I was recently asked by a constituent what my top three priorities are for Motherwell and Wishaw. To make sure that mine are the same as my constituents I decided to ask them what they thought. I was delighted by the number of people who replied. Westminster priorities are fighting the Tories austerity agenda, lowering unemployment and fighting against the exorbitant cost of Trident renewal. The main local issues are concerns about Wishaw and Motherwell Town Centres, anti-social behaviour, housing, education and health. I have, therefore, written to Paul Jukes, the new Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council to let him know what the people in Motherwell and Wishaw want him to focus on.
I spoke in the Westminster debate on steel as part of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Steel and related metals. I called on the UK Government to do everything it could to help the steel sector weather the global downturn in steel sales and to help with the much higher energy costs in the UK. Other European governments have helped their own steel industry. The Italian government, for example, has temporarily nationalised a steel plant to help it survive these tough economic times. The closure of the Redcar plant is testament to this Tory Government’s lack of commitment to this vital industry. “State aid rules must not be broken”………. is their mantra. They want to blame European rules for their failure to act.
During this Parliamentary Recess I have visited local company Enewall in Netherton to see the plant for myself. This local company has a national profile in the building industry and is working hard to secure new contracts in the building sector and to bring security to their more than fifty employeees. I attended a roadshow organised by the Scottish Women’s Convension in Hamilton along with Angela Crawley and Margaret Ferrier, both SNP MPs. I was also happy to join a number of women including the First Minister, SNP and Labour Party politicians to raise funds for Women’s Aid.