*Opinion* Encouraging growth figures - now to ensure the recovery is sustainable

Encouraging growth figures are released today. The economy grew by 0.8% in the last quarter. The Office for National Statistics said there had been a "fairly strong" performance across all sectors. Some economists believe the data might even be revised upwards.

I am not for one moment complacent; we can, however, now see that the economy is on the road to recovery. It helps that nationally, the Liberal Democrats have given 25 million working people a £700 tax cut and created 1 million jobs.

Robin Meltzer and Cllr J-F Burford with Danny Alexander MP talking to local business owners in Richmond ParkIt is thanks to policies delivered by Lib Dem ministers that businesses are gaining confidence to invest and more people are back in work.

Look at the 1.5 million apprenticeships created by Vince Cable's department.

However, I know from traveling around Richmond Park and North Kingston each week, talking to local residents and people who work in the voluntary sector, that people are still feeling the squeeze on the cost of living. Many are struggling to pay bills and face a daily grind to improve life for their families. The recovery is not yet being felt in every-day life.

So, the focus must now be on bolstering the economy and making sure this recovery is sustainable and that everyone benefits from it this time. That's why I warmly welcome this week's announcement by Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury (pictured here with me and Councillor Burford talking to local busines owners), that new energy, road and rail projects worth £33 billion have passed the first hurdle in securing Government backing.

More than half of those are energy projects, which will help ensure that Britain develops a sustainable future energy supply. As Danny said this week, getting our infrastructure right means we can be globally competitive, boost growth and create more jobs.