Entrenching the UK’s economic recovery is top of MPs’ wish lists for 2011.
But Tories representing Burton, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire in Parliament fear their hope may be derailed by the practicalities of coalition politics or the financial threat stalking mainland Europe.
The MPs spelled out their aspirations and worries for the next 12 months just days before Parliament sits for the first time during what could prove to be a momentous political year.
Burton backbencher Andrew Griffiths said: “I’m hoping the economy in Burton continues to grow to protect any jobs at risk and to get people back into work.
“Specifically, what I’m hoping for is that we can see some of the vitally important projects and developments in Burton come to fruition.
“My new year’s wish would be to see building work start in Bargates, the Tesco development and St George’s Park.
“If I was being extra greedy, I would like to see the new hotel started and maybe some good news about a department store coming to Burton.” Mr Griffiths said his fear was that the difficult economic conditions in the rest of Europe, in countries such as Ireland and Portugal, could slow the recovery and damage business. His South Derbyshire counterpart, Heather Wheeler, said she wanted the coalition to continue working to free the UK from its ‘horrendous financial debt’, which had to be its first priority.
“My fear is that a number of things South Derbyshire constituents want us to get on with in quick succession will have to be put on the back-burner because ultimately, in a coalition, you can only govern with a consensus of the two parties,” she said.
Andrew Bridgen, who represents North West Leicestershire, said he hoped the coalition could continue ‘rebuilding the economy and society’.
David Cameron’s ‘big society’ idea needed ‘more progression and continued nurturing’, and the Government needed to do more to ensure the private sector thrived and could generate the growth in jobs and tax required to reduce the deficit, he added.
The MP said: “My greatest hope is for the Localism Bill to pass through Parliament in 2011, giving real power back where it belongs to the people. My biggest fear is that following our country’s regrettable but necessary bailout of the Irish Republic, other members of the Eurozone request similar help, something which I believe we as a nation cannot afford to do.”