Taunton Labour Candidate Welcomes Enterprise Funding Announcement

Neil Guild
” Only Labour is serious about unleashing the potential of our cities and regions “Taunton PPC Neil Guild

Neil Guild, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Deane, responding to the announcement of funding for Taunton Deane from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal said: “I welcome the announcement of £4.6 million over two years towards the improvement of Taunton’s train station and a further £1 million investment in Somerset College. This funding will make a real difference in the north of Taunton and hopefully improve access to and use of the long vacant Firepool site in the heart of our town.”

“While welcoming this additional funding to Taunton Deane it is apparent that the government’s approach to regional development lacks ambition. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) remain an ineffective substitute for the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) they replaced.

“It has also become apparent that only 1 in 5 of the schemes submitted as part of the LEP bid has actually received funding. The impression is given of an ad-hoc, shopping list approach that fails to provide a joined up and long term vision for the South West region.”

 Government’s ‘Timid approach’ to development in the regions

“The weakness of the government’s timid approach to development in the English regions is why the Labour party is instead proposing a more ambitious programme of empowering combined authorities of city and county regions.

“Labour will give these regions the power to keep any additional business rates income they can generate and use it to invest locally in measures to boost growth, such as new housing and infrastructure, and to give local workers the skills and training they need to succeed. This would amount to an extra £30 billion in local hands by the end of the next parliament if Labour are elected in 2015.

“Labour would also give these combined authorities control over the adult skills budget for vocational and college based training. This will allow local leaders in regional authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to set the priorities for and drive further education provision in their area. This is in addition to Labour’s plans to give employers a greater say over apprenticeship funding and standards, in return for increasing the number of high quality apprenticeships in their sectors and supply chains.

“Only Labour is serious about unleashing the potential of our cities and regions so they can be the drivers of economic growth and ensure an economic recovery for the whole UK not just the South East.”



For further information contact:

Neil Guild, Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Deane, on 07950700872


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