BLOG: North West, #Brexit, Industrial Strategy and more
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me and #TeamTG! After a week in Strasbourg, which you can read all about here (goo.gl/9V5wGk), I’ve been back in the North West.
A week last Friday, I joined colleagues from the trade union movement in Broughton at an industriAll Europe Aerospace meeting. I was pleased to deliver the keynote speech to the meeting about the future of the aerospace industry in the UK, particularly in the wake of the EU referendum. It was a fantastic event and great to hear from trade unionists from across the UK and Europe. It was also great to catch up with Chris Matheson MP at the same time!
Afterwards, I made my way up to Workington to get together with local party members. After some delays on the road, it was great to catch up with so many good friends in Workington as well as meeting new faces.
Then on Saturday morning, I joined Sue Hayman MP, Cllr Barbara Cannon and Labour Leader of Allerdale Council Alan Smith to have a tour of the fantastic new leisure centre before heading out on the streets to take to people in Workington about the Tory government’s plans for our NHS and the risks they pose to hospitals in west Cumbria.
That afternoon I headed down the coast to Whitehaven, where I met up with some local councillors and Jamie Reed MP. We were out on the streets talking to local people in Whitehaven about how the Tories’ NHS cuts have put their local West Cumberland hospital at risk. It was great to see the support the campaign and Jamie had in Whitehaven.
On the following Tuesday bright and early in the morning, I was in Birkenhead speaking to Mersey Maritime about the work I do as an MEP. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to people there about how I am working to ensure the best deal for the North West in any Brexit negotiations as well as about my work in the ITRE committee in the European Parliament.
Next, I made my way back under the Mersey to visit community groups in north Liverpool with Cllr Gerard Woodhouse. I met with local residents on their shopping bus, a service funded by the local councillors to help fight isolation and loneliness. We went on to meet the St Luke’s Knit & Natter – it was great to hear about the work being done by Plus Dane to help support their older residents, and great to have a chat with some fabulous women – and buy a beautiful crocheted poppy!
That afternoon we visited the Everton Nursery and Sure Start centre. As Angela Rayner MP said at Labour Party Conference, Sure Start was one of the greatest achievements of the last Labour government. It was great to meet mothers using the centre in Everton and hear from them about the value the centre brings to their lives.
We also visited the Liverpool Six Community Association. Community groups like this act as a lifeline for so many in our society today – from the computer skills classes it runs for older people, to the foodbank service it runs to help families in need.
And of course, last weekend was Labour North West Regional Conference! North West conference is one of my favourite events of the year. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with members from across the region, hear about and share good practice and most importantly, hold me and my fellow North West Labour MEPs to account.
On Saturday at conference we had some fantastic speeches from Labour’s front bench team including John Healey MP, Angela Rayner MP and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. There was a real buzz in the room.
It was great to hear about the work that they are doing taking the fight to the Tories in Parliament. As John McDonnell said on Saturday, Labour is now preparing for a General Election in 2017. It is important that we, as the labour movement, come together and work as Team Labour and, in the event of an early election, we are ready to elect a new Prime Minister in Jeremy Corbyn.
That evening it was great to see so many friends and comrades old and new come along to the MEPs’ reception. It was nice to enjoy an evening with friends rather than seeing them hastily in campaign offices for a change!
On Sunday, I hosted the Big Breakfast with Labour’s candidates for city region mayoralties Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram and Labour Leader of Lancashire County Council Jenny Mein. It was a great discussion about what Labour can do with devolution in the North West.
Later, myself, Afzal Khan and Julie Ward delivered our report to Conference before our accountability session, taking questions from members about the work we have been doing in the region and in the Parliament. It was a really interesting session with lots of in-depth questions being asked.
I’ve been back in Brussels this week and I’ll update you on what I’ve been up to on Monday. As always, you can follow the work I’m doing across the North West and in the European Parliament here and on Twitter: @TheresaMEP
Find photos here: https://www.facebook.com/TheresaGriffinMEP/photos/pcb.1188878004526435/1188874847860084/?type=3&theater