We need to get Burnley moving | Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham column

This week has been Conservative Party Conference.
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At its heart was a focus on getting our country firing on all cylinders and going for growth after the deep economic shocks caused by Covid-19 and Putin’s weaponisation of energy.

We are already taking huge strides in creating a high-skill, high-wage economy locally, with the building blocks needed to grow and spur on investment.

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Burnley MP Antony HIgginbothamBurnley MP Antony HIgginbotham
Burnley MP Antony HIgginbotham
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Burnley College is working with employers as part of a new Institute of technology to address the skills needs of the future; the University of Central Lancashire is growing its Burnley Campus thanks to our Levelling Up Fund

bid; our town centre is expanding with Pioneer Place; improvements are happening between Turf Moor and Charter Walk; and businesses across the borough are investing and expanding.

But we need to go further and do things differently if we are to accelerate growth and create more good jobs and opportunities.

That is what the prime minister set out in her speech on the final day of conference – showing a vision and a set of priorities that will see our incredible country transformed for a new era.

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With a relentless focus on growth, we will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

That we won’t take a penny more in tax than we absolutely must. That hard work pays. And that we face down the anti-growth coalition who constantly talk our country down.

But doing that won’t always be easy. Because if this job has taught me anything it’s that there is no shortage of people willing to be pessimistic.

Who take pleasure in talking down our country, our borough and our people. And who protest the pro-growth measures we are taking.

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It includes the local Labour councillors who oppose my bid to create an investment zone in our area to bring jobs and prosperity; the Green Party as they protest oil and gas extraction that will keep bills down; the Brexit opponents who say anything positive is despite Brexit and anything bad is because of it; and the unions and vested interests who want more taxes, more meddling, and more regulation to tie our country up in knots.

I’m not one of those people and the prime minister isn’t one of those people. As she said, we are on the side of those who go to work, take responsibility, and aspire to a better life for themselves and their family.

Our best days are ahead of us. But to realise them we need to get Burnley moving.