James Heappey has welcomed the announcement of a six-point long-term economic plan for the South West – showing what has been delivered, what is underway and what more can be done to support our region’s economy in the long-term.
“The South West has too often been an after-thought for policy makers in Westminster meaning that so much of the potential in our region has gone untapped. The announcement of a long-term economic plan specifically for our region is great news. Investment in infrastructure including roads, railways and broadband, stimulation for the tourism industry as well as the high tech and science sectors and a real emphasis on job creation, training and apprenticeships is exactly what we need to secure a better future for our region.”
The plan will increase the size of the regional economy by £6.4 billion in real terms by 2030 (the equivalent to over £1,000 per person), create over 150,000 new jobs in the South West and support the complete dualling of key roads including the A303 and the full electrification of the Great Western main line.
The Chancellor has also challenged councils across the region to come together to form a new body similar to Transport for London or the newly created Transport for the North to develop a strategic view of our area’s transport needs and deliver improved local services.
Because there are no quick fixes to achieving these important goals, the Conservatives have set out a specific timetable to deliver this plan over the next parliament and then the following decade. By doing so, we will build a more balanced British economy, with more jobs, prosperity, and a brighter future for hardworking taxpayers and families in the South West.
James Heappey added:
“Families across our part of Somerset will benefit hugely from this plan that will bring more jobs, more investment and a better future for our area.
“Across the region, 128,000 jobs have been created since 2010 but average earnings are still below other parts of the UK and the economic recovery here is far from complete. The plan for our area brings with it great promise; we simply can’t let Ed Miliband and Ed Balls - with a little help from Alex Salmond – put all that progress at risk.”