I am very disappointed that Sunderland hasn’t been named City of Culture 2021, as we put together an excellent bid, but I must say congratulations to Coventry on winning the title.
To get as far as we did was an amazing achievement - and our bid has already brought millions of pounds of investment to the city. Sunderland's best days are not behind us, but most definitely still to come.
It is also wonderful how the bid brought together people from all parts of the city, of all ages and of all walks of life. It created a very real sense of community - a community that will, no doubt, continue to flourish.
The key thing now, nationally, is that people know that Sunderland is on the cultural map – and that can’t be put back in the bottle. People know about us now.
I am very disappointed that Sunderland hasn’t been named City of Culture 2021, as we put together an excellent bid, but I must say congratulations to Coventry on winning the...
Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott has joined forces with MPs from across the political divide to call on the government to implement fair transitional arrangements for people affected by Pension Age changes.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on State Pension Inequality for Women – of which Ms Elliott is Vice Chair – this week launched a consultation seeking to identify a solution to the on-going concerns faced by 1950s women affected by pension changes.
“State pensions are changing for all women born on or after April 6, 1951. Around 2.6 million – including 4,000 here in Sunderland – have had their pensions delayed for six years,” said Ms Elliott.
“These changes are causing real hardship for many. We all recognise State Pension age needs to increase, but people need to be given enough notice of any changes to plan for retirement – and this just hasn’t happened in this instance.”
As part of the new consultation, the WASPI – Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign – APPG is now inviting representatives of any group campaigning for those affected by changes to take part in an online consultation.
The consultation will last until December 22 and, once responses have been analysed, the APPG plans to draft a Bill requiring the Government to establish a formal review of pension arrangements for women affected by changes made by the Pensions Act 1995 and Pensions Act 2011.
“It is totally unacceptable that these women are heading for financial hardship in old age,” said Ms Elliott. “They were not given enough notice to change their financial plans.
“The government must reconsider their stance on this important issue and implement fair transitional State Pension arrangements, so that these women get the retirement they deserve.
“By commissioning this consultation, the APPG is ensuring that all groups representing 1950s women have the opportunity to feed in to the Pensions (Review of Women’s Arrangements) Bill.”
** The on-line survey can be accessed at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/APPGSPIW
Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott has joined forces with MPs from across the political divide to call on the government to implement fair transitional arrangements for people affected by Pension...
This week I was delighted to join MPs from across all parties to launch a group aimed at driving business, skills and economic growth throughout the north of England.
It is time our region had a real voice and the new Northern Powerhouse All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) – of which I am a co-chair – will be just that.
A strong focus on improving rail and transport links across the North is planned, in addition to raising educational standards and attracting regional investment.
The APPG will also help to highlight nationally the issues affecting us locally – such as the need for investment not just in business and education, but also in infrastructure, culture and health.
According to figures released last year, the North East recorded the second-highest economic growth per person in the country – at 2.8% – compared to a national average of 2.1%.
Indeed, since 2010 around 50,000 jobs have been created regionally – and we also have the most tech start-ups in the country. Sunderland’s own Nissan plant is an on-going source of pride as well.
However, although we have much to be proud of, it remains the case that investment in the North East – and Sunderland – sadly still pales in comparison with that provided to other regions.
This makes the launch of the Northern Powerhouse APPG extremely important – as we desperately need extra funding to match the needs and ambitions of Sunderland and its residents.
There was certainly nothing in the recent Budget to address Sunderland’s high unemployment issues, low wages or the impact of enormous cuts this Government has inflicted on our people.
Nor was there any mention of removing the public sector pay cap, which means our firefighters, teachers and those working in the health service will continue to face a real-terms pay cut.
I do welcome the news, however, that the Government has at long last given a commitment to fund the replacement of the Metro’s failing rolling stock – an issue I have campaigned on for many years.
This week I was delighted to join MPs from across all parties to launch a group aimed at driving business, skills and economic growth throughout the north of England. It...