Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson steps up his campaign to

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Steve Leggett.

 

Labour MP Bill Esterson is to step up his campaign for more contracts to go to local firms with jobs going to people in the area. 

The MP first raised the issue during the 2010 General Election campaign and has repeated calls for work to be contracted in Sefton on projects like the Thornton Relief Road and the port expansion by Peel Ports. 

The reminder from the Labour MP comes as work is well under way at the docks and as the contract is being let on the relief road.

Bill Esterson was reminded of the importance of the campaign by Maghull resident and former civil servant, Steve Leggett. 

Steve told the MP that he had noticed how much work was carried out by firms from outside of Merseyside. 

Steve said: "When I go to Manchester and Leeds I see local phone numbers on the side of the vans. The same is true in Birmingham. But in Liverpool, there is a distinct lack of 0151 numbers on the side of the vans. 

"I want Mr Esterson to take action as we need the work here for local firms. 

"I know many people who have been unable to get work on contracts in Merseyside despite having all the necessary skills and experience and it needs to change. When large contracts are let, local labour should be involved so that the money earned is spent in the area. 

"A man from Knutsford who works all day in Liverpool will go out for a meal in Knutsford in the evening. Why can’t we have a craftsman from Crosby doing that work so he has dinner in a Crosby restaurant? That way the money circulates in our economy."
 
Steve told Bill how mayor Rudy Guiliani told New Yorkers to spend their money in New York after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

Steve said: "In New York, people spent their money locally so that the economy was kept afloat after the disaster struck. We are not recovering from a terrorist attack in Merseyside but we do need to spend our money here. And that would be even better if large projects whether at the port, in housebuilding or on the relief road put money in the pockets of workers who live locally. Then our workforce can prosper but so can businesses here who need that cash in these tough times."
 
Bill Esterson said: "I was really pleased when Steve came to see me. He reminded me of the importance of pressing the case for local skilled traders to be able to win lucrative contracts on work like the Thornton Relief Road, at the port and on the big house building developments like those being constructed by Bellway Homes. 

"Like Steve it has concerned me that most of the vans on construction sites whether at Liverpool One or across Merseyside appear not to have 0151 or 01704 numbers. I have already said that the Thornton Relief Road contractor should use local sub-contractors and local labour and I shall be double checking that this is what is going to happen. 

"The Thornton Relief Road is a public project so I can lobby government ministers about this issue, something I have done consistently since I was first elected. But when it comes to Peel Ports and Bellway Homes, these are private firms. 

"Rest assured I shall be making this a priority in the coming weeks, months and years.

"My Labour colleagues and I are committed to investing in infrastructure projects including the relief road, for which Sefton’s Labour Council was successful in winning funding. But we need much more in order to kickstart the economy. That includes the port and housing and it also means a return to the school building programme which the last Labour government introduced. 

"But we also need to make sure that the work is carried out by local firms to help the prosperity of people in Sefton and across Merseyside. 

"It also makes sense from an environmental perspective as local firms have less far to travel, causing less pollution and reducing congestion. 

"The campaign to use local contractors is very, very important and it ties in with the need to support local shops and traders. We all benefit if we shop locally as far as possible and the same goes for contractors who are ‘shopping’ for tradesmen and women to do the work on big construction projects."