I find Westminster recess is the best time to visit local organisations, businesses and charities to hear their views and concerns so I can feed them back to government.
Without doubt, it has been a tough few years for everyone financially. The debt inherited from Labour the worst in peace time history, and unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, the worst an incoming government has ever had to tackle. Yet that is what the Coalition has come together to do. A tough ask by any standards but there have been some positive signs over the last few months with employment increasing by 50,0000 overall and 800,000 new private sector jobs created since the coalition government was elected, so beginning the rebalancing of the economy.
Merseyside has some very positive stories to tell, not that you'd necessarily know from listening to the local media. The automotive sector is at its most buoyant for 40 years, Jaguar has re-introduced 24hr shifts, such is the demand, Unilever is expanding, Wirral International Trade Centre has signed its first partners and exports to the emerging markets have soared and for the first time exports outside the EU are greater than those within it.
Such huge economic shifts, from debt and overspend to living within our means doesn't happen overnight and there are no painless solutions to the problems we face but we also need to hear more of our accomplishments and less relentless coverage of difficulties and negative speculation. We need to rebuild our confidence as well as rebuild our future.