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Bridget_s_business_breakfast.jpgI just held the first in my series of business breakfasts on 15 July 2016 at the Evolve Business Centre at Rainton Bridge.

I’d like to thank Iain Wright MP, Chair of Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee for attending as guest speaker, and everyone who came along and contributed to the discussions.

The goal of my business breakfast series is to listen to local businesses about their concerns - what they think are the most important issues for boosting local economic growth and promoting our region’s competitive advantage. If you missed this one but would like to receive the invite to my next event, please drop me an email at bridget.phillipson.mp@parliament.uk with your full name, position, business name, business address, email, and your phone number.

In my constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South, over 99% of all enterprises are small and medium sized businesses. They truly are the backbone of our local economy.

The issue that we returned to throughout the event was skills. I hope to focus more on this at the next event - particularly on the skills gap, apprenticeships and investment in education.

Our area has so much talent and potential, with so many inspiring business owners who work really hard, take tremendous risks, and make a big contribution to our local economy. However, the support from central government does not match up with what they deserve.

 Bridget_s_business_breakfast_group_photo.jpg

Iain Wright MP, the Chair of Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, raised some important points on the so-called Northern Powerhouse – how some big urban areas that are already doing well have been receiving additional funding, whereas areas such as our region that desperately need more investment in infrastructure are being left behind. 

Beth Farhat, Regional Secretary to the TUC Northern, pointed out the importance of improving skills and protecting workers’ rights, particularly in light of our country’s decision to withdraw from the European Union.

Ted Salmon, Regional Chairman of the FSB North East, shared with us his experience of how impressed overseas investors are when they visit and see for themselves what our region has to offer. He emphasised the importance of transport infrastructure and connectivity, a lack of which currently puts our region at a disadvantage compared to cities with easy access to airports and rail lines. 

Education, workers’ rights, and transport infrastructure are important issues I have consistently campaigned for in parliament. With a new Prime Minister and new government formed, it is more important than ever to stand up for our region’s best interests. I'm keen to meet more local businesses at my next event and to hear your concerns and ideas. 

Insights from my first business breakfast - skills, investment and infrastructure

I just held the first in my series of business breakfasts on 15 July 2016 at the Evolve Business Centre at Rainton Bridge. I’d like to thank Iain Wright MP,...

Last month our country voted to leave the European Union. This was not the result I wanted, but one which I respect. The big question is what comes next.

The referendum result revealed a profound division in our city and our country. It also showed the very real sense of anger that many people feel.

I know that many people voted Leave because of concerns around immigration and pressures on local services. I also know that many people who voted to leave want more highly skilled jobs, decent working conditions and greater funding for the NHS. I want those things too.

We need orderly negotiations over our future relationship with the EU, not a hasty rush to the exit door. The government must secure a deal that protects our economy and doesn’t put thousands of local people out of work. There must not be a race to the bottom on workers’ rights.

Trade and exports to the EU are vital to local businesses. Those who promised we would maintain access to the single market need to make it happen.

Our region receives considerable European funding and Government ministers must guarantee continued investment to replace this lost funding. The so-called Northern Powerhouse has been little more than hot air. Time and again our region has been forgotten, and we simply cannot afford for this to get any worse.

Local NHS services are under massive strain and we were told during the campaign that there would be more money for the NHS if we left the European Union. This pledge must also be honoured.

Above all, we need to come together during this time of political and economic crisis to heal the divisions that have been laid bare during the campaign and fight for our region’s future.

 

This article was originally published by the Sunderland Echo on 14th July 2016. You can read the online version here.

Bridget Phillipson: north east must unite and fight for best Brexit deal

Last month our country voted to leave the European Union. This was not the result I wanted, but one which I respect. The big question is what comes next.

IMG_1611.JPGHoughton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson met with pupils from Newbottle Primary Academy School council for a question and answer session on her role as their local Member of Parliament.

Bridget Phillipson said:

"I was delighted to be invited by the school council to visit Newbottle Primary Academy School to discuss with them my role as their Member of Parliament. I greatly enjoyed seeing how engaged the children were in current events and hope that the question and answer session gave them a greater awareness of the democratic process and an insight into the life of an MP. It was also good to see for myself the excellent work that staff, pupils and parents are doing at the school."

Lesley Lee-Shield, Year 3 Teacher at Newbottle Primary Academy School said:

"Our School Council were delighted that Bridget was able to take time out of her busy schedule to visit our school today. The children enjoyed asking Bridget questions about her role within our community. From this visit, we feel that the children have a greater understanding of how a local MP works to support the area."

 

Photo: Bridget with pupils from year 3 Newbottle Primary Academy School

Bridget visits Newbottle Primary Academy School

Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson met with pupils from Newbottle Primary Academy School council for a question and answer session on her role as their local Member of...


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