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ast year ended with some fantastic news for 2012 and the years ahead; that the Govern-


ment had approved funding for the Croxley Rail Link, a vital transport development. This is a project that the Mayor Dorothy


Thornhill and I, along with Herts County Coun- cil, have been working on for a very long time. In the last few weeks alone I have spoken with the Chancellor and Transport Secretary, persuading them to support this crucial local project. I support this project because I believe it will


bring a great deal of benefits for Watford, now and for the future. This is an exciting new chap- ter for the town with the rail link promising to regenerate some of the most deprived parts of Watford and improve travel between London and Watford which will in turn increase investment and local growth for the town. The project, which was approved as part of a


raft of capital spending commitments was deemed to ―strengthen local economies‖ by the Transport Secretary Justine Greening MP and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has said


that the project will ―underpin the importance of Watford as a key transport hub for the capital‖. Following the good news comes the hard work;


all those involved will now be looking at the best way to bring the project to Watford with minimal disruption or damage to local residents and are- as. This project was one of the items on my ―to do list‖, the achievements I hope to secure during this Parliamentary term, and I am delighted that it has been recognised. The next challenge (and another item on my


list) is the development of the Health Campus. The Croxley Rail Link was an important first step on improving access to the area, but now the hard work begins on joining with a variety of partners on providing a world-class hospital and health care provision for people in Watford. Another project that I am excited about seeing


develop is the Watford Apprenticeship Pro- gramme which is looking to increase engagement with apprenticeships from both companies and young people. This month I have written to more than 2,000


businesses in Watford inviting them to attend an event to learn more about the benefits that hav- ing an apprentice in their company can have. The event will take place on Thursday, Febru-


ary 9, and I hope that it will lead to the creation of hundreds more apprenticeships, available to all people across Watford. The second half of the programme will be


speaking to young people, visiting schools and holding an advice event to try and greatly in- crease the number of people on apprenticeship schemes, providing skills and training whilst working. If you would like further information about the event or programme, please get in touch with my office on 0207 2197180.


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