Stockton and the North East as a whole has suffered most under the Tory-led government, with dramatic cuts in jobs and real wages, and rises in unemployment amongst our young people and unfair zero-hour contracts.
A Labour council for Stockton on Tees will continue to fight for local people. We will work with businesses and other bodies to attract new employers and make the case for our borough as the place to invest.
We must fight to keep and grow our powerhouse industrial sector in the face of global competition. A skilled workforce, good conditions to do business and live, and local authorities that are committed to the sector are vital. We know that the region as a whole must work together to make the case for the Tees Valley to these multinational companies and we will do that as a council, through Tees Valley Unlimited and a Combined Authority.
At the same time, we know Stockton needs more small businesses and we must help local people start up and expand here.
And we must fight to give our young people the decent opportunities to learn and work that the Coalition government is cruelly denying them.
We pledge to:
• Create more than 1,000 new jobs through more businesses locating to Northshore and Stockton Town Centre
• Secure 2,500 jobs including a major apprenticeship programme for young people, attracting new green tech businesses, continuing to regenerate town and neighbourhood centres, and supporting the decarbonisation of our vital petro-chemical and process sectors
• Create more than 400 proper apprenticeships and traineeships in local industry and businesses, within Stockton Council and other employers, to give young people more opportunities and essential skills for their futures
• Further develop Stockton Town Centre, including bringing The Globe back into use as one of the most important live venues in the region; attracting a new hotel; supporting new businesses by continuing the 50% business rate reduction for previously empty properties; and helping start-up retailers through the Enterprise Arcade
• Embrace new technologies and opportunities by supportive planning and economic development policies
• Develop a potential large-scale industrial heating network that is unique in the UK, to cut energy costs in large buildings and factories, by using waste heat and energy from our energy-intensive industries
• Continue to improve all our town centres and work with partners to rejuvenate neigbourhood shopping centres
• Ensure all council contracts and permitted housing development includes a minimum of 20% local people employed to deliver the work
• Help develop and grow more new small businesses especially in the technology and service sectors through dedicated Economic Development support from Stockton Council and developing facilities such as the new Innovation Centre on Northshore
• Bring business, FE and Sixth Form colleges, universities and schools together so education and training on offer to people of all ages matches what local industry needs and gives young people the chance to flourish in good local jobs
• Open and support the new Skills Academy in Billingham, giving young people the chance to learn vocational skills and gain qualifications leading to jobs and long term careers
• Support Tees Valley Unlimited in its role of attracting new employers into the area, and winning major government, European and private sector investment
• Use the powers of a new Combined Authority to provide better transport, including options for train travel around, to, and from, the Tees Valley