AS we continue to live in difficult economic times, many families and households are really worried about job security and stability.

To be brutally honest, unemployment is too high across the country and bringing it down, while ensuring a private-led economic recovery and also tackling the highest budget deficit since the Second World War, is a daunting yet essential task for the Government.

Creating sustainable, private sector-led growth and employment is crucial, but protecting existing jobs is also a vital battle in the fight to improve the employment outlook.

As many York residents will know, over the past week there have been serious concerns about the future of CPP, a key local employer in our great city.

Having suspended its shares after the FSA announced further details of an investigation into the potential mis-selling of insurance, I met with representatives of the company to discuss the risk to jobs.

Following this meeting, I drafted a letter to the FSA, which was signed by 12 more affected MPs, including my close neighbour, Hugh Bayley.

Our letter urged the FSA to carry out a full and transparent investigation into any wrong doing, but to do so in a way which would enable the company to continue trading, and hence ensuring that its employees would still have jobs.

Within days, the FSA and CPP reached an amicable way forward only for CPP’s banks to start getting nervous about the recent developments. Such concern was understandable, but again any rash action could have had a real effect on CPP’s trading ability.

As a result, Hugh and myself wrote further letters to all of the banks involved, as well as MP Vince Cable, urging that local jobs are at the top of the agenda.

Obviously, further discussions and talks will take place over the coming days and weeks, but I truly believe that we have made progress and that CPP employees can feel a lot more reassured. It has also proven to be one of those cases where neighbouring MPs, regardless of usual political loyalties, can work together for the benefit of a worthy cause and I am grateful to Hugh Bayley for all of his assistance over the past seven days.

My simple message to all worried CPP employees, and their families, is this: I will fight tooth and nail to prevent the loss of any jobs because of an over-zealous investigation.

As many readers from York Outer will know, one of my key pre-election pledges was to raise the profile of York’s many transport woes.

In particular, the northern ring road and the A64 act as a real brake on local economic growth with increasing congestion resulting in an increasing numbers of accidents and costly delays.

Through my position on the cross-party Transport Select Committee, I have frequently raised local transport concerns, but I have always sought to do more.

This week, following my speech in a House of Commons debate on Transport and the Economy, I have launched a Transport Vision for York Group to draw up a list of practical, realistic and long-term transport solutions to our city’s currently congested roads.

Having invited a range of leading community and business stakeholders, I hope to host the first meeting in the next month or so. At the end of the group’s work, I shall present a final list of recommendations to both the City of York Council and central government. Without practical action being taken, congestion in York is set to double within the next ten to 15 years – this simply cannot be allowed to happen.