COLCHESTER'S first-ever female MP has outlined her planned first steps in her new role.

Pam Cox enjoyed a victory by more than 8,000 votes in Thursday's General Election, becoming the city's first Labour MP since 1945.

Following her win, Ms Cox has issued in a written statement to the Gazette.

She said: "I want to express my thanks to everyone who voted for me in this election.

"I will work hard over the next five years to repay your trust. As the new MP for Colchester, I feel a great responsibility to help deliver change for everyone, regardless of who they voted for.

"Three of the key issues that people brought up with me on the doorsteps and in emails during the election campaign were the need to revitalise Colchester High Street, the problems faced by parents trying to access Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SENDs) services for their children and the future of Middlewick.

"I want to get things moving on all three fronts as quickly as possible.

Parliament - Pam Cox on her day at Parliament as Colchester's MPParliament - Pam Cox on her first day at the Houses of Parliament as Colchester's new MP (Image: Colchester Labour)

"On the High Street, I want to work with the council, shop-owners, developers, big retailers, night-time industries, the police and local residents to bring new investment into the city centre.

"I want to help put Colchester on the national map, developing new attractions for visitors and offering a better range of shops.

"I also think it should be possible to improve our local SEND services by getting schools to work together with children’s services to speed up diagnoses and unlock the provision of extra resources.

"This will also help to relieve a lot of the pressure on teachers in classrooms. None of this requires changes in law but it does need different agencies to work together more effectively.

"On Middlewick, I will be working with the council as it goes through the process of revising the Local Plan to redefine areas where housing can be built.

"Separately I will continue to press the Ministry of Defence to stop the sale of the land so that local wildlife habitats can be preserved.

"And, of course, I will be supporting the new government as it works to create more homes for local people, deliver cheaper cleaner energy and cut NHS waiting lists.

"There will be new legislation to create a Border Security Command to tackle people-smuggling gangs and much more."

Pam Cox will be interviewed by the Colchester Gazette later in the week.