Pictures: Chancellor George Osborne at Saunton Sands

George Osborne has an economic plan in his pocket for the South West.

George Osborne has an economic plan in his pocket for the South West. - Credit: Archant

Chancellor calls in rally the North Devon faithful and launch the Conservative economic plan for the South West.

George Osborne has an economic plan in his pocket for the South West.

George Osborne has an economic plan in his pocket for the South West. - Credit: Archant

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the latest in a series of high profile figures to drop into North Devon to bang the election drum.

George Osborne was at Saunton Sands Hotel on Monday to launch the Conservative general election pledges for the South West and to support North Devon Conservative parliamentary candidate Peter Heaton-Jones.

Speaking to more than 100 of the party faithful, Mr Osborne underlined a six point plan he said would make life better for the region’s working people and its economy, making sure it had a ‘fair share of the nation’s resources’.

“The South West contains some of Britain’s greatest economic strengths. It has an extraordinary amount to offer,” he said.

George Osborne has an economic plan in his pocket for the South West.

George Osborne has an economic plan in his pocket for the South West. - Credit: Archant


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“The nation’s future cannot rest solely on the City of London. Agriculture, fishing and tourism are more important here than in many other places – when you bring these together you not only have an attractive place to live, but also a place to invest.”

He said the plan seeks to make life better by growing the economy and creating 150,000 extra jobs in the South West, as well as cutting income tax to boost family incomes for 2.5m people.

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Apprenticeships totalling 300,000, plus 60,000 primary school places and 30 hours of free weekly childcare were also pledged.

He said 220,000 tenants would be able to have their own home under the Help to Buy scheme, while a strong economy would enable more money to go to the NHS.

He pledged £7.2 billion investment in South west transport and said the North Devon Link Road was a ‘vital’ road that ‘needs to be improved’.

Peter Heaton-Jones said afterwards: “I have been pushing hard for our fair share because nobody’s been standing up for North Devon effectively enough in recent years.

“The Chancellor has clearly been listening because he has promised to look at a significant investment in the North Devon Link Road as part of the plan.

I took the opportunity to have private talks with the Chancellor and made clear that I will continue to fight for the investment we need in North Devon.”

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