Jessica Lee: We are all playing a part in getting economy on track
LIKE many people across the country, I began November by attending a service of remembrance.
It is one of my greatest honours, as the MP for Erewash, to lay a wreath at the war memorial and I was pleased to see that so many people had turned out to pay their respects.
On Wednesday the Chancellor made his Autumn Statement. I was encouraged to see real measures to boost investment in business, science, infrastructure and education.
Most of all, however, this statement was about helping working people through this difficult economic period.
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I welcome the Chancellor's move to scrap the planned 3p rise in fuel duty set for January, as well as cutting income tax for 24 million people by raising the personal allowance.
I understand it is extremely tough for people, especially leading up to Christmas, and I know that we are all playing our part and working hard to trying to bring stability to the nation's finances.
Through this hard work we have now reduced the deficit, left behind by the last government, by 25%.
In addition, the economy has returned to growth, unemployment has fallen to 7.8% and the number of people in work has reached a record high.
It may still be a long and tough road ahead but my hope for 2013 is that we can continue to build on these achievements.
I was interested to learn earlier this month of the proposals to establish a new university technical college in Derby, with the backing of Derby College, the University of Derby and an employer group which includes Rolls-Royce.
I am clear that if the Ormiston Academy merger is given the go-ahead and the Cotmanhay site is closed, then we should be ready with plan B to replace the current provision with an improved educational facility. A new university technical college in Cotmanhay would open up all kinds of opportunities for our community.
Students from the age of 14 could enrol on to courses, backed by business, which in turn would provide them with a technical qualification at the end of their school career.
I have already met with Lord Baker, founder of the Baker Dearing Trust, to discuss the possibility of establishing a university technical college in Cotmanhay and I will keep you informed of any progress.
Turning to Christmas and the end of what has been a fantastic year for Britain, not only have we staged the greatest show on earth, the Olympics, we have also come together to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.
Perhaps even more exciting, looking forward, is the news this week that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Finally, it is great to see that Erewash has been transformed into a glittering winter wonderland to celebrate the festive period.
I was pleased to be able to join the community in Long Eaton as we watched the Mayor of Erewash switch on the Christmas lights.
I am remaining busy over Christmas and will be joining a team of health visitors on Christmas Eve to gain an insight into their important work in the community.
I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and happy new year.