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Labour is ready to tackle the big issues
11:00am Sunday 20th January 2013 in News
IN the build up to the Hampshire County Council elections in May, the Labour Party in North West Hampshire constituency is focusing on Andover’s economy, believing the market town could hold the key to reinvigorating the economy of rural north Hampshire.
“It’s time market towns such as Andover are better recognised as important to rural economies,” said Ryan Sutton, Labour’s prospective candidate for Andover north.
“Tourism plays an important role in Hampshire and with world famous landmarks like Stonehenge only a few miles away, we believe that Andover has the potential to become a vibrant, bustling town again.
“However instead businesses are closing and retail units remain empty due to lack of investment by both the Conservative-controlled county and borough councils.”
By building support for apprenticeship schemes for local trades and paid work experience schemes for school leavers, Labour expect to reduce the number of out of work 18 to 24-year-olds.
“We hope to give employers the opportunity to train apprentices in Andover by using some of the £200m surplus in the council’s purse to offset the cost to employers,”
said Sutton, suggesting a two to three year apprenticeship grant to companies who agree to employ a local apprentice after their training is complete.
Mr Sutton added: “I find it astonishing that the Conservatives and Lib Dems support a rise of only £19 per year to working families on low incomes, while dishing out £2,000 per year to millionaires.
“We need to spend money on young people to create a new generation of well-trained apprentices, spend time on those who are out of work to help them find jobs and ensure those who genuinely need help are getting it.”