Oliver's Column for My News - March 2020

I am delighted and thrilled to have been appointed as Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the recent reshuffle.

This is something I care passionately about and has real relevance to our local area.

I have seen first-hand the value of creative industries to our local economy with

BBC Elstree, Elstree Film Studios and the proposed new Sky Elstree Studios bringing jobs, opportunities and money, particularly through business rates to our local area.

From visiting places like Elstree UTC, I have seen the great jobs that are available to people in creative industries. They are exactly the sort of jobs we ourselves and our children want. Interesting, challenging and well paid.

Equally in my time as MP I have seen countless examples of small and medium sized tech businesses in our constituency and the innovation and opportunities provided by this sector will benefit Hertsmere massively, as the tech sector continues to grow faster than the wider economy.

On a personal level, I take very seriously my job as custodian of our Arts and Heritage. One of my great pleasures at Parmiter’s School, near Bushey, was appearing in many school productions of which I still have happy memories. I know they enrich school life and indeed, I know people in the local area still enjoy participating in performing arts - the Radlett Light Operatic Societies production of Hello Dolly was a personal favourite.

Of course, we have a rich heritage in our area. Places like Bushey Museum, Reveley Lodge and the new museum at Radlett, all of which I have enjoyed. Equally, I know many people given our proximity to London, will have enjoyed visiting our great national collections.

This is something I now do with my children who greatly enjoy the hands-on experience at the British Museum, Natural History Museum and Science Museum, to name a few.

I look forward to continuing to champion the causes of our local community and ensuring that through my work as a Minister more opportunities are created across the Nation, including Hertsmere.