Louise Baldock

Standing up for Stockton South

Louise Baldock, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Stockton South

Recent Activity

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Yesterday Louise welcomed Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to Stockton South to launch Labour’s economic plan for the North East.

Louise and Ed visited award winning Cotswold Manufacturing, based in Thornaby, who make doors for domestic, public and commercial premises all around the country. They have kitted out London and Manchester apartments for instance along with many of the country’s army barracks and numerous hotels, schools and universities. They wish, as do we all, that there was more work in the North East so they don’t have to focus so much on the capital with articulated wagons driving up and down the M1 full of doors and sets.

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Ed talked during his visit of Labour’s better plan for the North East which will see a rise in the minimum wage, cuts and a freeze in business rates for SMEs and apprenticeships for every school leaver with the grades. We also have an ambitious programme to devolve billions in funding, handing the North East the economic power to shape our own future.

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We won’t accept the Tories' plan to support a few people and firms at the top with tax cuts, and hope that wealth trickles down to everyone else. Labour’s plan backs small businesses and new entrepreneurs who will provide the growth and jobs of the future.

Speaking whilst touring Cotswold Manufacturing, Ed Balls said:

“It’s not enough to have more jobs, we need more good jobs.

“The number of apprenticeships in the North-East has gone down and part of our plan is to increase that number and get the skills we need.

“We will not play fast and loose with North-East jobs.

“We will guarantee every school leaver that gets the right grades gets a high quality apprenticeship, just as people with good A-levels have a right to go to university.

“Also, when the Conservatives say their plan is working, most people say who is it working for?

“That’s why we will put small businesses first with lower business rates, because cashflow holds them back more than other firms.

“This would cut and freeze rates for 71,000 companies in the North-East.

“Increasing the minimum wage would lift wages for 76,200 low paid workers in this region too.”

He also said Labour would ensure the UK remained in a reformed EU, prolonging the North East’s status as the only British region with an export surplus and not taking risks with jobs and long term investment in the region.

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Welcoming Labour’s plan, Louise said:

“It was great to welcome Ed Balls to Thornaby to launch Labour’s economic plan for our region.

Ken, Stewart, Martin, their excellent office manager and all the other good people at Cotswold Manufacturing were very welcoming. They are a great local firm who really support staff training, everyone in the company is encouraged to take up opportunities for training and give themselves the best possible chances, not just the lads on the shop floor but the staff in the offices too, studying for CIPS for instance.  We met one apprentice just weeks away from completing his level 3 NVQ and contemplating level 4, along with another who has not long joined the company and is enjoying starting on his own NVQ qualifications at college.

We had an excellent visit; the management team showed us all over the factory floor and talked about their history and growth. We watched various processes very carefully and were able to try some of the equipment ourselves. The robot in particular was a talking point, the first one of its kind in door manufacturing in the UK.

I was very interested in Cotswold’s plans for a trade counter which I am looking forward to visiting on opening day at the end of March. I worked at Crossley Ferguson back in 1988/9 and had an association with Sarek Joinery which many of today’s staff have come from. I worked on a trade counter and in the timber yard back then and look forward to unofficially offering some marketing suggestions to help with the project, with my own business hat on.

Labour’s plan will give us here in the North East the power to drive the growth of our regional economy. As a small business owner and as a member of several Teesside business networks, I know Labour’s support for SMEs will be very welcome. Smaller and medium sized firms like Cotswold Manufacturing are crucial to our local economy and Labour's plan will support them to grow and provide more job opportunities for local people.

I was also delighted to be in a factory just yards from the one where I had my first job when I left school in 1983. It was called CEC Time Ltd then but now it is Stork. As well as being very informative and a good opportunity to showcase Cotswold’s work along with our plans, it was a bit of a trip down memory lane too.  A great visit.

Thanks very much for having us."

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There are some excellent photos of the visit from local photographer Ian Forsyth here.

