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The great thing about today’s referendum is that everyone gets to have their say and each person’s vote counts the same as another's, but I wanted to set out why I personally voted to remain part of the European Union.'

For our region, the biggest issue at stake in this referendum is the local economy and thousands of skilled jobs reliant on Europe. Brexit will put these and Teesside’s recovery at risk.

Our area has been devastated recently by the closure of SSI and the loss of over 175 years of steel making. On top of job losses at Boulby Potash and Air Products, three thousand jobs were lost overnight at the works, with many more in the wider community – everyone from window cleaners to child minders has been affected in some way.

Some people have sought to channel the justified anger and sense of betrayal that we feel against Europe, but that would result in us ‘cutting off our nose to spite our face’ by hitting our remaining industries.

At the time the government said they couldn't intervene to save SSI due to European State Aid rules. We knew that wasn't the case, and even gained confirmation of this from the European Commission. The fact that the government is now discussing a state loan of hundreds of millions of pounds to stop Tata’s UK business closing shows that Europe was not the barrier. Our own government was.

The Tory government have also blocked the EU from implementing tougher action against cheap Chinese steel which would have given some protection to the UK steel industry. Then, following the closure of Redcar steelworks, refused to apply for support from the £500 million European Globalisation Adjustment Fund which is available to areas like ours which have been hit by large scale redundancies.

Europe did not refuse to help our area; our own government did.

I recognise the frustration people have with today’s economic pressures on things like jobs, wages and affordable housing. Our world is more globally linked than ever before, and in Redcar & Cleveland we have been at the sharp end when decisions made in China affected local industry. But leaving Europe will not make these problems go away. As frustrating as it is, we can't shut ourselves off from these challenges. In fact, we will have even less control over them if we leave Europe because they are issues best tackled by working with other countries.

We now have to rebuild our economy on Teesside. This means getting inward investment, growing small and medium enterprises and regenerating our area. In the Redcar constituency, we have two major assets which are vital to our economic recovery. Both the Teesport and Wilton International benefit hugely from access to the European Union.

Across our region, many more businesses like Nissan, Hitachi and Nifco benefit from open access to the European market. A vote to leave will mean several years of instability and uncertainty, with businesses delaying investment decisions or taking their work elsewhere. In fact, the North East Process Industry Cluster joined business leaders from across the region to say that leaving the EU would deter investment, threaten jobs and put the North East economy at risk.

There are many other projects, such as the Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park, which rely on EU funding, and many local businesses that rely on exports to the single market. Our region is a net recipient of EU funds and we are entitled to more European funds than any other English region. The European Social Fund alone paid £157million into the North East between 2007 and 2013, and we are due £726million from the EU over the next five years. Support we would not receive if a Tory government had control of the funding pot.

The EU has also kept people safe at work and protects our rights as a consumer. It protects paid leave (before EU membership we had no right to paid holiday), maternity rights and equal rights for agency workers. A Tory government in a Britain outside of Europe would soon get to work cutting back these protections.

We have a huge job on to rebuild our local economy and regenerate our area, but the EU has a vital role to play in this. Leaving would be a huge risk to take. We are far stronger and greater as a country by being in Europe and leading on tackling the problems we all face. I urge you to join me in voting Remain today.

Why I am voting to Remain in the European Union

The great thing about today’s referendum is that everyone gets to have their say and each person’s vote counts the same as another's, but I wanted to set out why...

Anna_Turley_Gertrude_Bell_Exhibition_Newcastle_University.jpg

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has come together with campaigners, heritage organisations, and academics to launch a bid to save Red Barns from disrepair and to bring the building back to life as a community resource.

The Grade II* listed building at the heart of Redcar is the former home of Gertrude Bell, the renowned twentieth century explorer, mountaineer, archaeologist and diplomat.

In her career Gertrude became highly influential to British policymaking and played a major role in establishing and helping to administer the modern state of Iraq. She was given an immense amount of diplomatic power for a woman at the time.

The building itself, designed by acclaimed 19th century architect Philip Webb, also has architectural significance as it is one of the most important remaining examples of Arts and Crafts architecture in North East England.

