The best is yet to come in 2016

SCHOOL SUPPORT Alan Mak MP with Chris Anders, headteacher at Park Community School, Havant
SCHOOL SUPPORT Alan Mak MP with Chris Anders, headteacher at Park Community School, Havant
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Havant MP Alan Mak is optimistic about the area’s economy and business prospects this year

Happy new year to all News readers and local residents. I hope everyone had a great Christmas break.

We can look forward to 2016 with pride and optimism because our area remains a great place to live, work, visit and invest in – and the best is yet to come.

A strong local economy with more jobs and rising living standards is my top priority.

Big employers I’ve visited like those on New Lane and Harts Farm Way including Pfizer, Colt’s, Eaton and Lewmar are doing well.

Our small businesses are prospering too: on Small Business Saturday in November, I visited 20 successful small businesses in Havant, Emsworth and Hayling.

I’ll be launching the first Havant Small Business Awards in the News shortly to recognise their hard 

Regeneration at Dunsbury Hill Farm is continuing – and combined with Havant’s Market Parade redevelopment – will create over 3,500 local jobs. Great news for our local economy.

Unemployment across Havant is low and falling – down by over 50 per cent since 2010.

As local MP I’m doing my bit to lower it further by organising the first Havant MP jobs and apprenticeships fair on February 19 at Warblington School.

Free entry to any resident looking for a new job or a career change.

Plumber Charlie Mullins OBE, who worked his way up from an apprenticeship to chief executive, will be sharing his inspirational story.

I’m also launching a new Havant start-up fund to provide seed funding for local people who want to start their own business in 2016.

More details in the News later this year.

Our local schools and colleges are doing well, and I’ll continue backing them in 2016.

Purbrook Park, Havant Academy and Crookhorn College all received ‘good’ ratings after OFSTED inspections.

Last year I launched the Havant Education Leaders’ Forum to bring together our secondary headteachers.

I’ve arranged for schools minister Nick Gibb MP to join our meeting in February so he can see their hard work himself.

A new year is also a good chance to get fit too, whether physically and intellectually.

Why not sign up for the Havant parkrun, a weekly 5K run at Staunton Country Park, a course at South Downs or Havant College?

I wish everyone a great 2016, and thanks for all your support.