ELECTION 2017 KEY ISSUE: Housing and Jobs

Addressing housing needs

Since being elected as MP for Gloucester in 2010 I identified the key issue was that Gloucester’s housing debt was so large the City Council could not borrow any more, i.e. it had no way of doing anything, since it owned Gloucester City Homes (GCH). So I persuaded the City Council to let GCH be independent and the Treasury to write off £50m of housing debt, so GCH would start debt free, on condition it borrowed to build 100 new homes immediately, and more later. Which they have done and are doing.

More recently I made sure GCH were awarded funds under the Estate Regeneration Plan to develop new and better housing in Podsmead and Matson. So new social housing is already on the move and more to come.

Separately, on more housing in general, I helped progress the big development on Bristol Road (Podsmead), and worked with City Council led projects on Worcester Street and Bakers Quay. We have ambitious housing targets in the Local Joint Core Strategy, as well as nationally, and I am confident we will deliver in Gloucester.

Creating and supporting jobs

This is vital. I have focused on supporting industries of the future: nuclear energy (EDF Energy and Horizon, both based here), tidal lagoons (TLP plc in the Docks), and cyber (Raytheon and BAe Cyber hubs in Gloucester). Insurance (Pro Global) and retail are also expanding, as a result of the popularity of the Docks, and tourism is improving because of our festivals, while all of our manufacturing companies have more or less doubled their workforce since 2010.
I support all of these in different ways – not least as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy, promoting exports (e.g. Airbus) in South East Asia.