2015 should be a good year! Although life as ever will throw out its challenges and in politics we have a big general election to face, I am optimistic! Locally, long over due big investment is making life better.
The seafront looks terrific (never mind the shelters!)
The De La Warr is firing on all cylinders and a great new team is getting to grips with Bexhill High.
Later this summer the long awaited link road will finally open and in its wake, more homes and jobs for local people.
This year we should even begin to plan in earnest for a high speed rail service from Bexhill to London! I can’t pretend it is job done, or there aren’t other serious problems to be tackled, but I can certainly say with pride, that when I step down as your MP in the spring, I will be leaving our area in better shape than it was back in 2000, when I was first adopted by the local Conservatives to fight this seat.
Local unemployment is now down to around 1.5%, one of the lowest rates in the country and wages are finally starting to rise faster than our very low inflation.
The financial and crisis that threatened us all, has receded. The long term economic plan is working. But we aren’t out of the woods yet, tough choices remain ahead and we must stay the course to reap the full rewards of the recovery. But for most families, things are definitely getting better. I hope in the next few months you will have the opportunity to meet the terrific candidate picked to stand in my place at the general election. Hugh Merriman lives locally and has already thrown himself into the task with gusto. He would make a great MP. For me personally, it is the right choice and the right time to step aside. But I will miss being your MP terribly. It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve Bexhill & Battle. I love this town. Generous, tolerant, kind, creative, thoughtful, unique, brilliant, eccentric, even cranky. You are one special place. There is so much still to do but who ever takes my place to represent our area in Parliament will be one very lucky individual.”