I am delighted by the latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics, which show that more local people have secured jobs this month. There are now almost 550 more people in work than at this time last year.
As the Elected Mayor of Watford I have a "let's do it" approach to making our area vibrant and economically active. This is despite a general lack of support from the other parties. Working with Three Rivers Council, we made it so that Warner Bros chose our area to create thousands of local jobs. I signed the deal for the re-development of Charter Place last year and work that will create 5,000 new jobs is starting.
The Croxley Rail link has been delivered thanks to years of hard work and was signed off by Danny Alexander, Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury. It will create 9700 construction jobs, 9400 permanent jobs and generate £8bn gross value!
The Health Campus plans have been attacked by the Labour candidate - but it is fully backed by the Hospital Trust. The Trust has said the new hospital could be completed within the next 7 years. The Health Campus will bring state of the art NHS facilities, new affordable homes, thousands of new jobs and open up the currently derelict land you can see from the back of the current hospital into new parkland! I can't please everyone but I believe this is the right thing for Watford, for everyone who uses Watford General and for future generations.
Having lived here for over 30 years, worked here and brought up my two children here, there is no other place I want to represent. I want to be your voice in Westminster. Watford Constituency interests will come first to me. The Conservative candidate has never once voted against the government and, as Vice Chair of the Tory Party, of course he cannot. If it's a choice between what is best for this area and toeing the party line, you know where I stand - with you!
Unemployment in the Watford constituency has fallen more than 50% compared to five years ago - a significant achievement! A lot of local people have put in an awful lot of work to get us to where we are, and it's been a pleasure to work with them. Everyone has helped to create the environment for new jobs, from local employers large and small, local organisations, and, of course, both Watford and Three Rivers Councils.
It is always heartening to read positive comments from others. But to get a letter in yesterday's Financial Times where business leaders back Liberal Democrats to return to Government was a surprise!
A host of leading company owners, employers and entrepreneurs said a stronger economy, a record number of jobs and improved living standards was down to the success of the Lib Dems in Coalition and are keen to see them back in government.
They said: "In view of their track record in sustaining the present Government and their positive role in it, we believe it is essential to have enough Liberal Democrat MPs in the new Parliament to provide a clear and sensible voice for the centre ground."
P.S. Thanks to everyone who's backing me - everyone gives me a different reason for their support. You can see three more in a film at here.
P.P.S If you'd like to see the figures in black and white, here's the background information!
Overall unemployment fell by 76,000 to 1.84m in the three months to February. The drop in the unemployment rate to 5.6% is the lowest rate since the onset of the financial crisis in July 2008. The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in March fell by 20,700 to 772,400, according to the Office for National Statistics. The number of people in work has risen above 31m - 557,000 more than a year ago, while the employment rate for people aged 16 to 64 reached 73.4% - a record high. Separate figures showed average earnings, including bonuses, rose 1.7% over the same period, down from 1.9% over the previous three months. The figures come as the IMF's Christine Lagarde praised the Coalition's economic strategy.