In my previous career as a consumer rights and personal finance journalist, a big part of my job was making economic stories interesting and accessible to everybody.
Too often, it seemed as if the big economic news was presented only in the abstract. GDP, inflation, even unemployment, too often came across as dry statistics with no obvious connection to our day-to-day lives.
I believe that the Government has the same duty. Having spent the past eight years carefully rebuilding Britain’s economy, we need to make sure that the public grasp how the actions we have taken have underpinned our recovery – and what that means for you and me.
Take unemployment. The headline figures are fantastic: it’s at its lowest level since 1975, and since 2010 the UK has created over three million jobs – that’s more than France, Spain, Ireland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Norway put together. What’s more, the overwhelming number are permanent, full-time positions.
We must always remember that every job represents somebody earning a wage, learning a skill, and supporting themselves and their loved ones. Employment can be life-changing.
Last week, I met with our Borough’s new Chief Superintendent Lee Wharmby. We had wide-ranging discussions about crime in Solihull and the response from the police.
I was pleased to receive an update from him about the work the police have undertaken to target the criminal gangs that particularly target key-less cars.
Another topic which we discussed was unauthorised traveller encampments and how authorities respond to them when they arrive.
It is therefore welcomed news that Warwick District Council has come to an agreement with the landowner which will see the Kenilworth Horse Fair scrapped. Whilst I hope that this will add to the work done by Solihull Council to protect our open spaces, ensuring that we do everything we can to discourage encampments must remain an ongoing process.
Originally published in the Solihull Observer, 04/10/18.