Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 21 November 2013


As I have reported before, we are about to see new house building on a major scale spring forth all over the urban fringe of Plymouth to provide homes for our young people in the South Hams and Plympton and Plymstock. People often ask me where will all these people work? It is a good question, but there are answers.

First of all it is important to recognise that our local economy is doing well. Unemployment, one of the main barometers of the economy, is falling. It has dropped further in my constituency to 1.2% and average salaries in this area now exceed £530 per week. Many of the major companies dotted around our industrial and business parks are experiencing strong order books, especially those who are exporting. This is all good news.

There are also large chunks of land at Langage designated for business use, waiting for the economy to turn up in order for commercial buildings to be built thereon which can accommodate more jobs. This moment edges closer.

By far the brightest prospect on the horizon in terms of creating new jobs is the proposed Plymouth city deal. This is a bid being made to government by all local councils, from Cornwall to Somerset, backed by the University of Plymouth, local business leaders and all local MPs.  The focus of the deal is Plymouth-based but will benefit the entire region. It is a combination of new powers from government, and some cash and the release by the MOD of more of South Yard in the Naval Base to create a new centre of marine technology, sitting alongside Marine Projects.

This will be a hub for exploring many different kinds of marine related technology including how to harness wave and tidal power to create energy.

Much lobbying has taken place and it is gratifying to see all our councils working together with each other and the Local Enterprise Partnership to try and make this a reality. Words are cheap, but my own view is that if we can successfully land this project it will be the single most important thing our city has achieved after we secured the maintenance of the Trident fleet in the early 1990's. This has created and sustained many thousands of well-paid jobs over the years and still does so.

Plymouth City Deal would be in the same bracket. So we are all working like mad to make this a reality.

posted by Gary @ 09:43