South Derbyshire is a thriving, vibrant and friendly place, and it is a real privilege to serve as the local Member of Parliament. We are incredibly lucky to have such a prosperous area to call home, with a growing manufacturing sector where we produce a whole range of products from coffee at Nestle to JCB engines and everything else in between. We are also the home to successful supply chains in the motor industry with Toyota, Futaba and Gibson Technology as well as the rail industry with Dellner Couplings and Dellner Woodville. We also have lots of smaller companies many of which are incredibly innovative, with new ones opening almost weekly. It is these hardworking companies who have grown and expanded creating jobs and providing a stable and valuable environment for our apprentices and school leavers.
We have the most amazing countryside on our doorstep, with the entrance to the national forest at Rosliston and plentiful fields on the farms at Dalbury Lees, Melbourne and Lullington amongst many others. Our annual tourism revenue is stellar and we attract huge numbers of visitors to stay and experience our numerous attractions, from local farmers markets to countryside walks. I know that it may be hard to believe but the income from tourism in South Derbyshire is actually greater than the Peak District’s.
Always keen to retain our heritage the development of Sharpe’s Pottery as a cultural venue has been exciting to watch and the number of events being held there is increasing all the time. It was a pleasure to attend their International Women’s Day Event last year where I was in the company of school girls and inspiring local ladies including our own Olympic torch bearer.
There have been a number of firsts in recent years; a South Derbyshire College, a choice for our youngsters after school and a brand new cinema. We also have a wide choice of supermarkets to choose from throughout the constituency.
We must be one of very few places where there are no charges for car parking which is why Swadlincote High Street does not have boarded up shops and our regular markets, including the Farmer’s market, which sells a wonderful range of local produce, are doing so well.
South Derbyshire has real community spirit both in its villages and the different areas around Swadlincote which is demonstrated so well by all the events I attend and which are supported so enthusiastically.
I am always delighted to be able to say South Derbyshire is my home, and has been for more than 25 years. The wellbeing of all of its residents and businesses is my overriding concern as its Member of Parliament, as it was as one of its Councillors for 16 years.