Anna Turley MP

Fighting back for Redcar


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Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, today 26th August 2015, met Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton to demand that the government take more action to support the steel industry on Teesside amid warnings of cash flow problems at the SSI steel plant due to falling global prices.

Anna said:

“It is about time the government replaced words with action and showed its commitment to our steel industry and the jobs it sustains both in Teesside and across the country. I called an urgent meeting today with the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, James Wharton in order to discuss what support the steel industry needs from his government as a priority. 

“Whilst many of the external pressures on the industry are out of our control, there are steps the government can take to level the playing field between UK steelmakers and our main European competitors. Support for energy intensive industries has been slow to materialise when the French and German governments have been supporting their producers in this area for a number of years. Our government should also be taking action to support UK steel in areas such as business taxes and procurement where UK steel is also at a disadvantage.

“We have an excellent plant and committed workforce on Teesside and the enduring commitment of Thai-based SSI to invest in the plant is reassuring. However, the industry also needs government to play its part in helping to create resilience against a challenging global steel market. Where other countries are actively supporting their steel producers, our government do not appear to have the same enthusiasm for an active industrial policy. Steel is important to our region and should be a key part of the Northern Powerhouse. I asked the minister today to demonstrate that his government gets that.”

Redcar MP demands government action to support steel on Teesside

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, today 26th August 2015, met Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton to demand that the government take more action to support the steel industry on Teesside...

Dear Colleague
You should be receiving your ballot paper for the Labour Leadership election imminently. Several members have asked me my views on the leadership and who I am supporting so I thought I would set out my views in an email.

I am extremely keen, as I am sure you are, that we choose the right leader for the Labour Party who can be the next Prime Minister of our country. Because Labour can only help the people who need it the most when we are in power - we can achieve very little when we are shouting from the side-lines, watching from opposition as the Tories run riot.
You will have seen that I nominated Andy Burnham and am very proud to be supporting him. I have known Andy for over ten years - and have always been struck by his personal integrity, his bravery in taking on the big issues, and how our Labour values run through him. 


I realised Andy had true leadership potential when he called for the inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster after years of the establishment closing ranks. And I knew he understood the big challenges our society faces when he set out his bold vision for a National Care Service, on a par with Labour’s greatest achievement, our NHS.
Andy's manifesto is visionary and comprehensive, with big policy ideas such as scrapping university tuition fees, progressive renationalisation of the railways, re-regulation of buses, the revitalisation of comprehensive and vocational education, more social housing, and a National Health and Care Service.


I think it is the foundation of a real Labour vision that we can build on over the next 5 years and put to the British people in 2020, seeking to form the next Labour government.
When we started out on the leadership race, many people, including Members of Parliament, believed we needed to have a wide debate in the Labour Party, to hear a broad range of views, and the four candidates for Leader have provided that.
The time for debate is now over and we need to make a serious choice for the serious job ahead to get us back into government and better serve everyone in our country. We are the Labour Party and we have a responsibility to change the world, not protest about it. Andy Burnham is that serious choice - and as the latest data shows, he is the person the public believe most likely to win for Labour in 2020.
I will be giving Yvette Cooper my second preference as I have been impressed with her campaign and her commitment to issues like protecting Sure Starts and early years support. She made a strong speech this week about our responsibility to win back power when she challenged the idea that ‘power doesn’t matter provided our principals are intact. I dare you to tell that to the woman in tears because she can’t afford her bedroom tax arrears.’

I do hope you will give Andy your first preference vote - but if not, that you will give him your second. If you would like a chat with me about why I am backing Andy and giving Yvette my second preference, please drop me an e mail with your telephone number and I will call you.  

For Deputy Leader I am supporting Caroline Flint. She has been to Redcar on a number of occasions to help us campaign to win the seat back. Her life story means that she knows what it is like to need a Labour government, and her experience at all levels of the party - from local activist and local government to the Cabinet table. She is a hands-on constituency MP, a doorstep and community campaigner, a creative policy maker, a great performer in Parliament and someone who has always fought the corner for our party through the media.

