Article for Tiptree Tribune

31st August 2015
An important landmark was reached when the latest set of local unemployment figures came out in August. They showed that the number of Jobseekers’ Allowance claimants in the Witham constituency continued to fall and were now 1,200 lower than the peak reached under the last Labour Government. Because of the success of the Conservatives’ long term economic plan and the ambition and entrepreneurialism of local businesses, more people are in employment and earning a wage.
Youth unemployment has also fallen dramatically in recent years, with the numbers of people aged 18 to 24 claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance now 75% down on its peak under Labour. I am delighted that the current generation of young people leaving schools, colleges, and universities have new opportunities to find employment. It is worth remembering that under Labour youth unemployment soared, including in the years prior to the economic downturn. The support the current Government is giving to businesses, the incentives to recruit young people, the expansion of the apprenticeships programme, and a new curriculum that raises academic standards is helping more people make the transition from education to employment. 
As well as unemployment falling and more people securing employment, those in work are also earning more money. Average wage growth is now at 2.8%, which is higher than the rate of inflation. With the increases in the personal tax free allowance worth more than £800 per year for workers, families are better off with more money to spend. 
The economic uncertainty that still persists in the Euozone, especially over Greece, and the turbulence in the Chinese economy serve as reminders on economic damage that can take place when economies are built on weak foundations. This is why it has been so important that action has been taken by Conservatives in Government to control public spending, bring down the deficit and reform the economy. As a result, over the last five years our long term economic plan has strengthened the British economy making it competitive and attracting investment. The focus on delivering lower taxes and higher wages will continue to ensure that more people can get into employment and the economy can grow.
During the summer recess when the House of Commons has not been sitting, I have been continuing to support constituents with issues they raise with me and meet with local authorities and businesses. I recently met with the Chief Executive of Maldon District Council to discuss a number of issues with them relating to their Local Development Plan and concerns raised with some planning applications. 
Constituents living in the Maldon District will be aware that the draft Local Development Plan put forward by the Council and the Planning Inspectorate’s initial view on this is currently being reviewed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. I receive many emails and letters from residents concerned that while the Local Development Plan has yet to be approved, it could open the floodgates to unsustainable developments in and around the villages they live in. Given the importance of having an up to date Local Development Plan adopted, the Government and the Council are working to have this process completed as soon as possible. If any constituents have any questions about this issue or any concerned with development proposals, please do get in touch. 
Readers interested in flooding may like to know that I am continuing to receive responses from constituents in relation to the flood risk management scheme options for the Coggeshall, Feering, and Kelvedon areas. A range of possible options have been put forward by the Environment Agency to address flooding concerns and anyone interested in finding out more can review the options and respond to the survey through my website at the weblink below:
All comments sent to me about these proposals have been shared with the Environment Agency for them to consider and I will continue to keep readers updated with information as further actions take place.
The organisers of the school crossing patrol in Tollesbury are still looking for volunteers to help man the new crossing. The voluntary school crossing patrol was set-up following an agreement between Essex County Council and Tollesbury Primary School. The times that volunteers are needed are on school days between 8:35-8:55am and 3:05-3:30pm. Full training and uniform will be provided. If anyone is able to spare some time to cover some of the shifts, please do get in touch with me.

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May 18th Witham

May 29th Tiptree

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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