Tuesday, January 27, 2009

5,000 businesses to be surveyed by Lib Dems in the North East

Lib Dems in the North East have launched a region wide small business survey, in which 5,000 small businesses in the region will be asked their views on the recession and the extent of the problems they feel they are likely to face in 2009.

The Survey was launched from ‘Lynchgate News’, a small business owned by John McClurey in Gateshead, with Fiona Hall MEP, Cllr John Shipley and Cllr Carol Woods attending.

Cllr John Shipley explained what Newcastle City Council are doing to help businesses out of trouble. "Supporting small businesses is critically important during a recession. Newcastle City Council is paying invoices more quickly to increase the cash flow of small businesses.

"We are also publicising heavily the existence of small business rate relief because we reckon £1million is unclaimed in Newcastle."

Fiona Hall, who has helped many local small North East businesses in her role as an MEP said, "This survey gives us the opportunity to speak with local small businesses face to face and hear firsthand their business concerns for the coming year.

"Small businesses are the heart and soul of the British economy, but they could also be one of the heaviest casualties should the recession be long and drawn out. We will be presenting our findings to the Government, so they can take evidence-based action to help these businesses stay afloat in 2009."

Cllr Carol Woods, who runs her own small business in Durham, and who has been conducting her own Small Business Survey in Durham said: "Having spoken to about 20 small businesses on Friday, it is obvious that the Government needs to do more to help businesses through this economic crisis."

The survey will be carried out during February and the overall results will be published in March.
You can see the video on the launch on: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=sPUpGbGOPrg
Photo: Fiona Hall MEP, Newcastle City Council Leader John Shipley and Carol Woods, Parliamentary Spokesman for Durham City, launch the small business survey in Gateshead.

European boost for campaign against Path Head

Polish Euro MP, Marcin Libicki, who is Chairman of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament, is to visit Path Head landfill site on Wednesday 28 January 2009 at the invitation of North East Lib Dem MEP Fiona Hall.

In 2005, Residents against Rubbish submitted a petition to the European Parliament with the help of Fiona Hall MEP, fighting plans to use the former quarry as a landfill waste dump. Since then, landfill site operator SITA UK has been found in breach of four conditions of its operating licence.

Following an invitation from Fiona Hall MEP in September 2008, Mr Libicki will visit the site and meet with local residents, SITA managers and councillors and officials of Gateshead Council, in order to further the European Parliament committee’s investigation.
Pictured above: Fiona Hall MEP meets local councillors and residents outside Path Head in December 2008.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Nissan job losses a serious blow to the North East

The announcement that Nissan are to make 1200 workers redundant has sparked urgent calls from local Lib Dems to the government to help the North East economy.

Fiona Hall Lib Dem Member of the European Parliament for the North East said, “Nissan’s announcement is a serious blow for one of the North East’s biggest private employers and a shock for one of Europe’s most productive car plants.

“It is now important that the government provides the right kind of support to the North East’s car industry - which is still a vibrant and dynamic part of our regional economy, as well as to those workers who have today found themselves without jobs.

“We are pressing for training packages and investment in big projects such as improvements to the A1 and the East Coast rail line to boost job opportunities.

“The recent announcement by Nissan parts supplier Unipres that they are losing 300 jobs, there is a long struggle ahead for car manufacturing in the North East.”

Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats said, “This will be devastating news for the North East.

“The regularity and scale at which job losses are now being announced show just how serious a recession we are now in.

“The Government must act quickly to give support and training to those affected so they are able to find new jobs as soon as possible.”