Alec’s Plan for Elmet & Rothwell

More good jobs and stronger wages

Unemployment in Elmet & Rothwell fell 60% between 2010 and 2015, with more jobs created in Yorkshire during 2014/15 than in the whole of France.

Britain now has the fastest growing economy in the western world thanks to the Government’s long-term economic plan.

Over 1,000 new jobs are created every day as businesses are feeling the benefits of economic growth and investing in jobs and skills again.

In 2010, Alec promised to make “jobs, jobs, jobs” the focus of his efforts as the local Member of Parliament for Elmet & Rothwell. Since then – by working closely with local businesses and banging the drum for investment in jobs and apprenticeships – we’ve seen unemployment in our area fall 60%.

This is welcome news for working families here in Elmet & Rothwell, but there’s still so much more to do to secure a better future for our region. In 2015, Alec committed to using the months and years ahead to continue fighting for investment into Yorkshire, putting Leeds at the heart of a new Northern Powerhouse.

The UK’s first Dementia Friendly constituency

By 2021, over 1 million people will be living with Dementia. In one way or another it affects all our families and  – as was the case for my own family – a lack of knowledge about how to deal with it often means the last few years of a loved one’s life aren’t always as happy as they should be.

That’s why Alec organised my Dementia Summit, bringing together those who know the most about Dementia care into one forum to make Elmet & Rothwell the UK’s first Dementia Friendly constituency.

More outstanding schools and academies

 

Here in Elmet & Rothwell we have some of the best performing schools and academies in Leeds, but good teaching can often be hindered by poor school environments.

Through the Academy Capital Maintenance Fund Alec has supported many schools with bids for new buildings, repairs and refurbishments; improvements that are helping to raise standards in school.

Looking ahead, we’re investing £84.6 million new school place in Leeds and a further £7.9 million to support disadvantaged children in Elmet & Rothwell.

To support working parents Alec supported Government proposals to introduce 30 hours of free childcare for young children.

Affordable family homes, but in sustainable locations

 

Leeds City Council plans to build 12,500 new homes across green fields in our communities. Alec opposes this plan because simply building new homes in villages without new infrastructure only adds pressure to services that are already saturated.

We do need new affordable homes for young people and families but Alec has argued that the Council must first look to develop brownfield sites across the city. However, Leeds City Council is adamant that is wishes to force 5,000 new homes upon the Outer North East area, so Alec continues to argue that new development should be built as single standalone settlements with new schools, health services and infrastructure to support them.

Alec opposes the principle of peppering development within our villages because the existing infrastructure is already at capacity. He has described peppering development as “death by a thousand cuts”.

Keeping crime rates down with safer communities

Crime in West Yorkshire was down 17% in 2015, with Alec’s ‘Safer Neighbourhoods’ campaign delivering ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers to vulnerable homes.

Alec - Deighton Gates Primary School to promote the Safer to Schools campaign

Local Crime Prevention Panels in Garforth and Wetherby are doing a great job – alongside the Police and Trading Standards – to roll out ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ across our area. It’s my plan to expand these community-led panels right across our communities.

Alec is a Parliamentary Patron of the national Neighbourhood Watch and supports the implementation of 20 mph zones outside schools.

Campaign to ban unpaid internships

Alec is leading a national campaign to ban  unpaid internships, a practice whereby employers take on young people for up to a year at a time for no salary.

Campaign group Intern Aware and a number of other Conservative MPs are backing Alec’s motion.

wetherby HS

According to a recent YouGov poll 43% of 18 to 24 year olds believe unpaid internships act or have acted as a major barrier to getting a job. Former MP and Poverty Tsar Alan Milburn’s 2012 report into social mobility found that over 30% of newly hired graduates had previously interned for their employer, rising to 50% in some sectors.

In the Commons, Alec argued that unpaid internships restrict social mobility as they aid young people from wealthy backgrounds who can afford to work for free, but restrict entry to the workplace for the majority of young people in the UK.

Alec drew reference to his own early employment doing manual work in engineering factories and as a kitchen and bathroom fitter as he explained why he thinks unpaid internships should be banned.

Alec’s motion called for an amendment to existing National Minimum Wage legislation to redefine the term “workers” and offer greater protections to young people entering the workplace. The motion called for a common sense approach to ensure than no work experience should last longer than four weeks without pay; at which point an individual should become an intern and be paid the National Minimum Wage as a minimum.