North East and Cumbria to benefit from over £6m to help long-term unemployed into work

Today the Labour Government announced funding of over £6million for North East and Cumbria to tackle long-term worklessness, and ensure that no-one is left behind during the recession and everyone can benefit as the upturn happens.

While the number of long-term jobless families across the country has been reduced by 13 per cent over the last ten years, this funding demonstrates Labour’s commitment to tackling entrenched worklessness and steps up action to support the remaining 73,000 back into work.

The funding from the Working Neighbourhood Fund has been welcomed by Members of Parliament and Council Leaders from across the North East as a crucial part of the local ‘Real Help Now and investment for areas that need it most.

Local Councils in Copeland, Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton on Tees and Sunderland will benefit from a share of £6.3m of government cash.

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, Parliamentary Assistant to the North East Regional Minister said;

“This is a huge issue for the region and I’m pleased that the government is making the investment needed to tackle this problem. We’re determined to do what we can to help people in the North East find employment as we come out of the recession, and that includes helping those that had difficulty accessing the world of work for a long time. Having a job can transform people’s lives and the lives of their families.”

In Stockton South, where local people will benefit from £385,000 in funding, Labour’s Dari Taylor MP said;

"I'm welcome the money that the Labour Government is giving Stockton Council to help to get people back to work. This is a huge issue and we need to do all we can to remove the obstacles to work that hold people back. We can't afford to just back and abandon people; We're taking action and making the investment needed to help this area out of the downturn."

Welcoming the £1.25m funding for County Durham, Councillor Simon Henig, Labour Leader of Durham County Council said;

“This is good news from the Labour Government. It’s giving extra help to those who need it most in County Durham. It’s helping people get the skills, connecting them to jobs and creating new opportunities.

“Tackling long-term worklessness is not easy. Some people have complex circumstances or face particular challenges, but this funding shows Labour is determined to do more to help those who haven’t had a job. They need to know they have not fallen through the net or been written off. I'm pleased that Durham County Council, together with other authorities in the region, is able to work with the government to tackle this problem."

Labour’s Communities Secretary, John Denham MP said:

“In past recessions the Conservative let people get left behind and today David Cameron is opposed to Labour’s fiscal stimulus to help people during the downturn. He would let the recession take its course whatever the consequences on families and communities.

“Even in the downturn hundreds of thousands of people are getting jobs. This funding shows even those out of work for years are not being left behind as they were under the Tories.

“We’re determined to make sure that this will never happen again. Labour is continuing to help, putting in additional investment, like the £40m Working Neighbourhood Fund announcement today, and we are asking local councils to take immediate action.

“Now more than ever people need to know system is fair and that we are doing everything we can to give every person, a fair chance to realise their potential in life.”

“The Tories will write people off. Labour will not”


Notes for Editors

  • Cameron opposed the fiscal stimulus and Labour's support for families and jobs. Cameron's plan is to let the recession take its course with higher unemployment, lower growth, and greater debt.

"We were against the fiscal stimulus."
David Cameron, Speech to Conservative Spring Forum, 26 April 2009

  • Cameron's local government team are actively trying to block new jobs. Caroline Spelman wrote to all Tory Councils urging them to cut the financial ground from under builders by delaying housing building and commercial and business developments. It shows a willingness to damage the country's growth for perceived narrow and local party populist advantage.
  • Tory Housing Shadow Grant Shapps called Labour's plan to ensure that apprenticeships are created through the public investment building new housing "ridiculous" and "counter-productive".[i]
  • The Conservatives have announced that they would cut the CLG budget by £1bn threatening the funding local authorities receive like the Working Neighbourhood Fund.
  • Labour action has had a dramatic impact on reducing unemployed young people. The New Deal has helped 800,000 young people into work effectively ending long-term youth unemployment. Almost 80% of 16-18 year olds are participating in education or training - the highest ever.
  • Labour's 'Real Help Now' - active government in the downturn - contrasts with Conservative inaction in the 80s and 90s. The number of young people claiming JSA for six months or more is down 77 per cent since the height of the 90's recession and 84 per cent since 1985. And only 20 per cent of young people receiving JSA claim for more than six months - compared with 51 per cent in the 90's recession and 57 per cent in 1985.
  • Allocations for North East Local Authortites from the Working Neighbourhood Fund are detailed below;


Copeland DC                                      85,125

Durham County Council                      1,250,740

Gateshead MBC                                   513,820

Hartlepool BC                                      441,623

Middlesbrough BC                               705,779

Newcastle City Council                      807,925

Northumberland County Council        331,809

Redcar & Cleveland BC                       388,946

South Tyneside BC                             690,589

Stockton-on-Tees BC                          385,336

Sunderland                                          855,522

Total                                                   6,372,089


[1] Building October 16