When I speak to young people in Dover and Deal, they tell me one of their biggest worries is being able to afford to buy their own home. It was much easier for their parents to get on the property ladder than it is for them. And now many younger people are finding it hard to save while paying rent – or are having to move back home with their mum and dad.
That's why it's so important we build more homes. And why I condemn outfits like the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England who work to stop homes being built in Dover town. Despite the best efforts of this organisation, the number of new builds started in Dover and Deal last year was still double the UK average. The trend continued this year, with 167 new homes started in the first two quarters of 2016.
But buying a home is not the only thing young people in Dover and Deal worry about. We have some of the brightest students in the country. Pupils at Dover Grammar School for Girls recently got better results than Eton. But too many look at their job prospects in Dover and Deal after university and decide they will have to move away – too often to London – in order to get on in life.
Young people in Dover and Deal who work hard should be able to get on and buy their own home in the place they grew up. I want Dover and Deal to be a place where our bright young people want to live, work and raise a family of their own.
But for too long Britain has worked for the jet-set elite of the capital, not the hard-working kids of districts like Dover and Deal. Piling more cash into London at the expense of the towns and regions will just make matters worse. It harms our community when our bright young people are swallowed up by the London vortex.
This cannot go on. We need to fix the way our economy works. And it can be done. I recently visited Euromotive, a brilliant small business in Dover which is looking to expand locally. I was hugely impressed by the highly-skilled metalwork being carried out by apprentices at their site in Poulton Close.
The way we help build more success stories like Euromotive across the country is by helping small businesses in the regions, not big business in London. By investing in places like Dover and Deal, creating good jobs so bright young people can get on. By having more skills education – like plumbing, carpentry and electronics – in schools. By building more homes for young people.
We need to build a Britain where towns like Dover and Deal are leading the way in building our nation's future.
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