I DROVE past Regent Circus this week and finally the bare metal bones of the new cinema and restaurant complex are beginning to see flesh, with work moving on to the walls and floors.

In many ways, the regeneration going on in Swindon is the flesh on the bones of the economic recovery we have built.

Yes, the economic data has been showing positive signs for a while, but it is not until Swindon families have seen the cranes move into the town; not until over 150,000 local residents have felt the effects of the £700 tax cut we have given them; not until local businesses have been creating jobs, that the flesh of the recovery has been felt.

Unemployment is another key part of economic recovery. It has been falling in Swindon since the 2010 election, with unemployment down 34 per cent and youth unemployment down 30 per cent.

This is extremely positive news. Nationally, the last three months saw unemployment fall by 167,000, the biggest three month fall seen in a staggering 17 years.

Our economy is creating jobs at an unexpected rate. In Swindon we saw 399 new businesses start just in the summer months last year, and nearly two and a half thousand businesses incorporated in the last financial year, showing that not only are new businesses creating jobs, but our town’s existing businesses are growing and recruiting too. Indeed, since 2010, job vacancies in Swindon have risen by 13 per cent.

Yet with all this good economic news, there are still people who are excluded. This might be excluded from work because of illness, bereavement or a lack of skills.

They may be struggling with debts or bills.

These are the most vulnerable consumers in society and it is vital that as a society, we look after them.

I have written in this column about my successful campaign for financial education to be taught in schools and also about my work on payday lending.

Why? Because these are issues that can really help these vulnerable consumers get back on the right track financially and share in the economic good news.

This week in Parliament we had two debates on payday lending where I pushed for the need for the new industry levy to pay for face-to-face debt advice – advice proven effective in helping people get debts under control.

Alongside the funding we are giving to retraining, the investment in education, enterprise grants for the long-term unemployed and a simpler welfare system, access to independent debt advice is another important part of the flesh we need on the bones of this economic recovery to ensure that it includes the vulnerable and does not leave them behind.