Derby Telegraph Column

As published in the Derby Telegraph, 16th January 2015

There have been a number of reports in recent weeks about the unprecedented pressure on local A&E Departments. Our local hospital, the Royal Derby has reported a 20% increase in A&E visits and I am aware that staff at the Royal Derby are doing a tremendous job to cope with the unprecedented demand. I commend all staff the Royal Derby for their hard work and careful planning over recent months which has been instrumental in helping them to deal with this increase in demand.

Under this Government, we have increased the NHS budget by £12.7bn and I am aware that the local System Resilience Group, which helps the Royal Derby to prepare and plan for extra demand in winter, has received over £7mn out of a record £700mn resilience fund to help cope with extra demand this winter. However, it is important that we tackle the root cause of this problem, which is why this Government is supporting GP practices to see people at times convenient to them. I would also remind my constituents that NHS 111 – the non-emergency helpline – can help people to get the right advice, preventing them from having to make unnecessary A&E visits.

We could not support the NHS without a strong economy and I welcome confirmation that Britain is the fastest growing economy in Europe. Alongside this, figures released this week show that inflation dropped to 0.5% last month, down from 1% in November, a record-equalling low. This indicates a reduction in the cost of living in real terms, putting more money back in the pockets of my constituents.

This week E.ON launched one of the cheapest tariffs available on the market – a reduction of 3.5% on their standard gas price. In response to Government calls for energy companies to reflect the fall in wholesale gas prices, E.ON is the first supplier to introduce tariff reductions.

This is great news and I hope to see other energy suppliers follow suit and I welcome the Chancellor’s move to launch a Treasury investigation into whether companies are passing on the benefits of plunging oil and gas prices.  Clearly price reductions are working and better than the freeze some were calling for.

I am delighted unemployment has more than halved since I was elected, in part due to the two jobs fairs I have held. I will be holding my third annual jobs fair on Friday 27th February at Ripley Leisure Centre between 10 AM and 4 PM.

Employers already confirmed to attend include, BPI Packaging, Places for People Leisure, Futures Housing Group, Birchwood Homecaring Services, the Armed Forces, Essential Recruitment, UPS and Owen Taylor, amongst others. Training and apprenticeships providers will also be there, including A4e, QA Associates, Being Your Own Boss and EMA Training.

We will also be running informative seminars on CV writing, job applications, self-employment interview tips and money management throughout the day which you can book online at www.ambervalleyjobsfair.co.uk.

If you or anyone you know is currently looking for a new job make sure to come along, it’s free to attend and trent barton is kindly providing half-price travel to the Jobs Fair which you can find more information about on the Jobs Fair website.