It is up to the Government to deliver on people's expectations - Mike Hill MP
As we begin a new year, indeed as we start a new decade, I am reminded of the song, ‘Things can only get better’.
So they should and so they must, because for the last ten years our communities, lifestyles, livelihoods and public services have been hit hard, almost beyond repair, in the name of fiscal austerity. As has often been said ‘austerity’ was a political choice; the Government could have followed a different path but chose not to. Now they are supposedly taking a different tack and, while I remain cynical, are promising greater investment in our NHS, the police, our transport infrastructure and jobs. Where that benefits the people of Hartlepool I will work collectively with them to deliver the investment we desperately need and where they continue to ignore our demands I will be holding their feet to the fire.
This year we will be leaving the EU, although it will take a good while before we completely decouple, we are set on the path to standing alone as a trading nation. New challenges inevitably lie ahead of us. There will be many obstacles to overcome and difficult waters to navigate but as a nation we have chosen our path and we have no choice now but to push on, make the best of the situation and grab all the opportunities we can; we owe it to ourselves but more importantly to the younger generations.
But as we contemplate the benefits of a future unregulated by and unshackled from the EU, let us remember it is the people who voted to leave in the belief that Brexit would benefit the whole of the United Kingdom; the many not the few. It would therefore be a betrayal of the people if it turned out to be a race to the bottom when it comes to meaningful employment, decent wages, working conditions and workers rights. The aspiration of the people is that life should improve economically, industrially and socially after leaving the EU. It’s up to the Government to deliver on those expectations.
Looking forward to 2020, the year in which, I’m sure, England will win Euro 2020, a brighter future for Hartlepool begins. We will focus on expanding our ports, renewing our nuclear provision and investing in the green industrial revolution to create much needed jobs. We will chase down our fair share of regional funding allocations for regeneration, education, the police, the NHS and social care, to begin reversing the years of neglect and protect our public services. We will see new initiatives develop around Community Wealth Creation to maximise local economic and investment opportunities and ironically, but no surprise really, the Brexit Party will cease to exist and be in control of the Council. Happy New Year to one and all.