‘Things are heading in the right direction’

Speaker's Corner: Mike Penning
Speaker's Corner: Mike Penning
  • Current Hemel Hempstead MP reflects on town’s successes in last five years
  • Employment, education, housing and regeneration highlighted as major improvements
  • Politician reveals he is backing proposals for English MPs only to vote on English laws

Like you, I love living in our town and although things have been hard for many people, as we suffer the pain of putting our country’s finances right, things are heading in the right direction.

The economy has been turned around and is now one of the fastest growing economies in the G7. The rate of deficit is down – in 2010 it was 11% of GDP, now it is just 5.5%.

Employment is at a record high and we have 2 million new apprenticeships with more on the way. The figures speak for themselves.

Mike Penning

Employment is at a record high and we have 2 million new apprenticeships with more on the way. The figures speak for themselves.

This is great news for Dacorum.

New businesses have been starting up, and large companies have come to the area; all bringing jobs and prosperity.

The local council is building the first new council houses in a generation, with 71 already under construction in the Borough and a commitment to build a total of 300 before 2020.

All the new sites are bringing derelict areas back into use and the new homes will be of a very high standard and energy efficient.

Five local secondary schools are scheduled for major building works – starting with Longdean and Kings Langley which are both being completely rebuilt.

This is great news – not only for pupils but for the whole community.

More and more of our young people will get a good start to their education with these new first class facilities.

Across the town improvements are being made. The Old Town has been transformed with the new one-way system.

Jarman Park is looking great with some first-rate new restaurants and is now an entertainment venue the town can be proud of. I am particularly delighted the Jellicoe Water Gardens is being redeveloped.

Nationally, I am backing proposals for only English MPs to vote on English laws.

It is outrageous that MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland vote on issues which are devolved to their Parliament or Assembly, and so only affect England.

The only party committed to this is the Conservatives.

Immigration has been tightened with arrivals from outside the EU having decreased to their lowest levels in a decade.

We are not giving council houses to new immigrants – in Dacorum you can only join the active social housing list if you’ve had a connection to the Borough for 10 years.

We are putting into action our promises to clamp down on those who abuse the system and we are making sure that our immigration system is fair to everyone.

We are standing up for Britain in Europe and we are the only party that promises to give the people a say on our continued membership of the EU.

It has been a great honour to represent the Hemel Hempstead constituency in the House of Commons for the past ten years, and I very much hope that you will give me the opportunity to continue to do so.

We are making great progress, don’t let others spoil it.

What do you think? Share your views by emailing thegazette@jpress.co.uk.