Friday, 26 February 2010

Time the Evening Gazette stopped the Labour bias

The posting immediately below this one, dated 22nd February 2010, is a press statement from Ian Swales Prospective Lib Dem MP for Redcar calling for the Corus site to be nationalised.

The press statement was ignored by the Evening Gazette who today publish a front page lead reporting that Stockton Labour MP Dari Taylor has called for the Corus site to be nationalised. Ian's press statement points out that a letter was emailed to Peter Mandelson.

On 18th December this blog reported that Ian Swales had produced a detailed plan outlining a positive future for Corus, which was also ignored by the Gazette until early in the new year. This plan was also emailed to Peter Mandelson.

Are local MP's being passed on these ideas by Mandelson's office?

Why is it that the Evening Gazette concentrates only on the platitudes of local Labour MP's and ignores the positive ideas being put forward FIRST by Ian Swales?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Nationalise Corus site - Swales

Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat prospective MP for Redcar, has written an open letter to Lord Mandelson urging temporary nationalisation of Teesside Cast Products assets and the unused land on the Corus site.

He said: "We have to make sure that Corus can't get in the way of a sale to a credible buyer. They should also be made to give up spare land that is needed for other new business opportunities. Leaving a huge site unused and increasingly derelict will do nothing to help the Teesside jobs crisis."

North East Economic Forum

Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat prospective MP for Redcar, was a guest speaker at the North East Economic Forum annual meeting at Ramside Hall, Durham. The theme was North East England and the Low Carbon Economy. Other speakers included Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling and Environment Minister Ed Miliband.

Ian took the opportunity to talk about the economic crisis on Teesside and the great opportunities that the area presents. Building on the existing businesses, assets and skills of the area, there's every chance to make Teesside a powerhouse of new low carbon technology and manufacturing. We're open for business!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Teesside Cast Products is definitely shutting down

News that Teesside Cast Products is definitely shutting down has been greeted with dismay by local Liberal Democrat campaigners.

Ian Swales prospective Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar constituency said, "I am shocked that, despite all the talk, there has been no solution to this problem. With the right intentions from the company and the Government, this site could have been saved and turned back into a world class steel producer. Closing the site is industrial, economic and social vandalism. The news is devastating for the area.

"It's now time for urgent government action. The package they have already announced will do little for the thousands losing their jobs or the thousands more already out of work. One of their first steps should be to move a major Government agency from the overcrowded South East to the Tees Valley. They have been promising this for years."

Lib Dem Leader on Redcar and Cleveland council Chris Abbott said, "This is a real setback for our area but we must continue to keep up the pressure on the Government to provide real jobs in our area."

Liberal Democrats launch plans to tackle high street crisis

Liberal Democrats in Redcar constituency have set out plans to revitalise local high streets, protect the future of the Post Office, and help small businesses establish and grow in a fairer marketplace.

The announcement comes as research shows that more than one in six Teesside shops is now empty after the recession. Middlesbrough and Stockton are amongst the worst hit centres in the country.

Ian Swales, prospective MP for Redcar constituency said.

“Even before the credit crunch hit, independent shops were disappearing fast from our local shopping centres. Things will only get worse if Corus TCP closes.

“The Government’s skewed planning system has seen supermarket giants squeeze the life out of towns like ours and now all our high streets have the same mix of charity shops and chain stores.

“We need thriving high streets in our area, with real character that allow local businesses to survive and grow.

“The financial crisis has exposed Labour and the Conservatives’ folly of being entirely dependent on the City of London. The Liberal Democrats understand that it will be small businesses and manufacturing that are key to building a healthy and balanced economy.”

Friday, 12 February 2010

Liberal Democrats launch green jobs manifesto pledge for Teesside

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg today set out a manifesto pledge to create 57,000 jobs by investing £400million upgrading disused shipyards to enable the production of off-shore wind turbines.

Nick Clegg launched this latest plank of the Liberal Democrats’ economic stimulus and job creation package. The proposals would enable firms to manufacture off-shore wind turbines in the UK, instead of seeing them built abroad due to out-of-date facilities.

