Every Thursday when I return home to Romsey from Westminster I am struck by the economic resilience of our historic town. Despite some recent high-profile shop losses, Romsey continues to have an above average rate of retail unit retention – many of those providing fabulous service to local people. From hairdressers, to cafes, beauticians and estate agents, service providers are a mainstay to the local economy.

I always find it very interesting to contrast some other towns which have been affected by the insurgency of internet shopping against the more boutique-style offer in Romsey town centre. Our town really is an oasis of innovative businesses, like the popular new cat cafe, Paws for Thought, and long standing favourites like Mayaju nails and beauty, as well as the new addition to the Market Place, Kütchenhaus.

Of course, it will not have escaped the notice of regular readers that Romsey is set for a makeover of its own as the consultation on the south of the town centre project begins. In last week’s Budget the Chancellor announced funding for town centre transformation projects and I hope that Romsey will be applying.

Next Saturday, following this weekend’s many acts of Remembrance in my constituency, I look forward to joining many local people at Romsey Abbey for a concert to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War. I am sure it will be a wonderful event, attended by the Lord Lieutenant as the Queen’s representative in Hampshire. It has been striking to see so many people taking part in numerous projects both in Romsey and around the country to mark this sombre anniversary and as the country falls silent on Sunday morning we will remember all those millions of people from every corner of the globe who gave their lives to preserve our freedoms.