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Gordon has called on the Government to do more to tackle unemployment and under-employment.GM_PIC.jpg

Compared to this time last year, the unemployment rate in Blackpool South stood at 1,950, it now stands at 2,005 - an increase of 55 more claimants. 

He told the Blackpool Gazette: "The figures show that Blackpool is suffering far more than the national average in terms of the effects of austerity and the failure of the Government to re-energise the economy.

"The figures for young people in employment are slightly better than for this period last year but the bare data does not take into account the fact that for many, they do not have regular employment or that they experience zero hours contracts or not enough hours of work.

"The unemployment figures consistently underestimate the number of hours that many people of all ages work.

"The Government needs to look at stimulating the economy right now, particularly in terms of towns like Blackpool, not by waiting to announce measures in the autumn statement."

Gordon comments on latest unemployment numbers for Blackpool South

Gordon has called on the Government to do more to tackle unemployment and under-employment. Compared to this time last year, the unemployment rate in Blackpool South stood at 1,950, it...

Labour's announcement to restore maintenance grants and Educational Maintenance Allowances for disadvantaged students when in Government, would be a lifeline for thousands of young people across the Fylde, Gordon has said.Gordon.jpg

Speaking about the pledge to reinstate the maintenance grants for disadvantaged Higher Education students, the Tory Government scrapped earlier this year, he said: "I’m delighted we have been able to make this commitment this week. It is a beacon of hope to all those in the town going on to Higher Education or thinking about it.

"The figures I quoted when I led Labour’s opposition debate over the Government scrapping these grants in Parliament in January show that over half a million poorer students nationwide are losing out from their decision.

"Many of those students are doing degree courses at Further Education Colleges, like our own excellent Blackpool and Fylde College. Restoring the grant would benefit around 1500 students there, and encourage others to apply. Thousands of other students from Blackpool, many of them at universities in Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester and Salford as well as UCLAN would get the benefit too.

"Restoring the Educational Maintenance Allowance, which the Tories scrapped in 2011, and which helped 16-18 year olds from poorer families in Blackpool in full time education to boost their participation and aim for Higher Education, is the other part of this package. Research showed it helped those students get better grades and A levels and I know from my conversations with Blackpool teachers and students how badly it has been missed.

"A new EMA would benefit around three quarters of a million young people countrywide, and at a time when people across Blackpool are getting their A level results and other qualifications, it shows them we have a positive and fully costed strategy to help them get better jobs, skills and careers.

"It is fully costed at £2.4 billion from official figures. Restoring the grants to disadvantaged students and the EMA would be paid for by a 1.5 per cent rise in Corporation Tax paid by large businesses, which would raise nearly £3 million. It would reverse two of the most damaging, socially unfair education policies of this Government. Scrapping the grants has hit mature students too, like the married woman with two children from Blackpool who wrote to me that her grants had helped her to do a degree at UCLAN, having had ill health when younger and unable to study.

"These pledges would help both social mobility and the local economy in Blackpool for the reasons I’ve outlined. They will be part of the challenge that I and my colleagues will be throwing down to Theresa May’s new ministers when we debate their unfair new Universities Bill in Parliament next month."

You can sign Labour's petition on restoring EMA and Maintenance Grants by clicking here

Labour pledge to restore maintenance grants - “EMAs would be lifeline for Blackpool Students,” says Gordon

Labour's announcement to restore maintenance grants and Educational Maintenance Allowances for disadvantaged students when in Government, would be a lifeline for thousands of young people across the Fylde, Gordon has...

Gordon has accused the Tory Government of failing to protect local consumers in the wake of cuts to councils and their trading standards team. Headshot.jpg

Since 2010, the national spend for trading standards has fallen from £213 million to £124 million and in the last two years staff levels have fallen by 12%. Further research has also shown council budgets for tackling rouge traders has fallen to just £1.99 per a person.

Gordon said the Government were “running down” on consumer rights and “hampering” the good work of trading standards teams such as in Blackpool, who depend on the support from Government to back them up in the work they do.

He said: “Consumers in Blackpool and across the country are having their rights run down by this Tory Government. As a popular seaside town with millions of visitors each year, Blackpool is more prone than most to bogus traders selling counterfeit and unauthorised goods.

“Tim Coglan and the team at Blackpool Council do an excellent job in tacking these rouge sellers – however the cuts from Government to local trading standard teams such as ours is making their job more difficult and less able in their ability to protect residents and visitors alike.”

Following a recent wave of high-profile consumer safety scandals, including diesel emissions cheating at Volkswagen and injuries caused by exploding hoverboards, national trading standard officers have also criticised the Government for not doing enough to protect consumers.

Gordon echoed the words of Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standard Institute, who said: “We have a situation where trading standards teams in local councils are tasked with holding multi-million-pound firms to account, with just a handful of staff.”

Gordon added with the uncertainty caused by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, that instead of weakening consumer rights with yet more cuts, the Government should instead prioritise looking at ways to strengthen these rights.

Tory Government failing to protect Blackpool consumers with cuts to Trading Standards says Gordon

Gordon has accused the Tory Government of failing to protect local consumers in the wake of cuts to councils and their trading standards team. Since 2010, the national spend for...

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