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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:55 pm on 23rd March 2011.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 4:55 pm, 23rd March 2011

No, I want to carry on making the point about why there is a real need in Yorkshire and, in particular, the Humber to grow the economy. The measures that have been taken are not helping. The result of all that money being taken out of my city is that construction jobs are going and we shall not have the training or the apprenticeships that the Chancellor has talked about. For the first time, we have seen compulsory redundancies at BAE Systems, a major private sector employer just outside Hull on which many of my constituents rely for skilled jobs. It is a place where people want to work, but private sector jobs are being lost there.

The abolition of the regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward, is a huge loss to the region and to the building up of the regional economy. The coalition has introduced local enterprise partnerships to assist regeneration. We all agree that we need to regenerate areas such as East Yorkshire and the Humber, and Yorkshire Forward was doing a very good job of building up the economy. The Government’s answer was to remove the RDA and create a regional growth fund. Now, whenever a question is raised about where funding can be accessed, we are told to go to the regional growth fund. The housing pathfinder has been scrapped, and the Prime Minister told my hon. Friend Karl Turner to go to the regional growth fund for money. It seems to me that the fund must already have been spent about 100 times over. It is just ridiculous.