A STRONG local economy, with more jobs, higher wages and rising living standards is my top priority as your MP.
I visit local businesses regularly, I organised a successful Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair in February, and a popular Small Business Awards in April.
Havant Borough Council also has a key role to play, and last week I met the council’s leader Councillor Mike Cheshire and chief executive Sandy Hopkins to back their Prosperity Havant Plan which unifies development and economic growth strategy across the whole constituency.
The plan will secure jobs, growth and prosperity around Havant for years to come. It is a future-proof plan, bringing together local authorities, businesses and residents to transform Havant town centre and give people a higher quality of life.
Sites earmarked for major developments include the transformation of Havant town centre and Market Parade and cutting edge business parks at Dunsbury Hill and Harts Farm Way.
I’ve been a long-term supporter of Prosperity Havant. In December 2015, I gained chancellor George Osborne’s backing for the Dunsbury Hill Farm development, which will provide up to 3,500 new jobs.
In February I was joined by housing minister Brandon Lewis to cut the turf at P&I Generators’ new premises at Harts Farm Way.
In parliament I’ve championed our local area on the national stage. This Monday, I highlighted the crucial role played by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in driving local investment and infrastructure. A major Solent LEP-funded project is the new link road at Dunsbury Hill Farm, connecting the business park with nearby motorways.
I’ve also supported our crucial local tourist industry. Following a £10,000 government grant last year, the South Hayling Coastal Community Team led by Rosemary Satchwell has been working hard to improve visitors’ experiences on the island through new signage.
This week I also launched a new parliamentary group supporting business and entrepreneurs. This group, which I’m chairing, will act as a bridge between entrepreneurs across the country and policymakers. I’ll continue supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs locally and nationally.
My next drop-in surgery is this Friday at the Meridian Centre, Havant (10-11.30am).