Created: 02 February 2017
Last week was a particularly important week for several projects locally, and I was delighted to be able to announce that East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire are going to receive tens of millions of pounds of new investment from this Conservative Government.
This funding is part of the government's Local Growth Fund, which I have Ministerial responsibility for, and I was clear when I took up my role as Northern Powerhouse Minister that I wanted to see more investment in the North, and that I would do all that I could to help close the economic gap between the North and the South.
The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership will receive £27.9 million, which is part of £556 million of investment; including nearly £160 million of new investment for our region. The funding will support job creation, flood resilience and regeneration projects across the area.
This funding covers several projects locally, including millions for town centre regeneration works in Grimsby and Hull, flood defence works across the region and funding to support small and medium sized businesses locally; to grow and create jobs. In the coming weeks, I will also be announcing funding for the Lincolnshire LEP which covers North Lincolnshire, meaning that even more investment will be coming to our area!
I also recently had the privilege of responding for the Government in the House of Commons debate to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which was commemorated on Friday (27th January). Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to remember and reflect on the millions of people who lost their lives as a result of, or who were affected by, the Holocaust and Nazi Persecution; as well as subsequent genocides around the world – including in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
This debate was an important opportunity to highlight the fantastic work being done to record the experiences and individual journeys of those affected by the Holocaust and how we must never forget these dark periods in history! I spoke of the bravery of survivors who share their stories and also the ongoing problem of anti-Semitism. In particular, I condemned the Israelification of anti-Semitism, which sees anti-Semites hide their hate by hiding behind attacks on Israel and Zionism.
I was really moved when I attended the annual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Brigg on Sunday and listened to some very lovely readings from the local Jewish community and local students. It is so important that we share these stories, and one survivor I always remember is Zigi Shipper. Zigi has travelled the country, sharing his stories with schools and others. It's estimated that Zigi has spoken to at least 14,000 young people! His testimony has now also been filmed, so that it can reach even more.
Lastly, as I’m sure many readers will be aware, the government has now introduced a Bill to trigger Article 50. The British people voted very clearly to leave the European Union and that is what we are going to do. I am proud that we have taken this decision to leave the EU and I will certainly be voting for the triggering of Article 50 because I am a democrat and believe in the sovereignty of the people.
Can you imagine the response of the hardcore Remainers, who simply refuse to accept the will of the people, if the boot had been on the other foot? Had the UK voted to Remain but Parliament voted to Leave, these same people who now demand MPs ignore the will of the people would be on the streets protesting! Sadly, these days we seem to have a minority in our democracy, often metropolitan and liberal types, who are incapable of accepting that other people have a view different to them. They take to the streets to protest simply because they haven’t got their way, or in the case of Brexit, they throw insults at those who voted a different way to them. Democracy means you don’t always get your own way!
Photo – Andrew at the Brigg Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony