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Westminster Column


Whilst it has undoubtedly been a tough year on the economic front, recent figures at last seem to indicate we are on the right track to economic recovery. The Coalition Government has cleared a quarter of the deficit left by Labour in our first two years in office and the private sector has created over one million new jobs. Inflation is down, and the economy is growing, so cautious optimism is not wholly out of place.

But there is still a long way to go. We still face many economic challenges at home and abroad but by continuing to take the tough decisions needed to deal with our debts our Government is implementing Conservative economic policies to lay the foundations for lasting prosperity.

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As readers may have seen in last week’s Observer, Sutton’s Councillors and I are absolutely clear that building 10,000 houses on the Green Belt would destroy the character of Sutton. Please be assured that it is our intention vigorously to resist any such proposal. I know that many of your local Councillors have spent much of their political careers resisting such threats to us in Sutton. It has certainly been a priority of mine in my eleven years as your Member of Parliament.

I am scheduled to meet with Planning Officers from Birmingham City Council later this month to discuss this matter in more detail. In addition, I want to encourage my constituents to express their concerns during the consultation period which is expected to start later this month.

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Since I wrote my last column it is with enormous regret that I resigned from my position as Government Chief Whip. It had become clear to me that whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter I was not going to be able to fulfil my duties as I wanted to.

My first priority, as it always has been, remains serving my constituents in Sutton Coldfield. Today one of my meetings is with the local Clergy. We meet annually as a group and these meetings always make for a lively discussion about the important issues that concern our local Clergy and keep me informed about the excellent and dedicated work that they do in our community.

Of course this Sunday we have the Sutton Coldfield Remembrance Day Parade & Service to pay tribute to Service men and women from Sutton Coldfield and across the UK who have fought for & those who continue to fight for our country.



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