Current plans to expand wind farms in the North and Irish seas could see every one of the 6,400 turbines needed brought in from abroad, as there are currently no turbine manufacturers in the UK. Analysis by the One North East Regional Development Agency shows attracting wind turbine manufacturing to the region could bring economic benefits worth as much as £1.9 billion.

British ports and especially those in the North East are ideally located to host turbine manufacturers due to their proximity to the off-shore wind farms; however, they are currently unable to invest due to the lack of appropriate docks with suitable space.

The Liberal Democrat proposals to invest in physical infrastructure to support a greener economy also include a pledge to invest £100million in training and testing facilities, including at universities in the North East.

Commenting, Nick Clegg said:

“We need to make sure we come out of this recession with a rebalanced and green economy.

“Our plans would act as a huge boost for Britain’s budding wind industry and create nearly 60,000 jobs in many shipyard cities where unemployment is a huge problem.

“New off-shore turbines, with blades the size of the London Eye, need to be built and launched from modern docks, so we need to upgrade our shipyards to take advantage of this massive opportunity.

“Just imagine the docks and shipyards in the North East coming to life and leading the world in this new technology.

“Expanding off-shore wind will create jobs but unless we act now, these jobs won’t be British jobs. It’s a scandal that 90% of the £1.75bn contract for a wind farm off the coast of Kent is going to foreign contractors, with the turbines being manufactured in Germany.

“Investing in infrastructure for a new green economy not only helps create jobs now but will allow the North East to take its place at the cutting edge of this growing industrial sector for the future.

“Britain clearly has the manufacturing and engineering expertise to lead the world in this green technology but government must play its part in supporting this.”

Prospective MP for Redcar Ian Swales, who has been campaigning hard for new jobs on Teesside, said:
"This commitment by the Liberal Democrats is key to ensuring that the jobs that will be created from the development of North Sea offshore wind will be created here in the North East. This region has the skills and capacity to become the European leader in offshore wind and we must make sure that potential is realised. We desperately need some large new businesses in the area to get things moving again."

Monday, 1 February 2010

Praise for Velodrome idea

Ian Swales is pictured (centre) at the Eston Great Park display
with current European 500m sprint cycling champion for his
age group, Derek Thurrell (left) and his wife Yvonne.

Redcar and Cleveland Council have announced plans for a possible cycling velodrome at the regenerated Eston Great Park.

The idea has been welcomed by Ian Swales, prospective Liberal Democrat MP for the area.

He said "this would be a terrific addition to the facilities of the area. With only two other velodromes in the country at Manchester and Newport in Wales, a local velodrome would attract people from a wide area.

Teesside has a great cycling tradition and has still produced many champions like current stars Chris Newton and David Daniel, despite having no local facilities. I hope the Council will be able to put a funding package together for the building and ongoing running of a velodrome.

Lib Dems condemn Labour handling of care home closures

Liberal Democrat councillors in Redcar and Cleveland have condemned Labour’s handling of care home closures in the Borough.

The Labour council is proposing to close the four care homes it owns in Guisborough, Redcar, Ormesby and Brotton. Their future has been in doubt for many months now, causing uncertainty and insecurity for the residents, their families and staff.

Liberal Democrats believe that, whilst there is clearly a trend towards new purpose built private sector care facilities, it is vital to retain at least one public sector home in the Borough which can also provide respite care. Local Authority homes have always been more expensive to run, but the emphasis has been on care for the elderly and not profit.

Lib Dem Prospective MP for Redcar, Ian Swales, said:

“Labour has dithered around for far too long on this issue, causing uncertainty and stress for residents, their families and staff. The Council has already introduced a £25 charge for day care centres, deterring people from attending. Now it's clear that the Council intends to close all its elderly care homes.”

“The Council’s consultation was inadequate and offered very limited options. The Council only examined two possibilities.”

“Clearly the current situation cannot carry on, and some of the homes have to close. However, it is the Council’s duty to provide a safety net of care for those who need it.”

“Can the Council guarantee that suitable alternative accommodation can be found in time, to avoid disruption and upset for people who need care?”