Jobs and Economic Growth

My campaigns to bring jobs and training to Harwich and the surrounding area.


One of the clearest success stories of the past decade has been the increases in employment across the whole UK.  The economy has always been safe with the Conservatives and now we see employment at the highest it has ever been, unemployment below 4% and in Harwich and North Essex that figure is even lower, at 2.6%.  This is a remarkable achievement and with wages now increasing following the financial crash at the start of the decade, economic prosperity continues to rise. 

The Government in 2010 was left with a horrendous mess to address: rising unemployment, huge borrowing and public services at capacity with no money to pay for any of it.  This is the legacy of Labour and it should not be forgotten just how dire things were left.  But Labour still refuse to accept responsibility for their reckless policies and inability to safeguard the nation’s finances.  Now they claim the tough decisions that had to be made to salvage the country from their mess were somehow ‘ideological’.  This is a nonsense and an insult to the taxpayers whose money they wasted so flippantly without a care for the future.

The UK’s economy has come along leaps and bounds, and now I am campaigning to bring more investment to our area so that North Essex can reap the rewards of this success.  From job creation in Harwich to tourism opportunities on Mersea Island, improvements to the A120 and A12 to the desperately needed broadband connectivity improvements we need, it’s time for us to see greater improvements.  I have a strong history of campaigning on these issues locally and will be upping the pressure in the coming years to see more investment for our north Essex towns. 


Harwich offshore wind & Energy and skills centre

Since 2010, when I arranged a Harwich Wind Forum, encouraging investment, training and job creation in the Tendring District, unemployment in Harwich and North Essex has been cut by nearly half.  This is the result of an economic policy from the Conservative Government which has worked for the many, not the few. 

Despite this success, more needs to be done to bring jobs and skills to the Tendring area.  I have long argued that Harwich, in particular, needs more investment from the Government, as the levels of unemployment and need for growth are masked by the economic prosperity of the surrounding area.  This remains my view.  

During the last Parliament, I pressed the Government to provide funds to our Local Enterprise Partnership, which could be used in Harwich.  This campaign is ongoing and I will do all I can to continue to bring investment to the area. 

Harwich is uniquely placed to act as a hub for off-shore wind development.  Large scale wind farms are being built off of the East coast of the UK and these require people with relevant skills to build and maintain them.  This is why I campaigned for, and supported, the building of the Energy Skills Centre in Harwich by the Colchester Institute.  The Institute’s Energising Harwich programme is providing engineering and energy-sector related skills, which is already translating into jobs for young trainees in Harwich.  I will support the Institute in every way possible over the next 5 years, as they seek to provide more training and qualifications for people in Harwich. 

Employment opportunities have received a major boost recently, as Galloper Wind Farm Ltd is setting up its new service base in Harwich.  Not only does this provide up to 90 new jobs, it also benefits other local businesses involved in off-shore renewables.  There is a potential for 240 new jobs in total and a great many opportunity for training for new workers. 

With a growing skills-base and new jobs in the off-shore wind sector, I am more confident than ever that Harwich is seizing an opportunity to transform the town.  I will continue to do all I can to support the efforts of the local authorities, businesses and the Colchester Institute, to bring jobs and economic growth to the Harwich peninsula.


Visiting local businesses like – PLF, Mersea business trolleys and boat upholstery, Surya, ASGB, Durite, EDME, Stalok

I have had the pleasure of visiting some tremendous businesses in the constituency over the past decade.  Market leaders like Surya and PLF International in Harwich, EDME and Stalok in Manningtree and Mistley, EVO Supplies and Passmore Upholstery on Mersea Island.  Every one of these, and many more I have visited, have given me a unique insight into the pressures facing our small and medium-sized businesses.


                                             Visiting the tremendous EVO Supplies on Mersea Island


                                                                    Mersea Island's "Island Supermarket"


                                A factory tour of PLF International, a unique business operating globally from Harwich

If you would like me to visit your business to hear your concerns, see your work and meet your teams of staff please do contact me at  I know your value to the area and if I can be of help I would be delighted to hear from you.


Supporting the Essex University and the development of the Knowledge Gateway

North Essex is lucky to host the Essex University.  The university is a driver for skills and training, particularly through the Kowledge Gateway.  Over the years I have supported the university in various way and will continue to do all I can to ensure this exemplary institution retains its world-leading status in supporting economic growth, training and job creation



Assisted Area Status for Tendring District

I often champion the many innovative businesses we have locally and held a debate in 2014 in the House of Commons encouraging the Government to recognise and support opportunities in Harwich and the surrounding area.


In 2014, working with both the Tendring and Essex Councils, I helped secure Assisted Area Status in the Tendring District. This means local businesses can apply for favourable financial support to expand their businesses and make the most of opportunities they would otherwise be unable to pursue.

Conservative-led Tendring Council’s “Shop Local” campaign saw the introduction of free parking between 2pm & 6pm at a number of municipal car parks. TDC has also established a weekly market in Dovercourt and launched Chameleon, a shop that gives new retailers the opportunity to trade for 8 weeks rent free.