A local jobs and growth plan: Politically Speaking in the Wakefield Express

Families and businesses are struggling. The economy remains in a double-dip recession. Parents tell me about the worrying cost of filling up the car and rising food prices. Businesses complain about the difficulty securing orders with confidence so low. But most depressing of all, people who have lost their jobs, and young people finishing their education are struggling to find work. Our weak economy is putting at risk a whole generation of young people.

Here in Wakefield, the Council has had to make huge cuts in budgets. Thousands of jobs have already gone and more cuts are on the way. But while of course savings had to be made to address the impact of the global financial crisis, the cuts imposed on local councils and elsewhere have gone too far, too fast. How can organisations make managed reductions in staff when cuts are front-loaded? How can companies take on new people when there are no major investment projects from Government and the ones they’d planned for have been cancelled?

This time last year I launched Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth, setting out actions that would kick-start a recovery in the economy. Now, Wakefield is to launch its own version. Wakefield’s Jobs and Growth Plan will prioritise support for sustainable local businesses, support to get more people back into work and infrastructure programmes like house building to give us new homes for local families and work for local businesses.

It’s great news that here in Wakefield, under the local leadership of Cllr Peter Box, a plan is now in place to help our local economy to mitigate against the national pattern of decline. I’m totally behind the Wakefield Plan. And I’ll continue to do all I can to convince the Government that a national plan for jobs and growth is what’s needed to get the economy moving again.

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Posted September 28th, 2012 by Ed