The Vision for MK Growth
Putting MK first
The Main Parties, Conservative and Labour are now being followed by UKIP in expending most energy, lobbying and debating against each other in front of the local community needs. They lose the priorities of the constituency citizens in their fighting. As an Independent MP, my constituents are at the centre of my presentation of policies, lobbying and debates. Vote for the MP that puts you first.
To be the Digital Hub and Digital Highway to South East Midlands, and adjoining East Midlands, West Midlands, South West, South East, East of England. Securing the International Companies UK HQs Like Argos, Domino's Pizza, Marshall Amplification, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, Volkswagen AG and Yamaha Kemble. Increasing the International Company presence of high technology companies like Tech Mahindra, ICT InfoTech, IQ Software Services, T-Systems, Siemens, Dimension Data, Wipro, AirWatch.
Sharing and driving the Local Authority strategy for “An open innovation environment in which creativity flourishes will take MK towards becoming the UK’s leading digital city”. Pushing for government investment in the City Enablers already identified. “Trusted Data Hub” and “Real Time Information Network”. This increases the success of supporting SME’s (Small Medium Enterprises) continued growth. I will support the innovative MK:SMART strategy initiative of the MK Council and use this as catalyst for MK becoming the Regional Digital Hub. The Witty Review highlighted a number of strengths for example, through shared research and development, technology and knowledge transfer to support the big data and smart cities agenda and opportunities for further collaboration between universities and businesses.
Improving Career Opportunities. MK has a greater community of young (22.6%) compared with the whole UK (19%) who will need apprenticeships and high tech career opportunities. MK as a Tech Hub capability can attract the best from Oxford and Cambridge as collaborators. Retraining for all citizens that require job mobility. MK will grow from 255,000 to 300,000 in a few short years. MK can benefit from high tech skills created to meet the demand. MK cannot grow profitably on Retail alone. September 2014, the MK unemployment rate of 2% was 0.3% lower than the UK rate. The South East
England region rate stayed at 1.3% and the rate for the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership area (SEMLEP) fell to 1.7% in September 2014. The MK rate was 0.7% higher than the South East rate and 0.3% higher than the SEMLEP rate. I will drive the investment and company incentive to push opportunities up, to bring the unemployment rate down to meet the South East rate. Although we see a high ratio of jobs available today; we must ensure that these are well paid high quality careers.
To be the First Choice Distribution Hub to South East Midlands, West Midlands, South West, South East, East of England. Keeping Amazon, John Lewis and attracting other great companies to take advantage of the superb location and road/rail infrastructure. Additional initiatives such as Rail Sidings for freight would be appropriate and would be lobbied for by me as your Independent MP.
To improve the local infrastructure of MK parking, train station access, public transport. The fantastic MK retail and entertainment facilities are limited by the availability of parking, which will continue to be an issue as the town expands. Peak time traffic flows and mobile network availability is below standard and needs fixing. I will push for greater government investment support of the MK improvements to all aspects of local infrastructure.
The government talks the “eight great technologies” to make ensure UK export, and of investing in buildings, joint facilities and infrastructure to promote co-location of industrial and academic groups, and support high-tech business on campuses. MK is perfectly located and built to achieve this and be a major contributor to this growth.
Attracting International Business Investment is fundamental to the MK and UK growth, as is the export of special skills and know-how. MK offer a great deal for these International companies and UK exports. This should be central in the debate on the consideration of UK membership of EU and global communities. Angela Merkel’s Government manages the correct hard line for the best outcome for German Industry in the EU. The UK can take a hard line too. The UK citizens want a sensible open debate on its choices of world trading communities. The Main party in-fighting confuses the public. I will push for a referendum to end the poisonous arguments that only divide. The debate must include the International Corporations MK needs to attract and keep.
MK Growth Strategy Lobbying on Parliament
There is much talk about GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and the Country’s Deficit (the country’s debt). Real and sustainable improvements in the countries deficit, will only be through growth.
Education in Technology and Science
Innovation has always been a characteristic of UK and can be the great new “Digital” industrial revolution export. The UK is perfectly located between time zones with a globally spoken business and technology language. I will push for greater investment in education. Greater incentives for companies to create more apprenticeships vocational training. And high level qualifications. Greater Investment in linking the universities and tech hubs to unlock the opportunities and innovation within the entrepreneurs and startups. SME’s (Small Medium Enterprises) are leading the growth in the UK. The Milton Keynes Apprentice start numbers dropped by 23% 2013/14 (ONS figures). This needs to be turned around.
