Helping people to access jobs and training is a big priority for the council and with signs the national economy is starting to turn the corner, I want to make sure we seize new opportunities for Central Bedfordshire.
Our work with Center Parcs to maximise the number of local people getting jobs at the new Woburn Forest site and to make sure goods and services are sourced from local businesses is also bearing fruit.
I’m passionate about helping people into work and onto a career path and so am delighted that Center Parcs’ employees will include apprentices.
The council is taking on 17 apprentices who will have a chance to acquire skills and experience while bringing fresh ideas. There are many other great examples locally of businesses offering apprenticeships but we want to encourage more.
We’ve also committed to lobbying for investment in the A1. There are only six roundabouts on the 410-mile stretch between London and Edinburgh, yet four are in Bedfordshire.
We will be pressing for the improvements shelved by the last Labour government to be reinstated for the benefit of commuters and communities who suffer congestion on a daily basis.
We are also putting in £5m to support the first phase of the East West rail scheme from Bedford to Oxford to Reading. We’re lobbying Government and the rail operators to go with Ridgmont as the Central Bedfordshire stop.
These major schemes, together with the recent multi-million pound contract with BT to provide superfast broadband, will enhance our area’s connectivity and make our area a great place to do business.