GUEST COLUMN: EU is good for business, by Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero

MP Gloria De Piero
MP Gloria De Piero

The debate surrounding the EU referendum is hotting up, but many people still haven’t decided how they are going to vote—while many more are telling me that they want more information about the effects Brexit would have before making a decision.

I will be voting to stay in the EU because I believe that pulling out will put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk.

Business experts have been quoted as saying that Brexit could cost the UK £100 billion and lead to 950,000 job losses, causing irreparable damage to the economy.

It can be difficult to see the relevance of the EU to everyday life in Ashfield, but between 2007 and 2013, Ashfield received £1.4 million to fund development projects, invest in businesses, create jobs and support agriculture.

The district council spent half a million pounds of this on training programmes for people starting new businesses, while another £60,000 was used to fund the Aim Higher scheme, which links undergraduates with local employers. EU funding is vital for the jobs market in this area.

I am about to launch a survey of businesses in Ashfield, to further my understanding of their relationships with the EU. I look forward to sharing my findings with you all when the results are in.

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed a petition calling on the new meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children, triggering a debate in Parliament on the issue.

MPs will hear evidence from families affected by this dreadful disease as well as from health experts and I will closely follow the debate.

The current position is that the vaccination is available free on the NHS to newborn babies born since September 2015.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that this programme offers protection to those at highest risk and is most cost-effective.

Whether or not your child has been vaccinated, it is incredibly important that all parents are aware of the symptoms of meningitis and know that they should seek medical attention quickly if they suspect their child has the disease.

We were all deeply affected by the tragic death of Corah-Beth Slaney, from Kirkby, last year from mitochondrial disease.

To mark what would have been Corah’s 18th birthday, and to raise money for the Children’s Mitochondrial Disease Network, her parents Lisa and Carl are organising a Concert for Corah on September 17.

To put on the event, the Slaneys need a venue, auction prizes and bands to perform on the night, among other things.

Anybody who can help should get in touch so we can make this concert a fitting tribute to a brave young woman.