Derby Telegraph Column

We’ve seen very encouraging news on the economy over the past few weeks. Growth in quarter 4 2013 was at 0.7%, inflation is now on target at 1.9%, and despite a small post-Christmas rise, unemployment in Amber Valley is down 1.5% year-on-year, at 2.9%.

The plan is working, but we must not be complacent – like the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said, it’s hugely important that we further bolster manufacturing and exports. Continued rebalancing of the economy in this way will bring more jobs and greater job security for people here in Amber Valley. We also need to stick to the deficit reduction strategy, which has seen mortgage rates kept low and lending rates to businesses kept low – and allowed us to scrap Labour’s fuel duty escalator, saving 13p per litre of fuel, and cut income tax for 33,000 of my constituents, taking 3,300 out of income tax altogether.

When I was elected, I promised to reduce unemployment in my constituency. Over the past few years I’ve supported small and expanding businesses in taking on more staff, and last September I held the first Amber Valley Jobs Fair. I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be holding a second event on 28th March at Ripley Leisure Centre between 10 AM and 4 PM. Last year’s fair saw over six-hundred constituents attend and one-hundred found work as a result of the day, so I’m looking forward to building on that success. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for employment, training and apprenticeships with a wide range of organisations including B&K, Zycomm, Birchwood Home Care, National Careers Service, Babcock International, QA Associates, Futures, Acorn Training and A4e.
Do come along to find a great opportunity – it’s free to attendand trent barton is kindly providing cut price travel to the event on the day.

The event will also host seminars on a range of topics including CV writing tips, interview techniques and advice on starting your own business. You can register in advance to attend these seminars – see www.ambervalleyjobsfair.co.uk for more information.

It’s encouraging to see that the Labour-led Derbyshire Fire Authority have backed off from their plan to close fire stations, including the existing ones at Heanor, Alfreton and Ripley. I campaigned against their plan during their consultation period and it’s good to see that they’ve listened to local people on this issue.

Finally, over the past few weeks, hundreds of local people have signed my petition to reopen the Heanor Memorial Hospital. I, like many of my constituents, am concerned about its closure and I want to see health services enhanced, not diminished, in the town. The CCG held a public meeting in late January to discuss concerns, and they confirmed that an NHS building would remain on the site, and they want to know what local people would like to see there.
I’ll be presenting the petition to Parliament next week, so if you’d like to sign it or find out more about how to contact the CCG, please visit www.nigelmillsmp.com/heanorhospital.