Labour united on plan for 3,000 jobs at Washwood Heath

by Liam Byrne | 10.03.16 | in: Communities, Constituency news, Hodge Hill, HS2, Local campaigns, Local Issues, Local News, National news, Uncategorized, Washwood Heath, Westminster

News from Liam Byrne MP – Immediate Release

Labour united on plan for 3,000 jobs at Washwood Heath

The Labour Party frontbench has given its full support to Liam Byrne’s campaign for 3,000 jobs at the old LDV Alstom site in Washwood Heath.

This week Labour’s shadow Rail Minister, Andy McDonald MP proposed an amendment to the Bill that would force both HS2 Ltd and the landowners to use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure the project secures as many jobs for the area, as soon as possible.

The Tory Government used its majority on the committee to block this move by 8 votes to 5.

The proposed Washwood Heath site is the size of 100 football pitches and makes up one third of the industrial land in Birmingham. It lies at the junction of Ladywood, Erdington and Hodge Hill – these three constituencies are together home to 45% of the City’s unemployed.

Speaking after the Committee hearing Liam Byrne:

“I am delighted that the Labour Party has thrown its full weight behind our campaign for more jobs at Washwood Heath.”

“I was disappointed that the Government used its majority to block this sensible idea to make sure we get as many jobs onsite as soon as possible.”

“The battle is now set for a showdown in the House of Lords. We have made real progress in our battle for jobs but we have to keep up the fight.”

Notes to Editors:

  • The amendment brought before the HS2 Bill Committee by Andy McDonald MP:

New Clause 41 

Minimising the use of land at Washwood Heath

“(1) The Secretary of State and the nominated undertaker shall use best endeavours to keep to a minimum—

(a) the amount of land at Washwood Heath, Birmingham that is required (either temporarily or permanently) during phase one construction and associated works; and

(b) the length of time for which such land is required, in order to maximise early development and job creation post-construction.

(2) Within 24 months of the commencement of the use of land at Washwood Heath, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State and the nominated undertaker must prepare a report on the discharge of the duty under subsection (1).

(3) Each report must be laid before both Houses of Parliament”. —(Andy McDonald.)

This new clause seeks to minimise the use of land at Washwood Heath, both in terms of amount of land and duration of use.

The amendment was rejected by the committee; 8 (Conservative MPs) voted against the amendment and 5 (Labour MPs) voted for the amendment.

The full transcript of the Bill Committee hearing can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmpublic/highspeedrail/160308/pm/160308s01.htm

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