Building the Digital and Big Data Infrastructure
The world has a hunger for “Digital” expansion and “Big Data” innovation. The new “industrial revolution” is with us. MK is the ideal location for the Digital Highways and Hubs for the UK. Make MK the prime Digital and Big Data Hub for the South East (Oxford, Cambridge, London triangle). The UK is great for the world time zones between Europe, the Americas and Asia Digital expansion. I will promote this wholeheartedly. MK has not received an appropriate allocation of investment from the government initiatives such “8 Great Technologies” plan and HS2. I will fight harder for a greater share if the investment wallet.
International Investment into MK and UK
With great infrastructure and workforce; tax incentives, living standards and free movement of staff is important to International Corporations using the UK for European Headquarters. I will ensure the debate on EU membership focuses on the good migration whilst preventing the Medical and Social benefit abuser immigration. The benefits of the EU market, the US market and the expanding Asia Market need to be debated with inclusion of the International Companies. Their opinion matters. I will be the MP Ambassador on behalf of the MK constituents.
Education and Career Training
The Milton Keynes Apprentice start numbers dropped by 23% in 2013/14 (ONS figures). 2,320 down to 1,790 starts. This must be turned around. The government policies and incentives need reflect the need of business to ensure apprenticeship growth. I will lobby hard for this. The UCMK (University Campus MK) needs greater investment increasing its position with Oxford and Cambridge for the “Digital and Big Data” Expansion of MK. MK has the fantastic “Open University” which can extend even further into the UK population with greater collaboration. I will lobby and promote MK at a government level as the new great “Digital and Big Data” centre of knowledge and learning. Mk has cultivated some Outstanding Schools and Teacher Training facilities which can be invested in to grow with the expansion. I will protect the interests of the MK children in receiving the best education. The country needs an expansive housing program which will require more skilled trades people. These people should come from on the job and off the job training of UK citizens without the need for migrant workers. This is a policy I will push.
MK schools are already 33% over capacity and overcrowded which impairs quality of learning. Additional Government funding is essential especially in growing towns like MK.
MK Social and Welfare
Taxation and Social Support
Taxation levels need to be sustained to ensure the continuation of the austerity measures and investment in infrastructure. Increase in real job creation through inbound investment and increased exports should be the focus of investment, not increasing social payments. Social payments are needed to help people avoid destitution when out of work, however Social payments should no longer be a life style choice as an alternative to work. The situations where migrants are employed to take work that a UK citizen on benefits should take needs to stop. Alternative methods such as benefit “top ups" for those taking low paid work should be reviewed.
Prevent Welfare Tourism
Germany is set to introduce strict new laws to tackle "welfare tourism", including giving migrants just three months to find a job before being deported. Among its recommendations are proposals to expel those who commit benefit fraud and limiting child allowance to EU citizens who are registered taxpayers in Germany.
Germany: "We have to look at the people and structures who bring migrants and exploit them for their own petty interests,"
The British Government introduced a rule that meant EU migrants coming to the UK will have to show they are earning at least £149 a week for three months before they can access a range of benefits, including jobseeker's allowance, child tax credits and child benefits.
Business lobby the British Chambers of Commerce criticised the plan to raise the minimum wage, saying governments should leave the issue to existing bodies such as the Low Pay Commission.
"Businesses are in favour of an evidence-based approach to the minimum wage rather than political parties using it to gain support from voters. The government should not intervene in such matters, unless there is market failure," BCC Director General John Longworth said in a statement.
"Politicians should instead focus on implementing policies to raise productivity and improve skills in the workplace, which are the keys to higher wages for all in the future."I agree with the Chamber.
It is proper to have a minimum wage that keeps pace with inflation. But job creation and training for local people to take up jobs must be the priority. Social payments must not make taking minimum wage jobs a disincentive.
Milton Keynes is a growing town with a high percentage of young. More police resources should be allocated. Greater patrols and CCTV of redways and isolated areas is required. Something I will promote as an investment need at a government level. The CPS (Crown prosecution Service) allows too many offences to be downgraded to Cautions or Rejected outright. At court, too many cases are rejected due to “technicalities”. Police officers need more resources to ensure they can be effective law enforcers and build quality evidence to convict safely. The quality of convictions are important to ensure Justice. Sentences are too short and prisons’ too soft. This results in greater disrespect for the law within the community and more crime at all levels. I will fight for enforceable justice.