MP wants local jobs in Cumbria for local people

An MP’s attempt to secure full employment across the area moved a step closer to becoming reality last night.  Copeland MP Jamie Reed told the Commons that, apart from exceptional circumstances, companies working locally should take from local resources before looking at external labour, whether from outside the immediate locality or further afield. The same opportunities, he added, should be given to companies in the local supply chain, he added.

The Labour MP said the economy of many communities depended on investment or public services, and despite record investments it had not solved decades of market failure.

Mr Reed said “Government programmes by themselves are not the answer to these problems – for markets to grow, take hold and work, economies need not only flexible and responsive businesses, but socially responsible businesses.

Mr Reed said his Local Employment and Supply Chain (Duty of Care) Bill aims  to help local businesses grow, create more jobs, resulting in fewer outside contractors and increasing number of contracts available to the local supply chain.  But he stressed it was not meant to be anti competitive.  There would always be a need for certain skilled workers in some areas and the NHS was a shining example of this, he added.

Mr Reed told MPs that the bill was borne out of experiences in his own constituency with Sellafield employing 11,000 directly and a further 5,000 in the local supply chain with an annual budget of £1.3 billion – but only half is spent locally.  And he said it was “morally wrong” a few miles from the Thorpe plant  – the single largest earner in the British economy –there are pockets of severe inter – generational unemployment and worklessness.

The Bill will return to the Commons on October 16.

North West Evening Mail, p10, Wednesday June 24 2009