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Anna Turley and Owen Smith with two former SSI apprentices at TTE trainingShadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Owen Smith, today visited Redcar to meet former SSI steelworkers and young apprentices with the area's Labour MP Anna Turley.

Owen and Anna started the afternoon at Community Union offices at Cargo Fleet in South Bank where former steelworkers and union officials recounted the fight to save the steelworks and their experience of redundancy and the death of their industry on Teesside.

They then visited technical training company, TTE, to meet former SSI apprentices and other young people starting out on their careers in engineering and other vocations.

Owen took part in a training session with some students and talked with them about their ambitions for the future.

Speaking after the visit, Anna said:

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to welcome Owen to Redcar and to introduce him to some of the men working to rebuild their lives after the closure of the steelworks. Whilst some have found new work, many are still struggling to access the training and support they need to move forward. It was good that Owen could hear these issues first-hand and I know he will help make sure Teesside’s case continues to be heard in Parliament.

“I was also pleased the tremendous work of Community Union in supporting the workforce throughout this crisis was recognised by Labour’s shadow ministerial team.

“At TTE, Owen was really impressed by the facilities on offer and was keen to hear from the apprentices about what they hoped to achieve following their training. As we begin to look to the future and the challenge of regenerating the local economy, resources like TTE educating a new generation of electricians, engineers and technicians will be a key part of attracting new industries here.”

Owen Smith, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said:

 "It was a privilege to be on Teesside today and to meet with steelworkers who have lost their jobs. The dignity and strength with which they have faced this crisis has been quite remarkable.

“The efforts made by local Labour MP, Anna Turley, and the superb representatives of the Community Trade Union, to speak for the men in Parliament  and in the vital, local Taskforce  has also been crucial, and has played a central part in securing new work for up to 800 of the men. 

“However significant challenges still face the community and especially those still seeking work and I will be urging the Tory Government to clear any obstacle that might stand in the way.

“Steelworkers on Teesside have been the backbone of British industry for generations and we owe them nothing less than the fullest support in this, their hour of need. Labour is determined to learn from the mistakes being made by the current government. We cannot afford to allow the end of steel production in the UK and the Government needs, even now, to pull its finger out and do something about the dumping of Chinese steel and the sky-high energy prices that are killing jobs here on Teesside, as in South Wales and at Scunthorpe.” 

Paul Warren, an organiser for Community, the steelworkers’ union said:

“Meeting with Owen Smith and Anna Turley today was a good opportunity to voice our concerns about how former SSI steelworkers are struggling to access training and help from Job Centre Plus and the National Careers services. The TV cameras might have left Redcar, but we still have thousands of families struggling to get by and former steelworkers still looking for work. Both Owen and Anna clearly understand the problems still facing our town and will continue to be strong voices for Redcar and the whole UK steel industry in Parliament. In particular, it was encouraging to hear that Labour fully understands the need for changes in employment legislation to protect contractor workers. When SSI collapsed, it was the contractor staff who were too often forgotten, we need to change the law to make sure they have the same protection as those people directly employed.”

SHADOW WORK SECRETARY PRAISES “DIGNITY & STRENGTH” OF REDCAR STEELWORKERS

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Owen Smith, today visited Redcar to meet former SSI steelworkers and young apprentices with the area's Labour MP Anna Turley.

Kezia Dugdale with Eilsa at Sure Start West Children's Centre

The Leader of the Scottish Labour Party headed south of the border today to see how Newcastle is improving education for its youngest residents.

Kezia Dugdale MSP visited Hawthorn Primary School in Elswick and Sure Start Children’s Centre in the city's West End on a fact-finding mission which also highlighted the SNP’s failure in government to tackle the attainment gap between pupils from lower and high income families in Scottish schools.

Ms Dugdale joined Councillor Nick Forbes, Labour Leader of Newcastle City Council on a tour of Hawthorn Primary before sampling a school dinner with some of the children.

The innovative Hawthorn Primary is using music as a way of raising educational attainment levels across the school years.  Since 2012 the school has been working with the Sage Gateshead and the Royal Northern Sinfonia Orchestra on the In Harmony project. They are one of only 6 schools in the country where every child is taught a musical instrument and has music lessons every day. They are also working with other schools across the city to spread their success.

After the school visit, Kezia visited one of the city’s Sure Start Children’s Centres taking part in a play session with toddlers. Despite massive government cuts Newcastle City Council have kept all their Children’s Centres open by refocussing their core services on the poorest families.

Kezia Dugdale MSP said:

 “I was pleased to visit Newcastle today to see some of the ways in which the Labour Council is trying to close the attainment gap both in early years provision and in their primary schools. Sure Start in England was one of the last Labour government’s most important initiatives and I pleased that,  despite the huge cut backs forced on them by the Tory government, the City Council has tried to protect the service and kept their Children’s Centres open.”

 “The SNP government in Scotland are just not doing enough to tackle the attainment gap between the poorest and richest pupils in our school system.

 “It’s been interesting to see the approach to this issue in Newcastle. I’m determined that a future Scottish Labour government will invest in the future of our young people.”

 Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council said:

 “I was delighted to invite Kezia to visit Newcastle to see some of the work we’re doing to improve the life chances of young people in the city. We have faced some difficult decisions because of the massive unfair funding cuts forced on us but we have been absolutely determined to prioritise the battle against inequality.  Our Sure Start Children Centres, our schools and other childcare providers are important partners in this.

 “I hope Kezia can take back some of what she sees from us to Scotland to help develop ideas for a future Scottish Labour government.” 

KEZIA MINDS THE GAP

The Leader of the Scottish Labour Party headed south of the border today to see how Newcastle is improving education for its youngest residents. Kezia Dugdale MSP visited Hawthorn Primary...

Dromey_Jack_MP_Birmingham_Erdington.jpg

Responding to the release of today’s crime statistics showing crime rates increasing across the region, Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Policing Minister said:

“Police recorded crime has gone up across the country, rates of the most serious crimes have soared and reported rape is the highest level since 2003. 

“In the North East, recorded crime has gone up by 12%, violent crime has gone up by 33% and sexual assault has gone up by 44%. To make matters worse, the region’s police forces have 1411 police officers in the past 5 years with many more set to go.

“Just as on-line crime and fraud is soaring, so too are the demands on a depleted police force to keep the country safe from terrorism and tackle child sex exploitation and abuse.

“The Tories have slashed police officers by 17,000 nationally and broke their promise to the public to protect frontline officer numbers. Now we see the biggest increase in recorded crime in a decade. The first duty of any Government is the safety and security of our citizens. By overseeing the sharpest decline in police numbers anywhere in the EU, the Tories are letting the British people down.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

  1. Today’s crime stats announcement can be found here - http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/crime-in-england-and-wales---year-ending-september-2015/index.html

 

Police force Name

Percentage increase in recorded crime

 

 

Cleveland

22

Durham

-2

Northumbria

14

North East Region

12

Crime up in the North East

Responding to the release of today’s crime statistics showing crime rates increasing across the region, Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Policing Minister said: “Police recorded crime has gone up across the...

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