IN AN optimistic message to the public, the Member of Parliament for Havant has said the area is all set to ‘power ahead’ for 2017.
Alan Mak has told of the need to build on the area’s success in 2016 to make that happen, and said Havant’s economy is strong and growing.
Mr Mak said: ‘Keeping our living standards high and our economy as strong as it is now is my top priority as local MP.
‘In 2016, the hard work of local people meant unemployment was low, new businesses started up, and investment came in.
‘This year we can power ahead and achieve even more.’
Mr Mak said Pfizer’s announcement that its New Lane site will wind down by 2020 was disappointing, but he hopes his new £250,000 Business Support Fund, launched last month, will help those keen to start a new venture.
Mr Mak added: ‘I launched three community events last year designed to help local people, whether they’re looking for a job, running a business, or keen to stay active.
‘Residents made them a success so they’ll be returning this year on a larger scale.’
New shops like Next and Marks & Spencer on Solent Road also show the area is attracting inward investment, according to Mr Mak.
In March, the MP’s Jobs, Apprenticeships and Careers Fair will take place at Havant Leisure Centre.
Around 100 employers are expected, doubling last year’s figure, with experts on hand to promote apprenticeships and give advice.
In late June firms will be recognised at the Havant Small Business Awards, and readers of The News will be asked to nominate their favourites from February.
Pensioners will then be the focus of Mr Mak’s Older Persons’ Information Fair in the autumn.
The event will provide different kinds of advice for senior citizens.
In Westminster, the MP will continue his campaign for fairer funding for schools. Mr Mak also confirmed that regarding Brexit, he will vote to leave the European Union if parliament is asked to vote.
The MP added: ‘From advice surgeries to community events to major policy areas like Brexit and the economy, I’ll continue working hard for residents locally and in Westminster.’