Worcester MP confirms support for SEP

Robin Walker ImageWorcester’s MP Robin Walker recently joined colleagues in Parliament, Simon Geraghty the Deputy Leader of the County Council and the chairman of Worcestershire LEP, Peter Pawsey to launch the Strategic Economic Plan for Worcestershire in Westminster.

Today (2 April 2014) he has welcomed the publication of that plan, titled “World Class Worcestershire – Our ten year plan for jobs, growth and the economy”. In particular he welcomed its focus on improving transport links for Worcester and skills for the whole county.

Robin has long been campaigning for full dualling of the Southern Link Road and was delighted to see the LEP back this and call for the Carrington bridge to be fully dualled as well as offering support for the existing plans for improvement

He has also been calling for faster train services between London and Worcester, as recently as last week calling on the Transport Secretary to end the “absurd” situation where it takes longer to do this journey than it did at the start of the Twentieth Century. The SEP includes provisions to support Worcestershire Parkway Station and to reduce journey times to London to less than two hours.

As a member of the Select Committee on Business Innovation and Skills, Robin has particularly welcomed the Plan’s focus on skills for the future and its support for projects to get young people involved with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, back the Worcester Technology Park and create closer connections between schools and businesses. The plan is targeting an extra 25,000 jobs for Worcestershire over ten years.

Welcoming the launch of the Plan he said: “This is a great piece of work and the LEP, local businesses and councils all deserve credit for the work they have done to support it. The Strategic Economic Plan is a template for Worcestershire which is ambitious and focused, well placed to help us compete in the twenty first century.

“Many of my long term campaigns will be strengthened by this and it gives me a good wish-list from which to lobby Ministers. I promise to do my part in backing Worcestershire and pressing for the swiftest possible implementation of this plan.

“We have seen a big recovery in employment over the last three years but we all want to see it go much further. By investing in the skills base and addressing some of the long term infrastructure challenges that have faced Worcestershire for decades this plan can help to deliver more jobs, more growth and a county of enterprise.”