families.

Youth unemployment continues to fall and over a quarter of million more young people have the security of a job than this time last year.

It is worth noting that no Labour Government has ever left office with unemployment lower than when it started. However, under the Conservatives, we continue to see record low levels of unemployment.

Labour would put all of this at risk – with more debt, higher taxes, fewer jobs – and ordinary working people paying the price.”

A message from Bill Wiggin MP – Remembrance Sunday and Huj

This time of year is a particularly significant one for all MPs and citizens of the British Isles, particularly those, like me, who have served or serve in the Armed Forces, or whose family members serve or have served. On Remembrance Sunday we will commemorate the fallen, all those who gave up their futures so that we can enjoy ours.

The incredible courage and bravery of our armed forces is one of the aspects of Britain I am most proud of, and this is why I have never missed a Remembrance Day Parade in my constituency since I was elected in 2001. Each year I rotate through the four major market towns in my constituency, and attend the Parade in either Bromyard, Kington, Ledbury or Leominster with occasional visits to the base at Credenhill.

However, this year marks the centenary of the Affair at Huj, in Palestine. It is 100 years since British troops, our Warwickshire Yeomanry led by Col Gray Cheape and the Worcestershire Hussars, led by my Grandfather in what was possibly the last successful cavalry charge in our history.

The cavalry charge at Huj took place on 8th November 1917, after which my grandfather, Major Bill Wiggin, was put forward for the Victoria Cross for his incredible bravery, which I will be commemorating this weekend at the Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry Museum.

The Warwickshire and Worcestershire regiments near Huj in 1917 numbered no more than 170, and charged 3 separate artillery batteries and some 2000 Turkish infantry, as well as Austrian Gunners. My grandfather was part of the charge against the first battery, and though his men suffered heavy losses, including their Captain, and he himself was wounded in the head and the arm, he rallied the men to lead a charge across open desert towards a second artillery battery.

Thankfully, given the numerical disadvantage, the stunning bravery and gallantry of the British cavalry with swords drawn, forced the Turkish army into full retreat, leaving the route to Jerusalem open for the Allied Forces to march into. This was an significant change to the conflict.

I wanted to write this piece so that those who do not see me in the market towns this Sunday will know that where I am, and be reassured that the memory of our fallen heroes is as important to me today as it ever has been, but also to share with you my personal pride in the example of my grandfather, who charged with 170 men against 2000 infantry, machine guns and 3 artillery formations.  I shall be celebrating the bravery and sacrifice of so many more who have served our country over the course of the last century in Warwick with the relatives of others whose family members fought at the Huj in 1917. This will prevent me from attending a constituency Remembrance Parade as usual this Sunday, but I will of course be paying my respects to the fallen of Herefordshire this weekend.

I hope you will join with me in paying my respects to all those who have fought for our values, our liberty and our freedoms over the centuries, and particularly to those who have given their lives so that we can live ours in peace and freedom. We must never forget their incredible sacrifice.


Note: The image is a replica of a painting by Lady Butler, depicting the Charge at Huj led by Major Wiggin on 8th November 1917.

Bill Wiggin MP and ‘Canary Girls’ meet with Prime Minister

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, today attended a special meeting with Prime Minister, Theresa May, alongside members of a group of munitions workers dubbed the ‘Canary Girls’.

There was a major Royal Ordnance Filling Factory in Rotherwas in Herefordshire which, at its peak, employed over 4000 Herefordshire women.

Mr Wiggin had previously asked the Prime Minister during Prime Ministers Questions if she would meet with these women to formally recognise their service.

Today’s meeting marked the end of Mr Wiggin’s campaign to officially recognise the war efforts of these people, who until 2012 were not invited to march at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

Speaking after the meeting Bill Wiggin MP commented:

“I was thrilled that some of these incredibly brave women were able to come and meet with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street today.

I had previously discussed this with the Prime Minister and campaigned in Parliament for these brave men and women to receive formal recognition of their efforts. I am very grateful to the Prime Minister for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet some of these canary girls to recognise their service.

Tragically, those in attendance represent only a fraction of the huge number who served our country so valiantly. They did an exceptionally dangerous job, both filling the bombs and from the threat of Luftwaffe bombing raids.

Their work was absolutely vital to the war effort, and I was so pleased to be present at the meeting where they received this thoroughly deserved recognition for their remarkable service.”

Bill Wiggin MP delight after helping North Herefordshire family resolve UKVI dispute

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today expressed his delight at helping a Fownhope family resolve a dispute with UK Visas and Immigration.

The Moore family, from Fownhope in Mr Wiggin’s North Herefordshire constituency had previously contacted Mr Wiggin to seek his assistance in reaching a resolution to a dispute with the Home Office. Although Shiho Konno is married to Mr Moore, a British citizen, and they have a six-year-old child who holds a British passport, Mrs Konno had received a notice of refusal of application for her leave to remain in the UK.

Mrs Konno faced being forced to return to her native Japan, in order to make an application to the Home Office. The Moore family feared the process could split the family for between six – nine months.

Mr Wiggin, upon learning of the Moore family’s plight, contacted the Home Secretary on their behalf to seek an urgent review of the case. Mr Wiggin was delighted that his intervention brought about a timely resolution to the case; the Home Office having subsequently contacted Mrs Konno to inform her that she has been granted leave to remain in the UK.

Commenting, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I was very pleased to be able to help the Moore family in this matter. I work hard to assist all of my constituents, and I am very aware of how distressing cases such as these can be for families. Immigration is a sensitive topic but I am delighted that common sense has prevailed and the Moore family have achieved the result that we all wanted. I wish them a happy and prosperous time in North Herefordshire moving forward.”

Mr Moore commented: “We are most grateful for the support of Bill Wiggin in rescuing us from years of limbo as we slid down the rabbit hole in to the realm of the Home Office appeals process.”

Bill Wiggin MP delight at announcement of £4 million scheme to boost rural doctors

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today welcomed the announcement of a £4 million scheme to boost the number of doctors in rural and coastal areas of England.

Under the new scheme, announced by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, newly-qualified GPs are to be offered a one-off payment of £20,000 if they start their careers in areas that struggle to attract family doctors. The one-off payment will be offered to 200 GPs from 2018.

Commenting on the announcement, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I am delighted at the announcement of this scheme, which I hope will provide a real boost to my constituency of North Herefordshire. The £4 million of extra funding for rural GPs is further evidence that the Government are investing in rural areas to ensure vital local services like healthcare are protected.

The town of Kington in my constituency has long struggled to attract resident GPs, and so I have written to the Health Secretary to ask if some of the £20,000 initial payments to newly qualified doctors could be earmarked for Kington Medical Practice, in order to help a young GP set up a life there.

One of my key pledges during the last election was to sustain my campaign for crucial rural services such as education and I very much hope that this scheme can be deployed to help my constituents, many of whom are elderly and struggle to travel the long distances to their next nearest General Practice.”



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