Dame Cheryl Gillan MP addressed the first ever virtual Annual General Meeting of the Chesham & Amersham Conservative Association online.

The meeting was held on June 30 and was chaired by the president, Baroness Emma Pidding CBE.

Dame Cheryl opened her remarks by thanking all those that returned her to office in the last General Election and in particular the Association members who had “worked so hard” to return the Conservative government with an “impressive” majority.

READ MORE: Council wins legal battle against man who had beer can full of carrot juice in town centre

Addressing the local response to the Covid-19 pandemic as “marvellous”, Dame Cheryl praised everybody who worked so hard for the communities in the Chesham and Amersham constituency.

She particularly emphasised her admiration for key workers including the Buckinghamshire Health Trust, Buckinghamshire Council, the Thames Valley Police and the “blue light” services and all the many volunteers who have supported people, and continue to do so, through this ongoing crisis.

“We owe them a continuing debt of thanks,” she said.

Now the lockdown is easing, Dame Cheryl drew attention to the importance of rebuilding the national economy and to the Prime Minister’s “Build, Build, Build” speech earlier in the day.

“We are not reverting to austerity,” Dame Cheryl said echoing the assurance of Boris Johnson MP, “but make no mistake it is going to be tough.

“We are already seeing the challenges facing the aviation, retail and hospitality sectors, and their fortunes will not be restored overnight.”

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a letter to Dame Cheryl and colleagues: “We are tripling the average amount we’ve invested over the last forty years in real terms.

“We will invest more than £600 billion in our future prosperity and bring forward £5 billion of capital investment projects, supporting jobs and the economic recovery.”

This includes projects for hospital maintenance, a ten-year school rebuilding programme, road building and £96 million to accelerate investment in town centres and high streets.

After being re-elected as MP in the December 2019 general election, Dame Cheryl has also been appointed by the Prime Minister to the Council of Europe where she was elected President of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy. She has also been and re-elected to the Board of the Conservative Party nationally. and as Vice Chair of the 1922 Committee.

Since the pandemic, many firsts have taken place remotely, such as putting Questions to Cabinet Ministers and the PM, participating in the Public Accounts Committee hearings and local events such as branch meetings of the Association that now has over 1,000 members and the recent lobby with constituents to discuss the Time Is Now campaign about climate change, in which two members of the Chesham Youth Council took part amongst many others.

Ms Gillan added: “Getting the hang of remote meetings and the technology can take people some time but the benefit is that many more can participate even when they physically cannot attend a meeting.

“The technology has enabled me, together with my fellow Bucks MPs, to hold bi weekly meetings with the Council, the Health Trust, the Thames Valley Police, Bucks Business First and other local organisations which have proved invaluable in exchanging information and obtaining more timely responses to all the enquiries and issues that have been experienced during this lockdown period.”

READ MORE: Extra police in town centres as force braces for busy weekend after lockdown eased

Cheryl thanked her own parliamentary office team for all their hard work and welcomed the management team of Chesham & Amersham Conservatives congratulating them on being returned to serve for another year. Baroness Pidding CBE continues as President, Carl Jackson as Chairman, Joseph Baum and Emily Culverhouse as Deputy Chairmen and Phillip Grannum as Hon. Treasurer. Cheryl also congratulated her Agent, Philip Dumville, who received a well-earned OBE during 2019.

Members of the Association could also be proud that the Conservative Party nationally, in the Association Incentive Scheme, had awarded Chesham and Amersham the accolade of the highest ranked Association in the South East region and in all constituencies outside London and the 5th highest ranked Association in the UK.