It was commissioned by Bell's father, Sir Hugh Bell, a local industrialist whose enterprise included a steelworks in Middlesbrough.

Red Barns, which has had many uses over the years including being a pub and hotel, has lain empty in recent years and fallen into a worrying state of disrepair.

Anna has launched a community campaign, including an application to the government’s Coastal Communities Fund, to purchase and renovate Red Barns to create a permanent museum and learning centre to help redevelop the local economy and attract tourism. She is keen to hear from anyone with thoughts and ideas on the campaign.

Anna said:

"Red Barns has huge significance to the local area and it is tragic that such a beautiful building with so much history has deteriorated into such a poor state.
Our proposal to save it and turn it into a museum and learning resource would allow a local venue for the display of exhibitions akin to the current Gertrude Bell display and Kirkleatham and help drive the growth of local culture and tourism.
We are in talks with the private owners who, whilst having planning permission to convert the building into flats, are sympathetic to the building's relevance to the community.
If anyone is interested in getting involved with this project, please do get in touch. We have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/saveredbarns/ where you can contact the team directly."

Local ward councillor Neil Baldwin, who first raised the idea of rescuing the building, welcomed the campaign:

"This fantastic building is in urgent need of repair and I wanted to do something to save it from further damage, regenerate the site and bring it back into use.
Recognising that this venture needed more clout, I met with Anna who was on the same page and has helped to drive the idea forward.
I hope we can see Red Barns restored to its former glory and provide a great facility for our area."

The campaign is currently engaging with various organisations to develop the proposal, including Newcastle University – Dr. Mark Jackson, Lecturer in Archaeology and manager of the Gertrude Bell Photographic Archive said:

“As a girl Gertrude Bell was educated at Red Barns – full of energy and determination fostered at home - she grew up to be a woman of considerable international influence. A great believer in the value of heritage for people, Gertrude worked tirelessly to protect ancient buildings and to establish museums and libraries. She and her family were true pioneers. Given its history and significance, it seems very fitting that we should all join with the community in Redcar to help restore the Bell family home for the future.”

Community bid to save former Redcar home of Gertrude Bell

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has come together with campaigners, heritage organisations, and academics to launch a bid to save Red Barns from disrepair and to bring the building...

Responding to the release of Michael Heseltine’s report into the regeneration of Teesside, Labour MP for Redcar Anna Turley said:

“Having read Heseltine’s report and heard his interview on Radio 4 this morning, I am bitterly disappointed.

My expectations were low given his earlier comments about it being a good time for steelworkers to lose their jobs and his admission, in his (only) meeting with Teesside MPs that he came with no power or money. However, I was willing to listen to his ideas given that he has the ear of government ministers. I will not play politics if someone has something meaningful to offer Teesside.

The report, however, is paper thin, containing virtually nothing of real substance and represents a missed opportunity for the government to have tried to repair some of the damage done to our local economy and to people's livelihoods. What's more, the tone of Heseltine’s radio interview suggests to me that he and his colleagues still don't understand the reality of the devastating impact on people's lives and on our local economy. For example, his claim that unemployment is lower than before the steelworks shut is manifestly untrue.

A positive point is the previously-announced South Tees Development Corporation which has an important role to play in the regeneration of the former SSI site. It is vital that this site is used to unlock opportunities for local jobs and economic regeneration, both in the immediate recovery of the site and in finding a longer term use for it.

I also welcome the recognition of much needed improvements in road and rail infrastructure, although none of the points are new and an opportunity has been missed for concrete proposals for the airport.

The report also seems to be quite supportive of Carbon Capture and Storage which has real potential for Teesside. However, this programme was cut by the government so Heseltine’s enthusiasm seems to be at odds with the government’s position.

I am bitterly disappointed that after six months, there is not more real, practical action that could be undertaken.

