Sunday, January 13, 2008

Setting Priorities

A big meeting of all the "partners" and "stakeholders" of Stockton Renaissance to propose priorities for our local plan for the borough last week. This is hugely important and very difficult for most people to influence, but I tried to do my bit. One of the areas of debate was employment, with lots of work going on (funded mainly by central government grants) to get into employment those few hundred people who are unwilling or unable to get a job without a lot of help. This ranges from people with disabilities who need help to convince an employer that, for example, just because their legs don't work as well as most doesn't mean their arms or their brains don't right through to those who've grown up surrounded by unemployment and don't see any prospect for change. I tried to get something in about an employment issue that's been brought to my attention in Eaglescliffe - that of young people who want to work and have the qualifications but then can't get a job in this area because the jobs available don't use their qualifications. I'd like to see more of a drive to get more high skill jobs into the borough but we shall see whether anything is done. All the regeneration of buildings is fine, but if we don't regenerate the communities too we'll be back to square one in no time.
Meanwhile thanks to those of you who responded to the questionnaire on this site on affordable housing in Eaglescliffe - a pretty even split of opinion showed up.

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