This is the first of what I hope will be a regular series of blogs from me – and my fellow ministers – talking about what the department has been doing, or what’s coming up. But they should give you a sense not just of what we’re up to, but also why we’re doing it.
There are some people, I know, who think that the closing ceremony of the Paralympics (which – and I find this hard to believe – was just 18 days ago) was more or less the end of our departmental business for the foreseeable future. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
Beginning with broadband
My in-tray, in fact, looks decidedly full from where I sit. First off there’s the business of turning our broadband ambitions into a reality. We are determined that the country will have the best super-fast network in Europe by 2015 and the fastest of any major country. That will help drive the country’s economic revival by boosting growth and jobs, as well as helping those who want to work or start their own businesses from home, and indeed transforming the day-to-day lives of pretty much everyone in the country.
Then there’s the job of making sure our Olympic legacy is more than just an empty phrase, but delivers a real difference to our economy and to the lives, health and well-being of everyone in the UK.
Marketing GREAT Britain
As a key part of our economic Olympic legacy I’ll be leading on taking forward the GREAT campaign to make sure that Britain really is the place for investment, study and tourists from every corner of the world. I come from a marketing background, and I know only too well that it would be madness not to build on the amazing publicity that London 2012 has generated for us across the world. The GREAT ads and branding have been a triumph, and we must keep that momentum going if inward investment and tourism are to secure economic growth. This will be a top priority for Hugh Robertson and me, and one where we both know the rewards could be very high indeed.
Promoting our creative industries at home and overseas
What else? Well, I’ll also be trying to ensure that we continue to create an environment where the finest creative work in the world can flourish. Our creative industries’ success in overseas markets is, sadly, too often a rather well-kept secret. Our architects, film makers, games developers, fashion designers, artists and writers will find two very vocal champions in Ed Vaizey and I.
Finally (for the time being, at least), I want to drive forward, with Helen Grant and Jo Swinson, the Government’s commitment to build a fairer and more equal society. In particular I want to make sure that we do all we can to get women into jobs, and to bring forward the Government’s commitment to legislate for equal civil marriage.
Recovery through growth
This is challenging stuff. And it’s all the more so for all of us as we continue to work together in Government to bring about economic recovery through sustained growth.
So while DCMS is probably the smallest Government department in terms of staff, and while it’s true that this year has seen us complete a number of truly massive projects, the future is bright. Bright, and busy.
I can’t wait.