Simon Reevell's Notes From Westminster

LAST week the unemployment figures were released and confirmed the second biggest fall since records began – 167,000 people found work in the three months to last November.

Here in Dewsbury the trend is the same. The 10 largest private sector employers in this constituency employ nearly 6,500 people between them, but equally importantly there are more than 200 other firms each employing between 10 and 200 people and behind them are dozens and dozens of smaller firms and sole traders and they are getting busier.

By working with the banks I have been able to help all sorts of businesses grow as the economic situation eases.

Other firms are starting to invest their own money as the recession recedes. The message I hear most frequently on visits to local businesses is that order books are filling. I hope that politicians of all parties are pleased.

In Parliament the House of Lords derailed the EU Referendum Bill. Labour and Lib Dem peers did as their leadership asked and stopped it becoming law.

The bill would have guaranteed a referendum on our EU membership in 2017. An ‘in/out’ referendum for the first time since the 1970s.

There may be arguments for and against the EU but there are none against giving people the chance to express themselves in a referendum.

If Mr Cameron remains Prime Minister there will be a referendum in 2017 anyway, but what a pity some political parties couldn’t find it in themselves to trust the electorate.

I’m pleased to see that the hardworking team that is Hopton in Bloom have woven their green-fingered magic again.

Our part of West Yorkshire is full of people putting in time and effort to get that bit more for the area where they live.

It’s also not too long until applications open for this year’s ‘Emley Awards’, so give some thought to the local hero or heroes near you.

This Sunday should see me on BBC’s ‘The Politics Show’. I say ‘should’ because you never quite know for sure with television.

But if you’ve nothing better to do with your Sunday morning do tune in…!

Very best wishes,


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