Helen Goodman, MP for the Bishop Auckland Constituency has told MP’s that the lack of government presence in the North East of England is costing her constituency and the region.
In a debate on Economic Development this week Helen urged Ministers to ‘take to heart’ the role that the Regional Development Agency had previously undertaken and ‘to have a proper presence in the north-east on inward investment’.
Helen said that she was “not confident that those sitting in Victoria Street (London) had a clear picture of the nature of the region and its differences.”
She added that at the start of the economic down-turn ‘the previous Government’s work in the region had provided jobs in her constituency such as the 700 secured at Thorn electric and saw a £45million retail development.
Helen told the commons: “However, just as things seem to have turned around thanks to all the efforts of the Labour Government, our region is facing deep spending cuts. I want to draw to the Minister’s attention the impact that the cuts will have not only on the public sector, but on the private sector. In my constituency alone, Building Schools for the Future cuts amount to £100 million, which would have been £100 million-worth of business for the local construction industry and I could take him to those firms to show him the jobs that are likely to be lost as a result.
“One of the most important elements in economic development is for people outside the region to have confidence in us and I have two examples of organisation that do have confidence in us. The first is GlaxoSmithKline, which wants to build a new plant. One of the shortlisted sites is at Barnard Castle and that would produce 1,000 jobs.
The second example is in tourism development. Only this week, the director of the National Gallery said that if we could keep the Zurbarans at Auckland Castle, he would be able to lend more paintings, develop a centre of artistic excellence and build our tourism industry. How much better it would be if, in addition to such support, we had the wholehearted support of the Government.”
Helen Goodman MP on 105.9 Bishop FM
Helen Goodman will be popping in to chat to Peter Quest on Thursday morning (24th February) at 12pm.