Letter from Parliament - Jim Dobbin MP
Date published: 01 June 2010
I begin my first letter from Westminster at the beginning of my fourth parliamentary term by thanking all those constituents who voted for me. I shall do my very best to do the right thing for all constituents in Heywood, Middleton, Bamford, Norden, Castleton, Brimrod, Oakenrod and Marland. I am at present searching for a suitable venue for local surgeries in the new areas so there is local access across the constituency.
The total electorate for this constituency is now 80,167. The surgeries will be advertised in the local media at the beginning of each month. The Labour vote in Parliamentary and local election across Greater Manchester was strong. Here in the Borough of Rochdale the Lib-Dems lost overall control and we now have a coalition Con-Dem council, a copy of the new Con-Dem Government.
I would like to pay tribute to Gordon Brown, not only for his dignified withdrawal from Government but also for his contribution nationally and internationally during his time as Chancellor and Prime Minster. History will remember Gordon Brown as a politician of great vision. His alleviation of third world debt and the International Finance Facility has enabled children all over Africa to have access to education and health provision, including vaccines against killer diseases like Aids and meningitis. He will be remembered for his leadership during this global financial crisis. Communities around the country have benefited from his anti-poverty strategy and pensioners will remember him for his stance on pensioner social justice.
The Con-Dem decisions so far are worrying with immediate cuts in the education capital program, cuts in the national security program and cuts in the police budget. Many Lib-Dems and Conservative members are unhappy with the coalition arrangement. However Labour needs to be a responsible opposition and support policies that are rational and fair and oppose policies that are regressive and unfair.
The Labour leadership contest is now underway and I am pleased to see a number of experienced and competent candidates have entered the contest. I have chosen to support Ed Balls because I feel his politics are similar to my own. He was Gordon Brown’s adviser and supported the minimum wage, tax credits, the pensioner free bus pass, the winter fuel allowance, free eye tests and investment in health education, police and the environment.
We now await the first publicised budget from George Osborne. I fear we shall see a reduction in every public sector area. This will have a negative effect on service delivery to local people across this constituency and will adversely affect private sector jobs which depend on public sector investment. Many economists are warning that too many public sector cuts too soon could send us into a double dip recession….be warned.
On Friday the 28th May I was delighted to attend the awards celebration for the 106 successful job applicants for the new Tesco store which will open soon in Middleton town centre. This has been a real partnership effort between the Council, Middleton township, Hopwood Hall College, Job centre Plus, Groundwork, The Shaw Trust, Tesco and many others. They are all to be congratulated.
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