 

More detail on Labour’s plan to build prosperity across our economy:

Labour will back small businesses and new entrepreneurs who will provide the growth and jobs of the future. The Tories won’t put small business first. Labour will:

  • Cut business rates for small businesses
  • Improve training and apprenticeships
  • Promote competition in energy and banking to ensure market efficiency, lower bills and better access to finance
  • Establish a British Investment Bank, and support a regional banking network to boost lending for SMEs
  • Introduce a Small Business Administration to co-ordinate work across government to benefit smaller businesses
  • Hand more economic power to the North East to shape our own future, with billions in devolved funding

Labour will back our biggest exporters which need certainty to invest. The Tories are sleepwalking towards exit from the EU, risking jobs and growth at home. Labour will:

  • Stay in a reformed EU and not take risks with our membership
  • Ensure there will be no further transfer of powers to the European Union without the explicit consent of the British people.
  • Support businesses in the UK to export through better access to finance, better skills including language skills and supported access to markets.
  • Build a strong economic foundation with a tough and balanced approach to cutting the deficit
  • Make long-term investment by implementing the Armitt Review recommendation for a National Infrastructure Commission
  • Guarantee that Britain has the most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G7
  • Promote long-termism by changing the rules on takeovers

Labour will take action to help make work pay and stop firms being undercut. Labour will:

  • Ban exploitative zero hours contracts
  • Raise the National Minimum Wage closer to average earnings — £8 an hour by 2020
  • Offer tax breaks to employers who adopt the Living Wage
  • Make it illegal to undercut wages by exploiting migrant workers
  • Introduce a new, lower 10p starting rate of tax benefiting 24 million working people on middle and lower incomes, paid for by scrapping the unfair marriage tax allowance.
  • Introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, paid for by a bank bonus tax, to provide a paid starter job for everyone young person unemployed for over a year which they will have to take up or lose benefits

Labour will back every sector of the economy by ensuring the public sector plays an active part in driving up productivity by:

  • Recognising its role in supporting cutting-edge innovation and research
  • Making strategic investment and procurement decisions

 

If you’re interested in reading more about our economic plan, you can here.

Shadow Chancellor launches Labour's NE economic plan in Stockton South

Yesterday Louise welcomed Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to Stockton South to launch Labour’s economic plan for the North East.

Small businesses are crucial to the local economy so Louise is delighted that supporting them is a key part of Labour’s economic plan.

Business_Forum.jpgLouise chairing event with Toby Perkins MP, Labour's Shadow Small Business Minister at Nifco UK based in Eaglescliffe (July 2013)

Supporting our small businesses by unleashing their full potential to create more good jobs and so raising living standards is central to Labour’s plan for prosperity, published this week.

Labour’s plan means the tax burden on small businesses in Stockton will be lower than under the Tories. We will put small businesses first in line for tax cuts and ensure smaller firms have the support they need to invest, innovate and raise their productivity.

The Tories have failed because they believed that rising living standards would come from cutting taxes for a narrow group of firms and individuals with wealth trickling down to everyone else. Our approach will instead back working people and the companies where the great majority of British people work.

Labour’s plan to back Britain’s small businesses will:

  • Put small businesses first in line for tax cuts.

We will cut and then freeze businesses rates for 1.5 million small business properties with a rateable value of less than £50,000. Labour’s plan means the tax burden on small businesses will be lower than under the Tories. We will look to go even further as we prioritise small businesses for future tax cuts.

  • Tackle late payment. 

We will tackle late payment with a new requirement on larger businesses to set out the extent of late payment they have been responsible for, and the action they have taken to compensate suppliers. We will also give business organisations like the Federation of Small Businesses the right to take cases on behalf of their members.

  • Ensure Britain has the most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G7 and continue supporting the Employment Allowance. 

Labour called for action on National Insurance Contributions in 2011 and the Government finally acted in 2014. Their mechanism, the Employment Allowance, is now bedded in so we will keep it and build on it.

  • Establish a proper British Investment Bank to boost lending for small businesses to grow and create jobs.

All funds raised from the planned increase in the licence fees for the mobile phone spectrum - estimated to be up to £1 billion in the next Parliament, subject to Ofcom consultation – will be allocated to Labour’s British Investment Bank.

  • Increase competition in the banking sector so that small firms get a better deal, following the Competition and Markets Authority inquiry.

