Greg Hands, Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham
Greg Hands, Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham, points to positive signs in the local economy in his latest Chronicle column.
Last week I attended the official opening of a new restaurant in Fulham Broadway, Manuka Kitchen.
After some years of restaurant and pub closures throughout both Fulham and Chelsea during the recession of 2008/09, this was the second restaurant opening I had been to in just a few weeks. The other one, the Lazy Fox, in Farm Lane, is an excellent addition too.
I think there is something bigger going on here, namely the slow but steady economic recovery from the years of spending excess under Gordon Brown and the last Labour government.
I have lived at the same address in Fulham the past 20 years, and I can see the local economy picking up. The estate agent magazines, pizza leaflets and taxi cards are coming back through the door. Not everyone likes this so-called junk mail, but I see it as a good indicator of local economic activity.
Similarly, estate agent offices have customers in them again. Local bank branches are looking to lend again. The District line is packed out again each and every rush hour. The economic recovery will remain choppy, but in Fulham and Chelsea I see many signs of significant improvement.
Finally, official data shows local unemployment to be coming down, and that is one of the most important economic indicators of all.