Since the closure of the old industries in South Derbyshire over 20 years ago our local area has completely reinvented itself with a more modern and diverse economy than ever before. We are now known as one of the best areas in the UK to do business and raise a family. One of our biggest success stories is the automotive industry. Toyota now employs thousands of people in South Derbyshire both directly and indirectly as there are many companies in SD who supply services and parts to their factory, the link and constant potential for investment is astonishing.
With the growing success of Toyota and other fantastic small, medium and large firms in the area infrastructure has become more important in order to keep up with demand. That's why we need to continue to bid for big infrastructure projects like a second Bridge to by-pass Swarkestone causeway in order to alleviate traffic in the area. The Bridge where Bonnie Prince Charlie was turned back to Scotland is a piece of huge historical importance, it is our duty to protect our English Heritage for future generations, therefore the by-pass is the only way to do this.
The new jobs local investment have created has meant more housing has had to be built, and this has then had a major effect on levels of traffic in South Derbyshire. Repton and Willington are two such places who have been impacted by the increased traffic and has led to congestion, particularly during commuting hours. There is a demand to build a further relief bridge to help the flow through these two villages who desperately need relief for the amount of traffic.
In other areas of the constituency there is already good news with the new bridge link road from New Drakelow village to Barton Turns (A38) being given the go-ahead, this new bridge will bypass Walton-On-Trent Bailey Bridge and ease pressure on the village. I was so pleased to discover this project is well on track to receiving the necessary funding from D2N2 and Central Government because of the new homes being built in the area bringing a lot more traffic.
Nestlé in Hatton is another large employer which recently created more than 150 new jobs and many more apprentices to help with the growing demand for their coffee capsule business. They are investing heavily in the South Derbyshire plant and the local economy, however this has created more traffic for Hatton and other surrounding villages like Tutbury. To alleviate this problem they are part of the Team putting together a new road to the rear of the factory helping accommodate the increasing traffic to their plant and to make room for more possible expansion. This is a great example of a business working with local communities to create mutually beneficial solutions and is just like the brilliant Toyota Island which helped divert masses of traffic easily onto the A38 and A50 as well as creating the necessary infrastructure for the factory to operate.
It is only because of the strong economy the Conservative Government’s and local businesses have created that we can invest money in these infrastructure projects which will not only help grow our local economy even more but also ensure our villages and towns aren't changed beyond recognition. Our local Conservative South Derbyshire District Council and I will continue to work together to do what we can to bring the necessary investment into infrastructure, businesses and people we need to continue to grow.
(This piece was originally written for the Derby Telegraph).