We want to see at least two new challenger banks and a market share test to ensure the market stays competitive for the long term.

  • Reduce unnecessary regulation by asking our new Small Business Administration – which the FSB has called for – to co-ordinate work across government to benefit smaller businesses and cut unnecessary regulation.

Labour’s SBA will be given a remit to ensure regulations or requirements on small business are proportionate, appropriate, avoid any unnecessary burdens or compliance costs and are designed from the perspective of the smaller firm. 

  • Deliver a long term roadmap for capital allowances and incentives for research and innovation like the R&D tax credit, not just for the headline rate of corporation tax.
  • Improve support for entrepreneurs and SMEs who want to grow rapidly.

Leading British entrepreneur Simon Franks, who co-founded Love Film, is conducting a review for Labour on how we can best support early stage and high growth businesses which we will publish in the coming months.

 

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:

“Business rates have risen by around £1500 under this government and are an ever bigger part of companies’ overall tax burden. That’s why, instead of another corporation tax cut for large companies which helps fewer than one in ten firms, we will cut and then freeze business rates for small firms instead. This is the right priority when money is tight.

“As well as cutting business rates our plan will also tackle late payments, reduce unnecessary regulation and boost lending to SMEs who want to grow with a proper British Investment Bank.

“Every large business started off as a small business and I want to ensure smaller firms have the support they need to grow, invest, innovate and raise their productivity. Our plan will help small firms create more high skilled, high pay jobs which are key to raising living standards.”

 

Welcoming the announcement, Louise said:

“Small businesses are crucial to the local economy so I am delighted that supporting them is a key part of Labour’s economic plan. These measures will really help businesses on Teesside to grow, creating more job opportunities for local people.

As a small business owner and having spent a lot of time talking to others as a member of several Teesside business networks, I know of many of the challenges SMEs face, particularly accessing finance and recruiting people with the right skills. Labour’s plan will support local businesses all the way.”

Louise welcomes Labour’s plan to back small businesses

Small businesses are crucial to the local economy so Louise is delighted that supporting them is a key part of Labour’s economic plan. Louise chairing event with Toby Perkins MP,...

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This tea time I visited Thornaby Fire Station with Lyn Brown MP, Labour's Shadow Fire Minister to consult the firefighters about options for the future of the service under a Labour Government.

I think her honest, plain-speaking about the tasks to be faced post election, her guiding principles and where Labour stands over Fire Fighter pensions won a lot of support. 

There is another day of action next week and I will be there again to stand with them.

I think our fire fighters are the very best of public servants and deserve our full support.

"Our fire fighters are the very best of public servants and deserve our full support"

This tea time I visited Thornaby Fire Station with Lyn Brown MP, Labour's Shadow Fire Minister to consult the firefighters about options for the future of the service under a...

This week Ed Miliband set out Labour’s plan for education with a pledge to end over-crowded primary school classes in Stockton and to protect the education budget.

Analysis from the Labour Party shows that the number of infants being taught in classes of over 30 pupils has risen by 169% in Stockton-on-Tees since January 2010.

The Conservative Government has scrapped Labour’s policy to cap infant class sizes at 30 pupils. The proportion of class sizes bigger than this has trebled. On these trends if the Tories win a second term, the number of classes over 30 is on course to grow to 11,000 - a number close to the deeply damaging levels we inherited in 1997.

Welcoming the announcement, Louise said:

“For the last five years the Tories have taken their eye off the ball. Class sizes here in the Stockton borough have soared. I have spoken to lots of Head Teachers who are desperate for more space and staff.

“I welcome Ed Miliband’s announcement. Children are our most precious resource and deserve the best when it comes to their education. Labour will ensure that they get it.”

Labour has also committed to protecting the overall education budget and ensuring it rises with inflation. This is because we understand the value of the early years and post-16 education. Our spending review will also identify savings in the schools budget and wider education department so that additional money reaches the frontline. Meanwhile Tory plans mean a real terms cut in the schools budget.

Labour’s plan for education will equip young people in Stockton South with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed with excellence in the adult world.

Education today for the economy of tomorrow.

