The Prime Minister has said Members of Parliament should work more closely with local businesses to stimulate economic growth, just like in Northampton.
In a letter written to the Northampton South MP, Brian Binley, the David Cameron says he “completely agrees that MPs and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) [groups made up of councils and local companies] should work closely together.”
Mr Cameron said: “I think it is vital, as we move into the next phase of Growth Deals, that MPs continue to work with LEPs to make sure they understand the needs of local businesses and communities so that these views can be reflected in the LEPs’ strategic plans.”
Mr Binley, who raised the matter with the Prime Minister in Parliament in July, has championed various regeneration projects in Northampton, including the Northampton Alive programme, the Northamptonshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Northampton Enterprise Zone.
Mr Cameron wrote: “It is excellent to see your Enterprise Zone start to build momentum, with Northampton currently ranked fourth nationally in terms of numbers of new jobs created.”
The Prime Minister also singled out efforts made by the Northampton Enterprise Zone to tackle youth unemployment: “In particular, it is encouraging to hear that the numbers of people not in education, employment or training has been reduced from 4,580 in March 2012 to 2,805 in May 2014.”
On the Prime Minister’s response, Mr Binley said: “I’m pleased that the Prime Minister recognises the importance of local MPs rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty in driving prosperity and growth for their constituencies.
“There is no point MPs sitting back and demanding that the Government deliver growth for their constituencies: there are numerous opportunities out there to be had, and a seat in Parliament provides a valuable perspective to help local economics grab those chances and secure that growth for which we have been wanting since the financial crash nearly seven years ago’.
“What we have done in Northampton is making a real difference.
“We are set for significant housing growth, and that will create many new pressures.
“That the Prime Minister recognises the hard work being done in our town is gratifying, but it will be important that we find ways to drive growth locally, and I want to continue to work to contribute to the LEP, the Enterprise Zone and Northampton Alive to achieve that effort: the job is far from done.”