Some of the things I would have liked to see are:

  • Tax breaks for new businesses to incentivise new start-ups. For example, those receiving a start-up loan from the SSI Taskforce funding have had to pay 20% tax on it.
  • Cuts to business rates – the Treasury should agree to business rate reductions in the Tees Valley to stimulate economic recovery.
  • Investment in research and development and establish a steel ‘catapult’ – investing in the great R&D facility we have at the Materials Processing Institute in South Bank to make Teesside the national leader in steel development.
  • A regional Future Job Fund – the combined authority should be funded by government to establish a Tees Valley-wide job creation body, along the lines of the highly successful national Future Jobs Fund that was cut in 2010 and building on the SSI Jobs & Skills Fund
  • A Teesside Expo – a Great Exhibition of Teesside to showcase our industrial heritage and future opportunities, to help drive global investment and raise our international profile
  • Government jobs in the Tees Valley – there should  be support for moving Whitehall jobs out of London to the regions, not removing jobs such as those lost with HMRC
  • A firm commitment to a Carbon Capture and Storage programme on Teesside.
  • A regional bank established to support SMEs in the Tees Valley

It is also my view that the key to our prosperity is through our EU membership. We stand a far better chance of inward investment from overseas if we maintain our position as a gateway to Europe. It is our access to the single market which attracts major companies like Hitachi, Nissan and Nifco to invest in our area, with the subsequent supply-chain opportunities. I am pleased Heseltine recognised the threat of Brexit to the economy today, it is just a shame the Northern Powerhouse Minister is still prepared to take this risk.

Today’s report must not be an opportunity for the Conservative Government to say they have ‘sorted the Teesside problem’, tick the box and move on. Our recovery is going to take time and hard work. We need the government to put its shoulder to the wheel and that means investment and support over many years. This report must be the beginning, not the end.”

Heseltine's report must be the beginning, not the end, of Teesside’s revival

Responding to the release of Michael Heseltine’s report into the regeneration of Teesside, Labour MP for Redcar Anna Turley said:

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has today welcomed the news that the sale of Tata’s Long Products Division to Greybull Capital has been completed, and has said the focus must now be on ensuring the long term future of the sites on Teesside.

The sale includes Teesside Beam Mill at Lackenby and the Skinningrove site, as well as sites in Scunthorpe, York and Workington, which will now operate under the British Steel brand.

Anna said:

“After a very turbulent time for the steel industry, particularly on Teesside, this deal is welcome news and will be a relief for the workforce who will have spent many months worrying about the future of their jobs.

This is a successful business with a highly skilled workforce producing high quality steel products and the priority must now be to ensure this a sustainable deal which will secure jobs on Teesside for the long term.

The workforce have demonstrated their dedication and hard work throughout the process, agreeing to a temporary wage cut to help the business. The Government must now play their part to help the industry weather the current storm in the global market.“

Greybull deal gives Teesside steel a future. We must now ensure jobs are futureproof

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has today welcomed the news that the sale of Tata’s Long Products Division to Greybull Capital has been completed, and has said the focus...

The developer behind the proposals to build 400 homes on land next to Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park has now submitted the formal planning application to Redcar & Cleveland Planning Committee and residents have until 24th June 2016 to submit comments.

The application is available for viewing here.

Over 1700 people have signed the petition so far which demonstrates the clear strength of feeling in the community against this development on our beloved hills. However, whilst the petition is important, it is not enough to demonstrate the opposition of the local community to this development.

Under the planning system, we need as many people as possible to submit individual, formal objections to the planning committee.

The committee have to make decisions according to planning law so the strongest points to make are those on the environmental impact. For example:

  • This is a green field site directly next to Flatts Lane Country Park and is part of an important wildlife habitat home to animals which include deer and Great Crested Newts.
  • The open green space is an important buffer zone separating the Country Park from the A174 and the urban development of Teesside beyond.
  • The A174 is a long established boundary to large scale housing development and this barrier must not be breached, otherwise there could be a domino effect resulting in housing all the way along the hillside

Other issues such as the pressure on local infrastructure like schools, doctors surgeries and the extra traffic congestion are still important to mention, but in terms of planning guidelines these are secondary to the above.

I have copied my objection letter below for your information.

To submit your own comments you can either click on the link to the council site and then on the "Comment on this application" button.

