Local events over the last week demonstrate why the Havant constituency has a bright future: an attractive place to invest in, visit, work and live.
Our foundations are already strong, yet we cannot afford to be complacent, and we’re not.
Last Friday I welcomed Local Economic Growth and Communities Minister James Wharton MP to the constituency, as the government continues to recognise Havant’s achievements.
We visited the 50-acre re-development of Dunsbury Hill Farm, near Leigh Park, which is transforming the area into an engine of local growth with investment from Portsmouth City Council and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.
Set to create over 3,000 jobs, the business park will boost local employment and attract investment.
I joined Wharton and Portsmouth City Council Leader Donna Jones to cut the turf on a new road. Clothing manufacturer FatFace has already agreed to move in, which is great news.
I also met 20 small business leaders at a roundtable breakfast discussion hosted by Barclays at Seacourt Tennis Club on Hayling Island. I was energised by their plans for growth, and outlined the government’s support for local businesses, which includes low taxes and help to take on apprentices.
Much of Havant’s strength lies in its employment market: less than two per cent unemployment. Yet we can’t rest on our laurels.
Come to my free jobs and apprenticeships fair at Warblington School on Friday February 19 anytime from 10am-4pm if you’re looking for a new job or apprenticeship, a career change, or some CV advice.
Growth in Havant will also be driven by our young people and I enjoyed welcoming South Downs College principal Mike Gaston to Westminster to discuss our school-leavers.
Plans for South Downs’ merger with Havant Sixth Form College will ensure students get the best preparation possible to enter the world of work.
Against the backdrop of rapid economic growth, last week was also a time to pause and reflect. On Holocaust Memorial Day, I signed the Book of Commitment in Parliament so we don’t forget this dark chapter in world history.
I also spoke in a Westminster debate to defend our Iraq War veterans targeted by spurious legal claims. We ask our troops to defend us abroad so we must look after them when they come home.
Thanks to all residents for your continuing support.