Havant MP Alan Mak: Setting out my three local priorities

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood (right) has said he would be 'prepared to resign' if cuts are imposed

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Havant MP Alan Mak is determined to be a strong voice for the constituency in Westminster

Regular News readers will know I’m very active around the constituency.

I’m determined to be a visible and community-focused local MP alongside being a strong voice for you in Westminster.

So in that spirit, I’m launching a new column in partnership with The News. Every week starting today, I’ll update residents on my work, discuss an important issue, or share my thoughts on a particular topic.

My three local priorities are a strong economy, successful schools and vibrant communities. In practice that means working hard for residents both locally and in Westminster.

On the local economy, higher living standards, lower taxes and more people getting jobs are key for me. In Parliament, I’m on the committee passing the summer budget, which cuts taxes for local residents and businesses.

I’ll also be organising the first MP’s job fair to help local people into employment. Having grown up above my own family’s high street shop, I’m keen to support small local businesses like Emsworth’s Innova engineering or Havant’s Sherwood Florist on West Street, both of which I visited last week.

Every young person deserves a great education, so I’ve written to every local school setting out ways I can support them, including inviting students for an educational tour of Parliament.

I’ve also set up the Havant Education Leaders’ Forum to bring local headteachers together to share ideas about how we can keep raising standards. I’m also lobbying David Cameron for more funding for local schools.

I’m committed to ensuring our area remains a great place to live, relax and visit. So, I’m supporting the local community centres, sports clubs, churches, charities and voluntary groups that make our communities so vibrant.

For example, I recently met staff and residents at Hayling Island Community Centre because I’m backing their bid for National Lottery funding to build a new café and extension.

I enjoying keeping in touch with my constituents, so I’ve launched a series of drop-in surgeries and public meetings where residents can raise anything they like with me.

This Friday, I’ll be at Hayling Community Centre (1.30-2.30pm) and the Ship Inn, Langstone (5pm-6.30pm). Details of future events can be found at AlanMak.org.uk.

Let me know what you think of my columns by emailing me at Alan.Mak.MP@parliament.uk.