Alternatively, you can email planning_admin@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk or write to Development Management Section, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Redcar and Cleveland House, Kirkleatham Street, Redcar, Yorkshire TS10 1RT

Remember to include your name, address, contact details and the Planning Application Reference number.

Thanks once again for your support and please make sure you submit an objection before the consultation process closes.

I will also be submitting the petition to the council shortly.

 


COPY OF PLANNING OBJECTION 

31st May 2016

 

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Re: OBJECTION TO PLANNING APPLICATION (R/2016/0326/OOM)

I submit this objection as the Member of Parliament for Redcar and as a resident of Redcar & Cleveland Borough.

I believe housing development on this site would have a detrimental impact on the neighbouring Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park and would be a visual blot on the landscape of Eston Hills. My reasons are as follows:

1) The site in question is open green land, directly adjacent to the Woodland Country Park. The whole area is an important wildlife habitat, home to many animals including Roe Deer who are often seen grazing on the land. Even the documents submitted by the applicant regarding the environmental and wild life statement, in several sections, identify threats to local colonies of wild life, including colonies of Great Crested Newts. The open countryside between the park and the motorway is vital to the conserving this wildlife and maintaining the integrity of the woodland.

Building 400 houses in the immediate vicinity of the park, with the consequential pressures that come with such development like traffic, would have a disastrous impact on the environment here. These effects would not be negated by the investment into the park being promised by the developer because urban development by its very nature is disruptive and the consequential pressures permanent. 

As well as being a wildlife habitat, the area is well used by dog walkers and the public, offering a rural haven of open space away from urbanised Teesside. Housing development here is a threat to a much valued community space.

2)  The A174 Parkway is long established as a natural barrier to housing development, separating the rural Eston Hills and country park from the urban settlements of Teesside. Since the Teesside Survey and Plan of 1968, County level structure plans, successive local plans, the Regional Spatial Strategy and the existing Local Development Framework, the A174 has been a recognised and defined boundary to large scale housing development. This principle must be respected as breaching it could open the floodgates for more development along the hillside down to Wilton Village - Teesside's "Green Spine".

The recent decision by the Government Inspectorate to approve development at Longbank Farm at Ormesby flew in the face of the Council planning committee and substantial objections from the local community. When you consider the Ormesby development, further housing development in this location would have a huge negative impact on the environment of the whole of the Eston Hills.

Moreover, due to the elevation of the site, I believe development here would be a visual blot on the landscape of the Northern fringe of the Eston Hills. The hillside is appreciated and valued by residents across Teesside and is a significant environmental feature of the area. Housing development higher than the A174 will severely erode the distinctiveness of Eston Hills.

3) Whilst I recognise the need for more housing in the Borough to meet the needs of a growing population, there are many sites, especially brownfield sites which are much more appropriate for development. Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s Local Plan, which is currently out for consultation, does not designate this site for development. In fact, the land has never been part of any local plan or local development framework for our urban area, with development ending at the A174. It is possible for the housing needs of the Borough to be met without building on open countryside on our hillside.

In addition, to the reasons outlined above, I also have concerns about the impact of this development on the existing infrastructure in the area. 400 houses would generate in excess of 1000 residents, which would increase the pressures on schools, doctor’s surgeries, and the local road infrastructure.

In conclusion, I believe this site is not appropriate for development and the proposals would have a detrimental impact on the local environment, the integrity of Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park, and would be a threat to the unique character of Eston Hills.

I would also refer to the online petition against the development which, at the time of writing, has 1,709 signatures, clearly demonstrating the strength of opposition in the local community to this development.

Lastly, should the planning application be subsequently rejected by the Council Planning Committee and the applicant exercises the right to appeal, I would ask that due to the significance of the application to the overall area of the Eston Hills that any such appeal should be by public inquiry and not by written representations.

Yours Sincerely,

Anna Turley

Member of Parliament for Redcar

10 Milbank Terrace, Redcar, TS10 1ED

01642 485138

 

Update on housing proposal at Flatts Lane Country Park

The developer behind the proposals to build 400 homes on land next to Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park has now submitted the formal planning application to Redcar & Cleveland Planning...


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