Michael Welcomes New Local Unemployment Figures

Sir Michael Fallon MP has welcomed new figures showing that unemployment in Sevenoaks remains at an historic low.

The figures, released by the Office National Statistics and Nomis database, show that unemployment in Sevenoaks has decreased by 63 per cent since 2010 and 11 per cent since May 2015.  Sevenoaks has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

Michael said: ‘These figures reflect a very robust local economy as we enter the Brexit negotiations.  A country that works for everyone enables people the security of employment and the ability to provide for their family.  I will continue to keep a close eye on our unemployment rates.’

Michael Helps to Open Trinity’s New Building

Opening Ceremony (89) - editMichael joined school governors, local supporters and representatives from churches across Sevenoaks as he helped to open Trinity School’s new building last Friday.

After giving a reading in a service led by the Bishop of Rochester, he participated in a balloon release and helped to plant an olive tree in the school’s grounds.

Michael said: “I was very pleased to help to open Trinity School’s new building.  This event was the culmination of many years of effort from local parents and volunteers and this excellent new building is the result of their work.  School choice is expanding in Sevenoaks and I look forward to seeing Trinity going from strength to strength in the years to come.”

Christmas and New Year Message

Chamber Reception_14-7-16_082
Michael speaking at the Sevenoaks Chamber of Commerce Summer Reception.

In a sometimes unsettled year nationally, Sevenoaks, Swanley, Westerham and our villages have continued to go from strength to strength.  Unemployment remains at record low levels.  Our new grammar annexe is being constructed and will open next year.  Our local economy is vibrant and prosperous.

Building on this progress will require more work in the New Year.  Bringing fast broadband to all parts of the constituency is still a top priority.  We must also continue to work hard to protect our much-loved Green Belt from inappropriate development.  Most importantly, though, the spring will see consultation on the new rail franchise and I will use this opportunity to push for the extension of the Oyster network to Sevenoaks.

At the end of a successful year for Sevenoaks and Swanley, I would like to wish all of my constituents a very happy Christmas and New Year.  I am always proud to represent this constituency and I look forward to being as active as ever throughout the area in 2017.

Sir Michael Fallon MP

Supporting Local Businesses at Christmas

Sir Michael Fallon Graces Fashion AccessoriesMichael showed his support for local businesses earlier this month with a visit to Sevenoaks town centre.

Sir Michael Fallon Sevenoaks ComputersHe met business owners on from high street shops and small businesses such as The Chinaman, Sevenoaks Bookshop, Barkers and Grace to talk about the busy lead up to Christmas and their efforts to attract customers.  He was joined by Sevenoaks District Council Leader, Cllr Peter Fleming and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Cllr Roddy Hogarth.

Michael said: “I was pleased to visit these thriving local businesses at such a busy time of the year. They really are the lifeblood of Sevenoaks’ economy and this was an excellent opportunity to hear about their latest progress.”

New Money for Broadband Welcomed By Michael

Michael has welcomed the news that over £1 billion of new funding will be made available for full-fibre broadband.

The decision, which came in the Autumn Statement, means that two million more homes and businesses across the country will be able to benefit from higher speeds and more reliable connections, particularly in rural areas.

With the percentage of premises in Sevenoaks that can access superfast broadband predicted by the Government to reach 92.8% by September 2018, the news is a major boost to Michael’s successful campaign to secure better broadband for his constituents.

Michael said: “People throughout Sevenoaks increasingly rely on decent broadband speeds for work and leisure.  This new funding will build on the progress we have already made to make sure we have the digital infrastructure we need to prosper.  Together with extra money for grammar schools and measures to help hardworking families, everyone in Sevenoaks will benefit from these announcements in this Autumn Statement.”

Michael Hails ‘Success Story’ of New Pre-School Site

Michael with Cllr Andrew Eyre, Mayor of Sevenoaks, at the opening.
Michael with Cllr Andrew Eyre, Mayor of Sevenoaks, at the opening.

Michael today hailed a local ‘success story’ as he joined local parents and children to open the Children’s Workshop’s new building in Sevenoaks.

The pre-school was formerly located at Sevenoaks Rugby Club but decided to move to new and improved premises last year.  Michael assisted the school as it sought to secure planning permission for its new timber-clad building on the edge of Lady Boswell’s School.  Permission was granted in October 2015 after special consideration was granted.

Michael spoke about the importance of pre-school education for working families in Sevenoaks before the building was formally opened by Mr Bloom from CBeebies with the firing of a confetti cannon.

