FIVE years after winning his seat in the 2010 General Election, Andrew Griffiths has again secured the backing of the Burton people. His victory was emphatic.
He garnered more than 24,000 votes, a significant increase on his 2010 count, re-iterating the faith the Burton electorate clearly have in their MP.
With a tough period of campaigning now behind him Mr Griffiths has already started work to ensure his next five years resonate equally positively with voters.
He said: “It was a huge learning curve when I first became an MP and I’ve realised how far I’ve come.
“New challenges lie ahead now and I couldn’t be more excited for the future.
“I feel I’ve realised what I can achieve as an individual in Parliament and how to use my position to get things done.
“I look back at the beer duty cuts and investments into road safety and I want to continue to build on that to make Burton a better place.”
Mr Griffiths’ proclaimed achievements include ensuring a fall in unemployment, extra investment into the safety of Burton’s roads and three consecutive beer duty cuts – something of great benefit to Burton’s brewing industry.
He said: “My biggest achievement I feel is my role in supporting local business and bringing down levels of unemployment. It brings me a lot of pride and I hope it continues.
“Something I’m determined to support this term is the regeneration of Burton’s town centre and I’m keen to take up a positive role in that.
“I want to see the town centre become more vibrant, with lots of improvements. It’s a real priority for me and I’m looking forward to working with the new council to achieve that.”
With the amount of work and travel involved being an MP, Mr Griffiths was full of praise for his wife Kate whose support, he said, has been unwavering.
He was also quick to thank his supporters and those that had ensured his campaign has been so successful.
He said: “The most important thing Burton has given me is my wife Kate, who I met after becoming a candidate. She’s been a rock throughout all of this and I couldn’t have done any of this without her.
“Kate backs me in everything I do. She attends all our engagements and is always by my side. Without her help this could never have happened.”
When asked if he still gets the same ‘buzz’ for the job as he did five years ago, there was no doubt in Mr Griffiths’ mind that it is a job he truly loves.
He said: “All I know is that when my alarm went off at 6am on Monday I jumped out of bed and was chomping at the bit to get started again.
“What I have realised is how quickly time passes when you are an MP so I’m getting straight back into it to achieve as much as I possibly can.
“The reality of my job is that on Monday morning I was on the train to go back to Parliament to attend a meeting with the Prime Minister. I love my work and I still get that tingle of excitement every day.”
Having returned to work, some of the most obvious challenges faced by the Burton MP will be ensuring a fair deal for to the town’s people in the face of cuts and the impact of a planned referendum on the EU.
He said: “In response to planned cuts I’ve demonstrated before I’m prepared to stand up and fight for service.
“People need to be able to use the NHS to get the support and the help they deserve. I’m determined to fight for what is best for the people.
“I’m too young to have voted in the last referendum of Europe but I’m fully behind giving people the opportunity to have there say in a ‘in or out’ vote.
“I fully support the Government in their plans for letting people have their say.”
By Rob Helliwell (Burton Mail)