Thank you for reading this.

Best wishes

Anna Turley
Your Labour and Co-operative MP for Redcar

Labour Leadership Election

Dear Colleague You should be receiving your ballot paper for the Labour Leadership election imminently. Several members have asked me my views on the leadership and who I am supporting so...

Responding to the withdrawal of the Klesch Group from pursuing the purchase of Tata Steel's Long Products Division, Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley said:

"There is a degree of relief that Gary Klesch has walked away from the deal given doubts over his commitment to steel making, however his analysis of the challenges facing British producers demonstrates that the government need to step up and commit to supporting our steel industry.

"I was shocked at the complacency of the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse in his response to the news when Mr Klesch is very clear that government inaction on cheap Chinese imports and high energy costs is causing problems for the industry. Klesch's observation that 'No one seems to care' is extremely concerning for such an important sector for Teesside with so many jobs and supply chain businesses relying on it. The government needs to start caring with a proper industrial strategy that secures a level playing field for British steel producers. They need to urgently follow through with the promised compensation for energy intensive industries which has failed to materialise and to back further EU anti-dumping measures so that UK steel is not at a disadvantage.

"If the Government is to deliver on the Northern Powerhouse they need to stop being complacent and commit to supporting British steel."

Anna Turley accuses Government of complacency on support for steel industry

Responding to the withdrawal of the Klesch Group from pursuing the purchase of Tata Steel's Long Products Division, Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley said:


The crossing was closed again for several hours on Friday, causing disruption to the town centre and delaying bus services.

I recently wrote to the Chief Executive of Network Rail about the timetable for the upgrade of the crossing and have now received a reply from the managing director of the route.

Network Rail say they have made a number of alterations to the crossing which include installing a new battery, motor and wheels and halving the size of the barrier slats (to reduce wind resistance). They are now in the process of designing a bespoke new barrier system for the crossing which they hope will be installed before Christmas. (Much earlier than the original date of 2018!)

As soon as an exact date is secured for the work to take place I will let you know.

Update on West Dyke Road Rail Crossing

The crossing was closed again for several hours on Friday, causing disruption to the town centre and delaying bus services. I recently wrote to the Chief Executive of Network Rail...

Hello everyone. Just to keep you updated - here is a summary of some of the things I have been up to in Parliament and in the constituency over the last few weeks. 

On Friday 3rd July I returned to speak to workers protesting at Wilton against wages being undercut on construction sites. We were joined by fellow Teesside MPs Tom Blenkinsop, Alex Cunningham and Ian Wright showing solidarity with the ‘Pay the Rate’ campaign.


Later I attended an event with BOC and SSI UK to celebrate the signing of a new 15-year supply deal between the two companies. An excellent agreement which shows a long term commitment to steelmaking on Teesside.


On the afternoon I visited Whale Hill Primary for a Q&A with pupils. They were fantastic children and asked some very thoughtful questions about politics and being an MP, voting and elections, and how to make the world a better place. Great to see the teaching staff organising these debates.


I then went to Eston Labour Club where I was helping constituents with a range of problems at one of my regular advice surgeries.

On Saturday 4th it was fantastic to have the British Landsailing Championships on our beach for Redcar Regatta – I popped down to see them and was amazed at the speed they go. It's great to see national events like this happening at Redcar and bringing people from around the country to our town.


Then I was really pleased to be at the unveiling of a plaque at Roseberry library to commemorate the former Royal Naval Air Service station that was on the site between 1915 and 1919 with veterans and cadets.


Later I joined volunteers including Jacob, one of the candidates for the Youth Parliament, at Tesco on West Dyke Road collecting tins for the 6 Trussell Trust foodbanks a week in Redcar.


At Redcar Cricket Club that evening I watched young people from the Topline Performing Arts group give some fantastic performances to the latest tunes (and some Disney classics which I enjoyed!). I was really proud to present their awards. Redcar’s got talent!

