I hope you enjoyed a peaceful and happy Christmas - and are looking forward to the year ahead. The economy is showing positive signs. We need to continue to help hardworking families and businesses enjoy more of a feel-good factor, whilst addressing concerns over the cost of living.
The Chancellor’s autumn statement (in December) was a solid step in the right direction. Many of the fundamentals are getting better compared with the mess Labour left in 2010: employment and growth are up, household debt and inflation are coming down. That’s important progress, but, there’s still a long way to go.
Locally, as well as getting behind small businesses, I will continue to liaise with our schools, Surrey County Council and central government to get the right planning given the pressure on school places across Elmbridge. That will be my top ‘local’ priority for this year.
Up at Westminster, the Immigration Bill is a good opportunity to strengthen our controls over immigration. I will personally be tabling a cross-party amendment to that Bill to strengthen our capacity to deport foreign criminals and curtail spurious human rights challenges.
Politically, the European elections will no doubt be a high-point for UKIP, so it’s important we highlight the facts. The Conservatives are pushing for a renegotiation of our terms of membership with the EU, and we would put the resulting deal to the British people in 2017. The Labour Party and Lib Dems have tried to block this, showing their elitist disdain for the public. If people vote UKIP, they will get more of that elitist disdain – plus major damage to our recovering economy – in the shape of a government led by Ed Miliband.
Please continue to support us with all your enthusiasm as we battle to prevent Labour ruining the progress we have made so far.