In December 2019 Don Valley swung to the Conservatives for the first time in its 100-year history.
The parliamentary constituency of Don Valley was formed in 1918 and for all but its first four years, the incumbent MP has always been Labour.
Then, in the general election on Thursday 12th December 2019, the Conservative candidate Nicholas Fletcher beat Labour’s Caroline Flint to take the seat that had been her’s for 22 years.
Many readers may ask – who is Nicholas Fletcher MP?
Nicholas, or Nick, has lived in Doncaster all his life. He was born in Armthorpe and attended school there. After moving to Wheatley when he married, he moved several times around the borough before finally settling in Bawtry where he lives today.
Mr Fletcher started an electrical contracting business in Doncaster back in 1994 and the company, currently based in Harworth, recently celebrated 25 years in business. Until recently, he was also a Director of Doncaster Chamber.
On Friday 13 December 2019 Nick Fletcher entered the House of Commons. The new MP for Don Valley tells us about his time in office so far:
He says: “It has been a very busy three months since the general election. The result all seems so long ago but, as they say, it only feels like yesterday I was on Grampian Way and in Thorne town centre talking to local people about why they should vote for me to represent our area as MP for Don Valley. You [the voting public] responded and the rest is (very short) history as I was elected and since then my feet have barely touched the ground.
“The first major task I had to do was to recruit staff and I was delighted to appoint two very hard working borough councillors to head up my local office. Jane Cox, Group Leader of the Conservatives on Doncaster Council will be my Office Manager and Nick Allen, my agent at the election and the Conservative Councillor for Bessacarr will be my senior caseworker. I am thrilled to have two experienced individuals running my office. Together we make a fantastic team for the small towns and villages which make up Don Valley.
“Having staff is one thing but what we needed next was an office. This was easier said than done but luckily we found temporary accommodation in Auckley. We liked that area so we have decided to stay permanently near the airport in Heyford House. It is so important for MPs to stay rooted locally and that is why I am delighted to have an office in Don Valley right next door to one of south Doncaster’s main assets – Doncaster airport!
“In Westminster, things came together quickly and neatly. My first full day was Monday 16th December (I found out the result on Friday 13th December), and since then I have been stuck in! I appointed a parliamentary assistant and found a lovely office for use when I am there.
“Unknown to lots of people is the fact that MPs actually work most of the week in Westminster so the majority of my time is spent down there. However, I am back in Don Valley most Fridays, during recess (break) and at the weekend. I have met with government ministers and senior officials to start to bang the drum for Doncaster. We’ve had visits locally too – Matt Hancock the Secretary of State for health came to visit DRI and I made the case for a new hospital here in Doncaster.
“Nick Allen and Jane Cox soon started booking rooms for my advice surgeries and arranging for me to have places to visit. I have been to Thorne a few times and it was great to see so many people using Thorne Library when I held an advice session there in January. I like to think I am starting to settle into this part of the role and you would be amazed at how varied and complicated some people’s problems are. The myriad of different reasons people have for coming to meet an MP will never cease to amaze me.
“You may have noticed I have managed to write thus far without mentioning the ‘B’ word – we all know the main contributing factor in my election as the first Conservative MP for Don Valley was Brexit. I know from speaking to voters here in Thorne that so many of you lent the Conservatives your vote for the first time and I am extremely grateful. I am everyone’s MP here in Don Valley and now we have left the EU we need, more than ever, to come together and make Brexit work for everyone. I will be doing my part by representing everyone, regardless of their politics, remainer or leaver, as your MP.“
Nicholas Fletcher MP can be contacted through his constituency phone number on 01302 579020 or email: email@example.com