'Developing Local Business and Infrastructure Will Lead to Long Term Prosperity'

Sumi Sastri interviews Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea and Fulham

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With a national economy in recession, the backdrop of huge public local and central government debt and a new coalition government developing a long-term economic strategy, Greg Hands, MP for Fulham & Chelsea says the quickest way out of the gloom is to develop positive initiatives for business and regenerate west-London with infrastructure investment that will boost the health of the local economy.

A resident of Fulham since the 1990s, Greg Hands was born in the United States, graduated from Cambridge with a first class degree in history and worked in Berlin, developing a keen interest in German and eastern European politics.

Formerly a banker by profession, Hands believes that a strong local community is built on nurturing the business community who will bring in jobs to the local community, investment in infrastructure with pressure taken off the Piccadilly and District Lines running to full capacity and a sensible approach to minimizing local debt and interest payments on local debt in the long-term.

Speaking to HammersmithToday the MP, a key advisor to George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, outlined the fundamental principles of building a richer and more prosperous local community for the future.

The key pillars of his vision to regenerate west London and that will help residents of the area in the long-term are:-

  • -      Reducing local government debt and inefficient spending
  • -      Improving skills and addressing the skills shortage in the labour market
  • -      Investing in local infrastructure and improving transport networks
  • -      Making west London attractive for business and to draw inward investment from business into the voluntary and government sectors

" Local government debt is becoming untenable, and the sale of buildings in principle is a sensible way to reduce not only debt but the high cost of servicing this debt in interest payments year after year, " Hands said.

" Making London (and west London) attractive to business is going to go much further in redressing the balance between the rich and the poor, the skilled and the unskilled in the area," he said.

By cutting taxes for business (through reductions to corporation tax); improving the frequency in the Piccadilly and District Lines, and the extension of the Circle Line into Hammersmith; and allowing markets to redistribute and generate wealth rather than government, Hands said a healthier and more self-sustaining society would be achieved.

" It is not a case of some big, bad government trying to sell local buildings and cut spend in primary services but rather a responsible coalition government taking a top-line view of where the limited resources we have will result in the maximum benefit to the country," Hands says, urging local people to look at the national situation and balance the facts out.

H&F Council is faced with the same financial constraints and, by taking action, Hammersmith & Fulham is able to make the fourth largest grants in greater London to voluntary groups in the Borough, Hands says.

" The Government’s task is to implement a plan that makes sense by reducing the cost of conducting business in the area, freeing these resources up for business so that they may use the life-line we have given in the form of tax cuts to employ more people,"   Hands said, adding: " These are tough times and tough decisions have been taken but we see a stronger more sustainable future where structural unemployment starting from a base of unskilled labour is fundamentally changed as we go forward."

More information on Greg Hand’s local campaigns can be found his website.

The views expressed in this interview are those of Greg Hands MP, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hammersmith Today or Neighbour Net.

August 4, 2010