Pledge 2 – Fighting for local jobs & investment in our area

I’ve made five key pledges  for Newcastle North ahead of the General Election on 8th June, the second of which is that I will continue to fight for local jobs and investment in our area. You can read more about this below:

Pledge 2 – Fighting for local jobs and investment in our area

It meant a lot for me to be able to get a job here in Newcastle after studying, and we all know that our city is a great place to live, work, visit and do business (indeed, it was very recently named the best place in the UK to raise a family).

Yet too many people still feel they have to leave our area to get on in life, and that’s why I want Newcastle to be a place where everyone has the opportunity of a good job or apprenticeship – and where businesses are supported to start up, expand and – most importantly – create employment in a thriving, sustainable economy. We need to retain our young, and older, talent here in the region if we are to make the most of the North East’s huge economic potential.

That’s why, over the last seven years as Newcastle North’s MP, I’ve worked really closely with many local companies: from large-scale multinationals, to medium-sized firms, small family-owned businesses, new start-ups and the self-employed – across a wide variety of sectors – to support them to grow; to help them stay here in Newcastle rather than go elsewhere; to encourage them to bring and invest in businesses here; and to support the creation of new jobs for local people.

I also never fail to seize an opportunity to champion what a great place Newcastle North is to invest – whether in Parliament, when meeting with overseas delegations or with UK firms based elsewhere – as I know that a vital role for any MP is to act as an ambassador for our area.

But Newcastle North’s firms also need to know they have a Government that is on their side. They want a Government that believes in having an active industrial strategy, and is prepared to intervene to retain good, skilled jobs in our area. A Government that will redress the balance in terms of infrastructure investment so that Newcastle and the North East gets its fair share of transport funding, for example. A Government that will open up regional sources of finance for local firms. And a Government that will ensure the right support is in place to create apprenticeships and ongoing training for their workforce.

They also need a Government that will devolve real powers and funding to our area, so we can get on with the job of growing our economy – and one that will commit to replacing the hundreds of millions of pounds of European funding that will be lost to the North East after Brexit. Critically, they need a Government who will commit to fully involving our region throughout the Brexit negotiations process, given we are one of the areas with most to lose from a bad deal (almost 60% of the North East’s exports currently go to the EU).

All of these are issues I have campaigned hard on since first being elected to Parliament in 2010, and fighting for local jobs and investment will remain one of my key priorities for Newcastle North if re-elected on 8th June.