2018 is over, and what a year it was!
I am expecting this New Year to bring great things for Hastings and Rye. We are only a few days in and we have already heard that the Government will be reducing train fares for young people by 50 per cent. And a new 26-30 railcard will bring down the cost of living for many of our millennial friends too.
This is an important announcement for young commuters in our towns but I will continue to fight for an improved and affordable rail service and quicker journey times to London and back for our community.
Readers will know that local job creation is a huge issue for me. And in my new role as Work and Pensions Secretary I am thrilled to be overseeing joint record levels of employment.
I will therefore do everything I can do help create new jobs here in Hastings and Rye starting with an upcoming Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair.
The last one – my eighth! - brought nearly forty businesses and organisations offering jobs and training opportunities together with local residents who were seeking a bright future in employment and looking to make the most of their talents and ambition. This year, I look forward to holding another Jobs Fair as well as a disability confident event so that all employers are aware of the large pool of talent that is available to them.
I have held two more Seniors Fairs: one in Hastings and one in Rye. There are so many fantastic opportunities open to seniors in the area and I am pleased that my Seniors Fair allowed for the organisations not only to showcase these to residents but to network with other local organisations. I look forward to continuing my Seniors Fair into 2019 to help every resident get the best out of their later years.
I will also continue to visit and support schools in Hastings and Rye this year and ensure that the best opportunities and education possible are available for local children. I’m excited about the inclusion of Hastings in the new Education Opportunity Area and hope this will help us to drive higher local standards.
One of the things I am most excited about is hosting an inter-school debate tournament alongside Huw Merriman from the neighbouring Bexhill and Battle constituency.
I will be inviting schools across Hastings and Rye to come compete and get their voices heard on the biggest issues of the day. I know from experience that young people have great interest in politics, and I hope that this will make for a lively day later in the year!
If you have any matters which you feel I may be able to assist you with over 2019, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my constituency office on 01424 716 756. Otherwise, I look forward to meeting you out and about in our towns!
I wish everyone across Hastings and Rye an enjoyable, safe, and prosperous New Year.