I am sure many people, like me, read last week’s Advertiser front page ‘A Hot Spot For Unemployment’ with mixed emotions.
It made me think about who is best to support local jobs and businesses in Ilkeston, and what can be done about the problem of unemployment that we seem to have in specific areas of our town.
As we often hear through your pages, most of us can remember the good old days, when Bath Street was full of shops, the Co-op was still open and most of us in the town either worked at Stanton or knew someone who did.
Those days aren’t so long ago, and I for one believe that they could return as new investment comes into the town in the shape of, for instance, the new Morrisons and the train station.
But we also need to accept that times have changed; with people now willing to travel to Nottingham or Derby for work, and shopping at a retail park or on the internet.
In my view our outgoing MP Jessica Lee has done her best. In just over four years she has not only fought hard alongside the ‘Tiser to get us a new train station, she also holds an annual jobs fair and never fails to support local businesses and champions the benefits of apprenticeship schemes.
Her comments in last week paper show that instead of covering up the problem we have with unemployment, she actually acknowledges it, and wants to do something about it.
This appears to be in contrast with a number of others, who seem to want to blame everyone else for this historic problem, but then not actually offer any suggestions or ideas of how to solve it.
Maybe they have short memories or maybe it’s because they weren’t around at the time, but people in Ilkeston can remember the last Government nearly bankrupting the country, and they can remember local industries like Stanton closing without a fight on Labour’s watch.
I hope that Maggie Throup, who is also standing to be our MP, takes a leaf out of Jessica’s book and continues to support us through the good times and the bad, rather than continually talking us down all the time as Labour seem to want to do.
Ilkeston (address supplied)