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Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has joined forces with other north east Labour MPs and candidates to set out a strategy to build economic prosperity in the region and restore the funding needed to meet the needs of local people.

Over the last five years of Conservative-led coalition government, hundreds of millions of pounds have been diverted from the region to other parts of the country.
 
This diversion of funds was imposed despite the specific needs of the north east, which continues to make the transition to a more diverse economy.
 
In response the group of campaigning local MPs and Labour Party candidates have published their vision for the future of the north east in a report entitled ‘Our North East’. The report sets out a dozen priorities for the next government that Bridget and the others believe are essential for regaining the economic momentum that was lost as a result of coalition policies. 
 
The report’s twelve priorities are:
 
• Secure, fair funding based on the needs of our people
• The introduction of the living wage across the region
• Development of sector based industrial strategies to help industry clusters work better together and build local supply chains
• The creation of a National Investment Bank to better serve the region
• Significant investment in the road network and regulation of bus services to alleviate congestion and improve access to employment
• Improvement to our rail system with modern trains to better serve our industries and people
• Development of our regional ports and airports to encourage better international connectivity and boost investment
• A regional tourism strategy to attract more visitors
• Support for our employers, colleges and universities to work closer together to develop the skills we need
• A careers and guidance service that informs our young people of the choices available to them as they plan for their future
• Greater devolution of decision making and funding to Combined Local Authorities working with Local Enterprise Partnerships and a Regional Minister
• A secure future within the European Union

Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South said:
 
“This report encapsulates Labour’s vision to develop the north east economy.
 
“The north east has great economic potential; it is the only English region that runs a trade surplus and it supports ground-breaking software and automotive industries such as Nissan and Sunderland Software City.
 
“What it has lacked over the last five years is political support from government. The region has suffered from disproportionate funding cuts and neglect by the Conservative-led coalition.
 
“The report authored by my Labour colleagues and I seeks to put that right. It makes twelve important recommendations that will help make the north east an economic powerhouse once again.”
 
A copy of the report can be found below:

North east Labour MPs unveil strategy to revitalise region's economy

Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has joined forces with other north east Labour MPs and candidates to set out a strategy to build economic prosperity...

Bridget_Phillipson_MP__Alexia_Ludford_Jamaican_sugar_cane_farmer__Allan_Saidi_Malawian_sugar_cane_farmer._Photographer_credit_Helen_Maybanks.jpgBridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, has met with international sugar growers in Parliament to hear about the importance of Fairtrade for farmers and their communities in developing countries.

Bridget met with sugar cane farmers Allan Saidi from Malawi and Alexia Ludford from Jamaica during Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 (23 February – 8 March), a national campaign that highlights the work of people who grow some of the British public’s favourite everyday commodities and the difference that Fairtrade makes to their lives.

More than 1.5 million farmers and workers in 74 developing countries benefit from Fairtrade by earning a fair price and a Fairtrade Premium. Farmers can invest the Fairtrade Premium in their businesses and their communities in order, for example, to build maternity hospitals, provide access to clean water and enable children to go to school.

Fairtrade Fortnight is supported by shoppers, campaigners, towns and businesses across the UK.

Speaking after the event, Bridget Phillipson MP said:

“The FAIRTRADE Mark is the best known ethical label in the world but there’s still a long way to go to make all trade fair.

“Buying Fairtrade makes a big difference to sugar farmers like Allan and Alexia and other farmers and workers in developing countries.

“Fairtrade products can change lives and it is right that customers should have the choice to buy them in their local supermarkets.”

Bridget Phillipson MP supports Fairtrade Fortnight

Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, has met with international sugar growers in Parliament to hear about the importance of Fairtrade for farmers and their communities in developing...

Bridget_Coffee_Morning_Hetton.jpgOn 6 February Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, held the seventh and final of her successful constituency-wide coffee mornings on anti-social behaviour and local policing.

Bridget's coffee morning series has helped improve engagement between residents, local policing teams, councillors and community groups on anti-social behaviour. Over the last two years she has written to over 14,000 households and spoken directly to hundreds of local residents about their concerns regarding this issue. During this period the number of reported incidences of anti-social behaviour in the Houghton policing area fell by over 30%.

Guest speakers at the coffee mornings have included Vera Baird, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria Police and Inspector Lisa Musgrove of the Houghton Neighbourhood Policing Team. A member of the local policing team for the area surrounding the event venue also attended each event to inform residents about what was being done in their area to tackle this problem.

On 6 February, over 40 local residents attended the final coffee morning in this series to be held before the forthcoming General Election at the Bethany Christian Centre on Hetton Road, Houghton-le-Spring. Many were interested to hear from guest speakers Sergeant Andy Taylor and PC Shane Jenness of Northumbria Police, who explained to local residents that crime around Easington Lane and Hetton was falling as a result of the police working in conjunction with the local council and Gentoo in the area to cut incidences of anti-social behaviour, theft and burglaries.

As at previous events in this popular series, residents were also keen to raise specific concerns with the police officers and Bridget. At the end of a lively and engaging debate it was clear that many in the community desired to work together to reduce anti-social behaviour. A number of local people were sympathetic to the efforts being made by the police and conscious that Northumbria Police is doing its best to maintain front-line policing despite having to absorb disproportionate funding cuts.

Speaking after the event, Bridget said:
“It was wonderful to have such a high turn out once again for one of my coffee mornings on anti-social behaviour and local policing.

“My coffee morning series has proved that anti-social behaviour is something that many people care passionately about. Over the last two years I have spoken directly to hundreds of people about this issue.

“Many discussed their personal experiences of anti-social behaviour and explained how it can really blight their lives.

“It has also become clear that the police are doing their best to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities despite the disproportionate cuts imposed on their budgets. I know they are doing everything they can to keep us safe.

“Cross-community events such as my coffee mornings can help police officers do their job better by making them aware of where and when anti-social behaviour is taking place. They also help residents how to protect themselves from anti-social behaviour and what to do when they experience it."

Hundreds come together to tackle anti-social behaviour

On 6 February Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, held the seventh and final of her successful constituency-wide coffee mornings on anti-social behaviour and local policing....


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