Monday 6th:

I was in the chamber for an emergency debate on the Government’s proposals for English Votes for English Laws. The Tories have tried to push through what are complex changes to the way Parliament deals with legislation without sufficient scrutiny in an attempt to manufacture a larger majority for themselves. It turned into a shambles with even their own MPs criticising the handling of the matter and they have been forced to rethink their plans.

I also attended a briefing from Age UK on support for older people, and was very keen to discuss the issue of dementia which affects a lot of constituents and their families.

Tuesday 7th:

In the morning I attended a policy briefing on Steel and Petrochemicals with the House of Commons Library, both crucial industries in the constituency.

I spent some time preparing for the opposition day debate on tax credits which happened later in the afternoon. Waited a long while to get in, and time cut down again, but I’m learning that's par for the course here! In the speech I gave I shared one of many letters I received from constituents concerned about the impact of the Government’s plans to cut tax credits. You can watch it here.

Wednesday 8th was Budget day. The first majority Tory Budget for nearly two decades was as bad as we expected. Whilst they listened to us on raising the minimum wage, calling it a ‘living wage’ when it is nothing of the sort is a con-trick! And as expected they are cutting back on tax credit support at a rate which hits low income families more than the gains from higher wages. The North East wasn’t even mentioned – so much for supporting the Northern Powerhouse!

On the afternoon I met with Cancer Research UK to hear about their priorities and what they would like to see from policy makers. In Redcar there are around 850 cancer cases per year and around 440 cancer deaths – it is vital we keep supporting lifesaving research to get these numbers down.


Later I was on ITV News responding to the Budget and explaining how it will hit low income families in Teesside.

On Thursday 9th I had the opportunity to speak in the chamber in the Budget debate where I spoke about the failure of the chancellor’s Budget to do anything for families in Redcar and Cleveland. It was a smoke and mirrors Budget, giving with one hand and taking even more away with the other. You can watch my speech here.

On Friday 9th I was back home in the constituency where I attended the opening of the wonderful new play area at Kirkleatham Museum – it was lovely to see so many children enjoying it.


Then I went to visit the Construction Skills Academy at Marske where I met Rob Johnson who is competing to be the best young plasterer at the WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015, representing the UK. It was fantastic to meet Rob, he is an inspiration to future generations of the UK’s workforce. Keep your fingers crossed for him in Brazil!


On the afternoon I met with SITA Sembcorp to raise the concerns of local construction workers and to press them on the need to undertake an audit of wages so they can demonstrate their claim that industry rates are being paid.

I held another of my regular advice surgeries on Saturday 11th, this time in Marske. Bedroom tax, horses, tax credits and social care were just some of the issues raised by residents.

It was great to catch up with all the teams from Redcar Newmarket FC for their pre-season photos. I am very proud to be their Honorary President.

It was then fun to open the Primrose Court Summer fete in South Bank on the afternoon. It's a lovely care home on Normanby Road and the residents seemed to enjoy the fete.


Sunday 12th I attended the Labour Leadership and Deputy Leadership hustings in Newcastle and Middlesbrough. Both were well attended and Andy Burnham, the candidate I am supporting, showed real passion and determination to take the fight to the Tories and not let them off the hook. I was really impressed with Caroline Flint too who I am supporting for Deputy Leader.

Monday 13th:

After travelling down to London, I spent the afternoon dealing with lots correspondence. People write to me with such a wide variety of issues. I received over 300 letters asking me to oppose any changes to the fox hunting laws. Don't worry – I will be opposing any Tory attempts to bring it back!

Tuesday 14th:

I started the day at a great session with Denis Skinner MP on how to use the House of Commons chamber effectively – learning from the master!

I then met representatives from Unison to discuss the scandalous conditions for care workers who often earn less than the minimum wage because of the terms and conditions they work. I want to take this up as a national campaign and discussed working with them on this.

