"Thank you to everyone who voted in the elections last week. I was delighted that so many people put their trust in Conservatives right across the country but especially here in Suffolk, where I will support Cllr Matthew Hicks in delivering their manifesto. Of the 12 County Councillors that serve Suffolk Coastal constituency, 10 were elected from my party but as ever I will work with all councillors in the interests of the people and communities. Locally, we need to continue to progress on levelling up with good opportunities for everyone, particularly our young people. New legislation in the Queen's Speech will help us with some of our big challenges on post-Covid recovery.
That recovery phase is starting as we step cautiously along the roadmap to recovery. Following the huge success of the vaccine rollout, step three in the easing of lockdown restrictions will kick in next week. And as the wider economy springs back into life, our focus is firmly on jobs as well as jabs. As Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, I’ve been concentrating on how we can help our younger generation get a leg up on the employment ladder. Our fully-funded Kickstart programme is helping thousands of 16 to 24-year olds do just that with six-month work placements that not only provide pay but experience, skills and confidence. Every day for the past six-weeks, more than 260 young people have begun a Kickstart job – more than 16,500 in total. Overall, nearly 200,000 jobs have been approved. Thanks to the confidence the British people have shown in this government, day by day, jab by jab and job by job we’re building back better from the coronavirus pandemic.
My congratulations too to Tim Passmore who was re-elected for a third term as Suffolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner. Before the election, I was pleased to welcome him to Woodbridge to talk to me and local Town Councillor, Robin Sanders about the anti-social behaviour, vandalism and broken bottles that have been having a big impact on Elmhurst Park. Tim is committed to help tackle this and talked about the additional 160 police officers he plans to recruit over the next three years thanks to additional government resource, which will help increase visibility in the area."