More jobs and money for our area has long been a key priority. We've made real progress – unemployment has halved since 2010, with apprenticeships and young people being particularly successful. The latest official figures say average earnings in Dover and Deal rose 10% in a year. It's been great to see so many new businesses starting up or expanding.
In the heart of Dover steel frames are giving shape to the new cinema, shops and hotel that are being built. The £50 million St James development gets closer to completion every day. It will give such a boost to Dover and provide real momentum to the renewal of the town. Not long ago this site was home to the hated Burlington House. So much has changed.
In Deal, we fought hard to get the fast train. We succeeded and it's been a success. The prosperity it has brought the town has made a real difference – and Deal was recently voted one of the best coastal towns in Britain. I want to bring more jobs and money to the area. Like the fast train – a new, better road connecting Dover and Deal has the potential to do just that.
At the Port of Dover, they're handling record levels of traffic. This underlines the importance of our campaign to get the A2 dualled and the M20 lorry park built. The Western Docks revival, set to deliver a new marina and new jobs on the seafront, should make a real difference.
We need to make sure that we keep bringing in more jobs and money after we leave the European Union. Recently I took a group of MPs who represent port constituencies to meet the Brexit Minister. We stressed the importance of the port-related jobs in our areas. And we all agreed it is vital that Brexit is a success at our ports up and down the land. I will work tirelessly to ensure we are ready on day one for Brexit at the Dover frontline.
I'm passionate about helping people get into work. At my Jobs Fair earlier this year it was clear lots of businesses are recruiting locally. This is good news. Unemployment has plummeted since 2010, yet I want to see it fall even further – full employment is my aim so that everyone can get the best crack at life.
We have some incredibly hardworking people here in Dover and Deal and the hard work is paying off. There has been more than £500 million of investment secured for the area since 2010. We can deliver even more – and boost business and jobs.
This all shows that our plan to bring more jobs and money to our corner of Kent is working. Now we must keep pressing ahead – and build a brighter future for Dover and Deal.
Here you can read about local news matters and what I've been up to. You can make comments too. I'd welcome your feedback, so please do feel free to comment!