Thank you to everyone who voted to re-elect me as your MP in Sefton Central. It is a priviledge to represent the communities of Melling, Aintree, Maghull, Lydiate, Crosby, Thornton, Hightown, Ince Blundell and Formby.
We need a strong and growing economy so that living standards can start to improve after years of stagnation or decline for far too many people. That means that those of you running businesses need to have support and encouragement to do well and to offer secure, well paid jobs.
We should celebrate the success of our local businesses and I intend to do just that.
For businesses to do well, we need to have young people with the skills and attitudes that mean they can thrive once they leave school, by having the right options both to go to university or to take on a high quality apprenticeship or both.
We should be there to encourage and praise those who are doing well and to help those who need support and over the coming years, I will be doing what I can to do just that.
Our public services are under enormous pressure, and I shall also be fighting to make sure that our NHS, council, police and fire services are able to survive the cuts that are yet to come.
Everyone relies on public services and as far as I am concerned, if we want to see better living standards, that can only happen if we continue to invest in decent health, education, social care, street cleaning, road repairs, libraries and leisure centres.
We need a strong economy to pay for decent services and cutting services will undermine efforts to boost the economy.
Continuing with the cuts will take money away from businesses in the private sector not just from the public sector because it will take money out of the economy at a time of fragile recovery.
It is also important to remember that people working in the private sector need good public services too and that weaker public services means poorer infrastructure on which businesses depend.
I am very concerned that the government’s plan to cut public services by more in the next three years than they have already cut in the last five years will weaken our economy, undermine businesses and make it more difficult to improve living standards.
At the same time those cuts will lead to serious damage in our services especially in health and social care.
My job will be to argue for a more balanced approach in the way government runs than we saw over the last five years.
Thank you again for your support in the election and I look forward to working with you over the next five years for the good of the people of Sefton Central.