Message from Hexham MP Guy Opperman

Hexham MP Guy Opperman.

Hexham MP Guy Opperman.

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Message from Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham

Christmas and New Year is often a time for looking back on the year that has just gone, and at what we have been able to achieve together. 2015 has been a good year for Morpeth, Ponteland and the North East.

We will continue to give every child the best start in life by expanding academies, and create three million more apprenticeships by 2020.

The Government is helping to create more jobs and opportunities in our area — and the number of people claiming unemployment benefits is down by 51 per cent since 2010. That means more people in work, with the security of a pay packet to provide for themselves and their families.

We’ve delivered 3,160 apprenticeships across Tyendale and Ponteland since 2010, helping young people get the skills they need to get on in life.

We will continue to give every child the best start in life by expanding academies, and create three million more apprenticeships by 2020.

We’ve cut income tax and 29,863 people in our area are now paying less income tax and keeping more of their hard-earned money. We will also cut income tax by raising the tax-free allowance to £12,500 and increasing the 40p tax threshold so no one earning under £50,000 pays it.

The Conservatives’ Help to Buy scheme has already helped 52 local families buy their own home — and we are planning to extend it so even more families can get the security of their own home.

A total of £320million has been invested in the North East via the Regional Growth Fund, supporting 84,000 jobs and stimulating £2.1billion of private sector investment.

A sum of £42million of Government funding from a six-year flood defences programme is also supporting more than 110 projects in the North East.

We have also committed £268million to improve local roads, as well as establishing a new pothole repair fund.

My long running campaign for a fairer funding deal for our schools is also starting to deliver. The Government has now committed to delivering a new fairer funding agreement next year, which will give us the long-term settlement our schools deserve.

There is still more work to be done next year to secure Northumberland’s future, but in the meantime I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.