Michael said: “I have been proud to support the Children’s Workshop’s move and I was delighted to attend today.  The new building is a success story, demonstrating what can be achieved when local communities come together.  It will provide a vital service that benefits both parents and children for many years to come.”

Michael Welcomes Grammar School Plans

Michael has welcomed the Government’s plan to allow the opening of new grammar schools.

Michael said: “I warmly welcome these new proposals.  By making it easier to expand existing grammar schools and set up new ones, they will widen choice for parents and pupils in Sevenoaks.

We have already secured a girls’ grammar annexe.  A boys’ grammar is the next essential step, and these plans mean we can avoid the lengthy legal wrangling that held up the girls’ annexe.”

Michael Speaks at the Sevenoaks Business Awards

29007780324_23fb087b91_oOn Friday, Michael addressed the annual Sevenoaks Business Awards.  As Patron of the Sevenoaks Town Partnership, which organised the evening, Michael spoke about the achievements of local businesses and the support offered by the Government:

29523238152_1b02dca396_oThank you.

I was speaking in Paris earlier this week when, about halfway through, the lights went out.

I was assured that it was completely unintentional, but perhaps I was on thin ice after referring to our position on the Olympic medal table…

I certainly hope it won’t happen tonight.

It is an honour to be here once again as Patron of Sevenoaks Town Partnership.

I am delighted to see that there have been so many nominations for the awards this evening.

And I am proud to be able to support the Town Partnership.

Every year, its remarkable programme of events and support somehow expands.

From the Vintage Bus promoting tourism, to the monthly Farmers Market making the most of our local produce, the Partnership’s efforts have helped to make Sevenoaks more bustling and attractive than ever before.

But its excellent work builds on an already excellent foundation of local businesses.

In April, I had the pleasure of opening the fifth annual Business Show.

With over thirty businesses attending, it was a clear demonstration of the strength of our vibrant local economy.

I am very pleased to see that in evidence here again tonight.

And it’s vital – Sevenoaks is not only a commuter town.

It is full of thriving, innovative businesses providing local employment – like yours.

Many of you are part of the 99 percent of businesses in Britain that are small- or medium-sized.

But I also recently welcomed a much larger company, FM Conway, to our town.

They may be a very different business to many of yours, but their decision to relocate here shows how successful our local economy has become.

The number of people without a job here has fallen to its lowest ever recorded level.

And we now have the highest number of businesses on record, 600 more than there were six years ago.

That’s the equivalent of a new business being set up every three days.

As your MP I am proud to be supporting measures to maintain this impressive record.

From April, we are cutting business rates.

600,000 businesses occupying a third of all properties will pay no rates at all.

We want to see three million apprenticeships across the country by 2020.

So many local businesses are helping to create these vital opportunities and I am pleased to see that there is strong competition for the apprentice award tonight – clear evidence of the young talent that is coming through our local workforce.

Corporation tax will also continue to fall, giving you more money to invest in your businesses.

There are challenges ahead.

I know some of you may be concerned.

I won’t pretend that the next few years will be easy.

But Sevenoaks is well prepared.

And with new measures to support the economy, the ingenuity of our businesses, and the ceaseless support of the Town Partnership, I am sure our local economy will continue to thrive.

I would like to congratulate tonight’s nominees and winners on their much-deserved achievements and wish you all the very best of luck for the coming year.

Thank you.

Michael Opens New FM Conway Office

Michael with chief executive officer Michael Conway.
Michael with chief executive officer Michael Conway.

Michael recently opened the new head office of major construction firm FM Conway.

Michael delivering his speech.
Michael delivering his speech.

Conway, which was founded in 1961, has moved its operations and 250 staff to Sevenoaks from Dartford.  The company works across the South East, including Olympic and Diamond Jubilee Projects as well as the Barclays’ Cycle Superhighway in London.  The new office is the result of a complete refurbishment, with state-of-the-art office facilities and a fresh exterior.

In his speech, Michael welcomed the company and its staff to Sevenoaks.  He announced that unemployment in his constituency has fallen to its lowest ever recorded level and said that he was proud that jobs like those provided by Conway mean that Sevenoaks is a bustling and vibrant centre of employment.

Travellers on Brittains Lane Common

Michael has been in contact with Sevenoaks Town Council about the travellers who arrived at Brittains Lane Common earlier this week.

The Town Council are landowners of this registered common land and are therefore responsible for leading the proceedings for removal of trespassers.  The Council has commenced these legal proceedings today.

More information is available here.  If you have any further concerns, please email the council.