Search

Labour minister's Yarmouth visit

PUBLISHED: 11:34 20 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 30 June 2010

LABOUR launched a defence of its regional record yesterday warning that Conservative plans on the economy risked pushing the East of England back into recession.

LABOUR launched a defence of its regional record yesterday warning that Conservative plans on the economy risked pushing the East of England back into recession.

The Tories last week pledged to scrap regional quangos such as the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), and give more powers to local councils to set housing targets and determine local priorities.

Like the Conservatives, Labour chose to launch their regional manifesto at the Financial Skills Academy in Norwich, but housing minister John Healey insisted there was a clear choice to make between the two parties and Tory plans would leave thousands of people in the lurch.

Mr Healey, who was joined by Norwich North and South candidates Charles Clarke and John Cook said the key to the regional manifesto were plans to support people in work, expand training and skills while 70,000 families in the region would be better off under the party's plans for a new “toddler tax credit” from 2012.

Labour also said that since the recession more than 18,000 home owners had received help meeting their mortgage payments after losing their jobs.

Mr Healey also reaffirmed the government's support for full dualling of the A11 and funding for housing growth including schemes such as the Rackheath eco-town.

“If the Conservatives scrap everything to do with the regions and pull down the shutters on development, it means many young people and many others in this region will be condemned to spiralling house prices and high private rents and longer housing waiting lists and that would put at risk the long term success of this region,” he said.

“The regional planning system isn't perfect, but what it does do is push hard the case for building the new homes that meet people's needs and aspirations.”

He said that EEDA had helped create jobs in bio-sciences and at Eastport in Great Yarmouth while scrapping it could “paralyse long-term investment and partnerships” built up in the region between the private and public sector in the last 13 years.

“That's the risk and that's the change which this region simply couldn't afford,” he added. “That's why we are launching this manifesto for the East of England.

“With any general election campaign, most of the main attention is on the leaders and the big national concerns, which is one reason we have published this East of England manifesto setting out the help for families and jobs in this region.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury