Commons Corner - 8th February 2012

Ashfield MP Gloria D Piero with Chad editor Tracy Powell
Ashfield MP Gloria D Piero with Chad editor Tracy Powell

THE other week I went to the new Morrisons in Kirkby. Its opening is a welcome addition to the town and it will give the local economy a much needed boost.

It’s created almost 300 jobs, most of which have been snapped up by local Ashfield residents. I met some of the new staff there and one lady, Wendy Harris, made a really big impression on me.

She was so enthusiastic about her new job as a florist and for the future of Kirkby; she told me she even had a tear in her eye when the store opened. Wendy represents everything that is good about Kirkby. She’s warm, dedicated and totally committed to the regeneration of her town.

While the arrival of Morrisons is a step in the right direction for Kirkby, there is still a long way to go before the economy is back on track.

The latest stats showed that unemployment in Ashfield has risen again, with the number of people now claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance rising each month for the last six months bar one.

These aren’t just statistics – that’s a total of 2,746 people out of work in Ashfield. Each is an individual story which has a devastating impact on every person and their family. The Government must do more to tackle unemployment.

Things are tough right now but if you ever find yourself in a position where you’ve got yourself in to debt and do need help or advice it is always worth remembering what an excellent job the Ashfield Citizens Advice Bureau do. Last year they launched a single telephone number which has really benefitted local people.

The number is 0844 856 3411 and it has already proved to be popular, the Bureau have received 130 per cent more calls since the launch.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate the five youngsters who were put forward by their schools to go along to the SPACE Centre in Kirkby and help to improve the facilities at Carsic allotments. From what I’ve head they have done a fantastic job up there.

Not long ago I visited the SPACE Centre and saw first hand the work they do getting young people re-engaged in education and the local community. Keep up the good work!