 

The next Labour government will:

  • Protect the education budget and invest in the next generation
  • Cap class sizes at 30 pupils for 5, 6 and 7 year olds.
  • Create the required places in high need areas and oversubscribed schools by ending the Tory practice of create new Free Schools in areas that do not need them.

Drive up standards in Stockton’s schools by:

  • Ensuring all schools are locally accountable to new Directors of School Standards responsible for intervening in underperforming schools.
  • Granting every parent body the power to call in Directors of Standards when concerned about failing standards.
  • Giving every head teacher the key freedoms currently given to academy heads.
  • Ensuring every area has a new Standards Challenge setting a tough target to raise performance in every school. These are modelled on the last government’s successful London Challenge programme which dramatically improved attainment in the capital.

Ensure all children in state schools are taught by high-quality qualified teachers by:

  • Ensuring all teachers become qualified, creating a new Master Teacher status and establishing a College of Teaching to help ensure all teachers continue to build their skills and knowledge
  • Issue a ‘call to arms’ to bring the best of the 200,000 qualified teachers who have left the profession back into state schools to help to raise standards across the country. And address the looming teacher shortage.

Raise the status and quality of vocational education and skills in our schools and colleges by:

  • Introducing a new Technical Baccalaureate for 16-18 year olds which includes an employer accredited vocational qualification.
  • Ensuring all young people study English and Maths to 18.
  • Raising the quality of apprenticeships so they all last a minimum of two years and are at least a level three standard (A level standard).
  • Bringing in new Technical Degrees as a next step for young people who excel in our new vocational route through school and college.
  • Backing new Institutes of Technical Education linked to local industry and charged with delivering our Tech Bacc and apprenticeships.

Give our children the creativity, character and resilience they need to succeed in the 21st Century by:

  • Bringing in compulsory work experience for all young people between 14-16.
  • Introducing compulsory age appropriate sex and relationship education in schools.
  • Guaranteeing two hours of organised sport a week.
  • Widening the franchise to voters at 16 and redesigning the curriculum for citizenship education 

Labour pledges to tackle Stockton's overcrowded classrooms and protect education funding

This week Ed Miliband set out Labour’s plan for education with a pledge to end over-crowded primary school classes in Stockton and to protect the education budget.

Labour-led Stockton Council’s plans for £10million swimming pool, library and customer service centre on Ingleby Barwick have taken another step forward. A preferred site has been identified on Blair Avenue next to All Saints Academy.

Last year we heard the council had identified £6m for infrastructure spending in the south of the borough and in October proposals for a leisure facility in Ingleby were announced, with £3.2m of funding earmarked.

This week the Council's Cabinet will be asked to recommend that the Council commits a further £7million to the scheme.

Responding to the latest development, Louise said:

“I have knocked on every door in Ingleby Barwick and one of the top three issues that residents consistently raise with me is the lack of things for young people to do. This will be a great facility for the whole community to enjoy. I look forward to joining my neighbours engaging with the consultation process about the facilities to be offered in the building.”

Plans for Ingleby Barwick leisure facility move a step closer

Labour-led Stockton Council’s plans for £10million swimming pool, library and customer service centre on Ingleby Barwick have taken another step forward. A preferred site has been identified on Blair Avenue...

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Back in September I publicly stated my support for a new building for Egglescliffe School on the existing site after an invigorating meeting with the new Head. 

Two weeks ago I talked about the need for a bigger school at the Durham Lane site so that we did not see a repeat of the situation where a dozen or so youngsters had to travel miles to get into a different school because it was full. My support for a new build at Eggy could not be more clear – and that’s not only because my nephews both go there. 

Yesterday James Wharton MP said (on Facebook) “Looking forward there is more I want to deliver, not least significant investment into Egglescliffe where, even though it is a really top notch school, the infrastructure is starting to look seriously dated.”

Today his Government refused to pay for a new building. 

That leaves only me ready to lead the fight for a new school, it is a challenge I will be proud to take on.

Government refuses funding to rebuild Egglescliffe School

Back in September I publicly stated my support for a new building for Egglescliffe School on the existing site after an invigorating meeting with the new Head. 


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