MP for North Herefordshire


Media Releases


Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, visited one of his constituency’s award winning five star holiday and leisure parks during national tourism week.

Mr Wiggin, accompanied by Managing Director Glenn Jones of ‘Discover Parks’ and Manager of Pearl Lake Leisure Alex Davidson, undertook a tour of the 80 acre park at Shobdon, where over 200 hundred holiday parks homes are attracting visitors from near and far.

“There’s a huge rise in the number of people wanting to buy into holiday home ownership”, said Mr Jones. “Our three parks at Shobdon, Eardisland and Presteigne are proving very popular already this season keeping over thirty employees extremely busy.”

Commenting afterwards, MP Bill Wiggin said he was very impressed with what he saw:

“Employers like Glenn are crucial to the local economy creating revenue for both the workforce and surrounding businesses who benefit from over 10,000 visitors that are drawn to the area due to Discover Parks each year. I’m amazed at what they offer here, five star facilities in the stunning surroundings of North Herefordshire, a real jewel in the constituency crown.”


Bill Wiggin MP welcomes cash for councils to fill potholes

Thousands of drivers and cyclists across West Midlands will soon have safer journeys thanks to a £1,702,946 Government investment to repair potholes.

Bill Wiggin MP has welcomed new dedicated funding from the Government, which will fill approximately 32,131 potholes across the West Midlands area.

An estimated £1,252,647 will be allocated to Herefordshire specifically, allowing local road users to enjoy their journeys without having to dodge potholes.

This is on top of the £75 million of funding already given to councils from the Pothole Action Fund this year, as well as the additional £46 million boost for highways authorities announced just before Christmas.

The funding will also help to protect the roads from any future severe weather.

Commenting, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“The state of our roads remains a great source of frustration for drivers, especially after the unusually prolonged spell of freezing weather – it’s one of the biggest issues that’s raised with me by my constituents.

“This new funding is welcome news for our families and businesses who rely on our roads to get around, and I will work hard to ensure that we in North Herefordshire get our fair share.

“I’m glad that the Government is investing to improve the standard of our local roads – delivering on our commitment to build an economy fit for the future.”

Bill Wiggin MP responds to PM Syria statement.

I fully support the Prime Minister in her decisive action following the despicable use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against its own people in Douma. The co-ordinated and precise attacks, supported by our Allies in the USA and France, send a strong message that the continuous abhorrent use of chemical weapons will not go unchallenged.

As the Prime Minister has stated, this was not an intervention in the ongoing Syrian Civil War which has caused immeasurable suffering, but rather a clear and proportionate reaction to the crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime. The airstrikes were precise, targeted and had a clear objective; to degrade the capabilities and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

I firmly believe that the use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged, and tolerated in conflict through wilful inaction. We cannot turn a blind eye to these reprehensible acts, whether on the streets of Salisbury or in Eastern Ghouta. These barbaric acts contravene all international laws and conventions. We must hold the Assad regime accountable to the rule of law.

This action, taken by the Prime Minister is not only in the national interest but also part of our wider duty to react to and prevent further humanitarian suffering. I fully support her actions, and her right to take those actions as Prime Minister.

Bill Wiggin MP welcomes progress toward hutted ward replacement

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today welcomed the ‘highly encouraging’ news that further progress has been made towards the replacement of the 1930s hutted wards at Hereford County Hospital.

Mr Wiggin was reacting to the announcement from Wye Valley NHS Trust that it has cleared another hurdle in its bid to demolish the 1930s hutted wards replace them with wards fit for 21st century healthcare.

Mr Wiggin commented:

“I have been looking for this extra investment in more beds since I was elected in 2001 and remember chasing Alun Milburn down Whitehall seeking extra beds (pictured). I have never given up.”

In 2014, Bill Wiggin MP addressed the issue with the former Prime Minster at PMQs, saying:

‘Nothing matters more to my constituents than their health. The increase in spending from the Government is welcome but our Hospital is full and we continue to need more beds. The failing PFI contracts and Care Quality Commission challenges facing the Hospital don’t alter the fact that we need to ensure there are enough beds available for those that need them.

I use the NHS and understand the need to build on the hard work and commitment of our fantastic staff. We have skilled consultants and we need to ensure that our old hutted wards are replaced with state of the art modern buildings with more capacity.

I visited the old wards recently and was deeply impressed by the teams delivering patient care. I want the Prime Minister to ensure that Hereford Hospital is now top of the list for future capital investment.’

Responding to the latest news, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“It is fantastic news that the removal of these hutted wards has moved one step closer. I have long been campaigning for these huts to be removed and replaced by modern facilities that will be of enormous benefit to patients and the brilliant staff at the County Hospital.

I fully support the Wye Valley Trust’s timely plans that will provide extra beds and enable the staff to give patients the best possible care. These plans will cement the excellent progress made by Hereford Hospital, which was removed from special measures in November 2016.”

Bill Wiggin MP speaks in Data Protection Bill Debate

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has spoken of his disappointment at the Government’s decision to abandon the recommendations of the Leveson inquiry. Mr Wiggin spoke at length during a Data Protection Bill debate, where he highlighted failings in the IPSO (Independent Press Standards Organisation) complaints procedure as an example of the need for the implementation of section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

Mr Wiggin said:

“I am obviously extremely disappointed that the Government last week chose to abandon Lord Leveson’s recommendations. The inquiry was always one inquiry in two parts, not two inquiries, and it should not stop halfway through.

Sir Brian Leveson was absolutely clear in his letter to the Secretary of State that he does not want the inquiry to stop halfway. However, there is no justification for spending millions on part 2 if we are simply to abandon the recommendations of part 1. We must carry out the recommendations of part 1 and then continue with the second half of the inquiry.”

Mr Wiggin disagreed with the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport’s assertion that the current system of press regulation was sufficient, and that implementing section 40 would damage the freedom of the press and hurt vulnerable local papers, saying:

“In response to the idea that the current system of regulation is sufficient, I point out that IPSO cannot be “largely compliant.” It is not possible to be largely pregnant—someone is either pregnant or not.

As per the Secretary of State’s statement, a regulator either follows all 29 criteria or it does not. IPSO does not, and therefore it is not the method of press regulation that Leveson recommended and that has already been passed into law.

The Secretary of State suggests that we do not need further regulation. Why would we regulate energy providers, communications providers and even exam providers, but simply decide to trust newspapers that have criminal convictions?”

Latterly, Mr Wiggin called for the members on both side of the House to support those victims of press abuse who are unable to afford proper arbitration. Mr Wiggin said:

“Section 40 is not only desirable but necessary. IPSO will never agree to apply to become an approved regulator unless it is forced to, and section 40 would ensure that it happened. These measures already received the full support of both Houses in proceedings on the Crime and Courts Act. We must now implement them. The challenge goes out to the Opposition parties: there is support on both sides of the House for section 40, but if there are not sufficient Members here to vote for it, the Government will have their way.

I hope we will make sure that this House does not bend the knee to the power of the press barons, but remembers its role to speak up for the vulnerable—the people who have no money, and who need a proper, fair and low-cost arbitration system.”

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:

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