For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Labour candidate Anna Turley calls on Chancellor George Osborne to improve broadband services
HUNDREDS of North-East jobs could be at risk if the Government doesn't increase its support for the region's manufacturing and export industries, it has been claimed.
Anna Turley, Labour's prospective candidate for Redcar, says coalition ministers are stalling projects across Teesside due to their failure to introduce high-speed broadband and improved production facilities.
Ms Turley says Government's Enterprise Zones, including Teesport, Wilton, and Redcar's Kirkleatham Business Park, which houses engineering firm Darchem and chemicals company Johnson Matthey, are being hampered due to a “lack of joined-up thinking.”
She said the Enterprise Zones were key to the North-East's economy, but were being hindered by Chancellor George Osborne's failure to introduce super-fast broadband, which may not be brought in until 2015.
Ms Turley highlighted PD Ports, in Teesport, as a prime example of how North-East industry can flourish if given support.
The port imports goods for supermarkets Tesco and Asda, ships steel slab from Redcar-based SSI UK to Thailand and Turkey, and this week announced a deal to handle 3,000 pieces of furniture every week for Middlesbrough-based Barker and Stonehouse.
She said: “The availability of new broadband links are crucial, high-tech companies which everyone wants to attract need these connections as much as they need good roads and premises.
“Modern warehousing, such as the ASDA depot at Teesport, need fast and high capacity broadband to manage their stock control and despatch goods to shops.
“Up to the onset of the recession, logistics was a growth sector in this area, but it now it looks as if Government bumbling and delay could stall any revival of job creation, warehousing and distribution activity on Teesside.”
Ms Turley said the UK's 24 Enterprise Zones had fallen short of job targets across the UK, by creating just 1,700 posts out of its original 30,000 target.
She said: “This might look comic, but if it is true, then the promised investment in this region will be severely delayed or may never happen.
“If the development of these sites stall, then there will be only one culprit and the Chancellor should hang his head in shame.”