Later I had the first official meeting of the Home Affairs Select Committee where we were examining the recent immigration situation in Calais, interviewing the Immigration Minister and officials from various organisations relating to border security at the port.

On Wednesday 15th our steel industry was the topic of the day.

I was proud to support the Charter for Sustainable British Steel which aims to promote the use of sustainable steel in infrastructure projects in an attempt to combat the growing threat from non-EU imports of carbon steel reinforcement. The latter can come from unsustainable sources and is sold at a price which undermines sustainable producers in the UK.


I also attended an excellent Westminster Hall debate on the future of the steel industry in the UK called by Tom Blenkinsop MP. This was a good opportunity to press the government on its commitment to steel.

At Prime Minister’s Questions I tried again in the ballot but still no luck! Harriet Harman, as Acting Leader of the Opposition, questioned Cameron on the new figures showing a drop in employment and on the expert verdict that the minimum wage increase will not make up for tax credit cuts.

On the afternoon it was great to meet with Tees Valley council leaders and MPs to discuss devolution and the powers we would like to see given to Teesside in the new Combined Authority.


At the AGM of the Co-operative Group of MPs I was pleased to be elected as a vice chair. I look forward to helping to promote co-operative values and ideas in Parliament. It was also really interesting to learn about the Fair Tax Mark – an accreditation for businesses who are proud to pay their tax.

I also met the charity Step Change to discuss the appalling cycles of debt suffered by many constituents and how they can help people deal with financial problems. If you or anyone you know is drowning with debt from a number of sources, please get in touch with my office and we can refer you to this charity who can help.

Later I met with Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity, to hear about their Destination Cure campaign. With new figures showing that one in three transplant patients die within a year of their treatment it is vital the government does all it can to support the recruitment of donors, boost scientific research, and provide long term care for patients. If you are aged 16-30 and in good health you can become a life saver so please consider joining the register.


Thursday 16th:

Then the long journey back to Redcar after a busy few days in parliament!

Friday 17th

Back home in the constituency, it was good to catch up with Iain Sim, Chief Executive of Coast and Country. We discussed the impact of the Budget and the Welfare Bill on tenants and housing associations.

I met the head of the National Citizen’s Programme to discuss some of the amazing social action projects they want to undertake in the community. They have around 60 young people looking to do good things so if you know of a project that these young people could get involved in, let me know.

I spent the afternoon going through constituency casework before visiting Redcar Rugby Club to find out about all the great things they are doing for the community.

This week…

On Monday our full constituency office team started! Thanks for your patience as we have been settling in and getting everything in place. There has been a large volume of correspondence received since the election and we are working through it so please bear with us.


After doing some constituency casework with my new team I travelled back down to Westminster.

In the evening we had the vote on the Government’s Welfare and Work Bill. We only had four hours to debate this so I did not get my chance to speak before I and the rest of the Parliamentary Labour Party in its entirety, united, voted AGAINST the Bill by tabling a Reasoned Amendment setting out the parts of the Bill which we oppose. You can read more about this vote in an earlier post on my site.

On Tuesday after several engagements in the morning I spent the afternoon in Home Affairs Select Committee. This week we were dealing with counter-radicalisation and the work of the Home Secretary. I questioned Theresa May on cuts to the policing budget, knife crime and modern slavery.

Yesterday was the start of the summer recess which is when Parliament rises, our duties in Westminster stop for several weeks and we return home to our constituencies to focus on work there.

After a very intense couple of months since the election, I am really looking forward to being back home in Redcar full time for a while. I will be spending my time dealing with casework, meeting residents, visiting organisations and community groups and will be out door-knocking again too. If you think I can help you in any way or have an event you would like me to attend, please contact my office.

Another long post but I had lots to update you on! I am keen to keep in touch as often as I can so you know how my time representing you is being spent. I hope you are all enjoying the summer!

Westminster Report - July 2015

Hello everyone. Just to keep you updated - here is a summary of some of the things I have been up to in Parliament and in the constituency over the...

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