Article for Tiptree Tribune

This month I was pleased to be able to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. Apprenticeships provide great opportunities for work-based training where apprentices can learn new skills, achieve qualifications and earn a salary. Many businesses of all sizes in my constituency and throughout Essex are taking on apprentices. As a result, in the last five years under this Government, there have been double the number of apprenticeship starts in my constituency than under the last Labour Government between 2005 and 2010. 
Across the country, there have been two million more apprenticeship starts and a Conservative Government elected in May’s General Election would go further and create 3 million more apprenticeships. The expansion of the apprenticeship programme gives people more choices and means that there are more career paths available. 
We are able to invest with businesses in creating a high skills economy because of the success of our long term economic plan. Our economy is growing more strongly than any other in the G7 and unemployment keeps falling as more jobs and employment opportunities are created. 
We can also be proud of the wealth creators and entrepreneurs who are setting up new businesses and expanding. They create job, employment and apprenticeship opportunities as well as adding growth to our economy. 
Under this Government, entrepreneurs and businesses are backed with tax breaks and cuts to red tape. Both the main rate and the small rate of corporation tax has been reduced under this Government and businesses have also benefited from reductions in national insurance contributions, reliefs on business rates, and fuel duty being 20 pence per litre lower than it would have been under the last Labour Government’s plans. This support for business is a fundamental part of our long term economic plan. By contrast, the Labour Party today are obsessed with attacking British businesses, pledging higher taxes on businesses and showing disdain for those who create jobs and generate wealth for the economy.
Recently, the Labour Party in this area has gone one step further by attacking a local business success story. A local female entrepreneur who worked incredibly hard to get her business off the ground was commended by the Prime Minister on International Women’s Day but sneered at by statements issued by the Labour Party in this area. Business owners and the public will be appalled by the antics of the Labour Party nationally and locally and their dogmatic hostility to enterprise, job creation and growth. 
I believe that we should be celebrating and championing entrepreneurs. But with their attacks on business and businessmen and women, Labour continue to prove why they are unfit to govern.  
One important way that this Government is helping businesses in my constituency is through investing in improving rural broadband services. A £12 million investment from the Government, matched with £6 million from Essex County Council and £6 million from BT is already enabling thousands of residential and business premises to access faster broadband through the Superfast Essex programme. A further amount of nearly £11 million has been pledged by the Government to connect even more premises to faster speeds. I have recently discussed with the Minister who oversees the Government’s broadband policies the needs of the most remote and rural places in my constituency. He is very supportive of local initiatives to enhance broadband coverage and I will continue to work with the Government, Essex County Council and others to ensure my constituency has the high performing modern broadband infrastructure which businesses and families need.   
When the House of Commons dissolves for the General Election at the end of this month, my contact details will change for the duration of the campaign. From 27 March 2015 until Polling Day on 7 May 2015, I can be contacted by email to: [email protected]; by post to: Priti Patel, Witham Constituency Conservative Association, Avenue Lodge, The Avenue, Witham, Essex, CM8 2DL; and by telephone on: 01376 520 649. Constituents are welcome to raise any issues, concerns and questions with me during the campaign.
Priti Patel
Member of Parliament for Witham

A12/A120 Consultations

Strategic Road Network Consultations

There are two important consultations running at the moment on key strategic road infrastructure improvements - the A12 widening scheme and the upgrading of the A120. Priti has been campaigning to secure new investment in these roads and has welcomed the consultations taking place. Members of the public can review the proposals for the A12 and A120 at the weblinks below, attend consultation events, and respond to the consultation. Feel free to also contact Priti by email to: [email protected] with your views too.

Widening the A12

Upgrading the A120

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