Labour candidate calls for Government investment to transform Erewash

Catherine Atkinson, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Erewash, called for more Government investment in the region during a television debate on Sunday.
Catherine Atkinson, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Erewash, called for more Government investment in the region during a television debate on Sunday.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Erewash has claimed the area could be come a regional leader of high-tech business if only it is given the right Government support.

Catherine Atkinson, who has been selected to fight for the seat at the next General Election, made the suggestion on the BBC One Sunday Politics show on May 13, during a debate about regional efforts to attract more investment.

She said: “Council leaders should be congratulated for highlighting how this Government has betrayed the East Midlands. The region has the lowest government spend when it comes to economic development and transport out of the entire country.

“If there was more focus on the economics, then we wouldn’t be in the difficulties we are now.”

She added: “With a fair share of investment in Erewash we could see projects like the regeneration of the Stanton site get off the ground.

“By supporting our tech businesses and attracting new ones, the Erewash Valley could even become the new Silicon Valley of the East Midlands.”

The debate was prompted by the news that Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire county councils will coordinate lobbying efforts to seek support for the whole region.

The redevelopment of the Stanton Ironworks site is one such project seen as a potential catalyst for economic growth, if major financial backing can be secured.

In response Erewash MP Maggie Throup said: “I fully support the need for more money to be spent here in the East Midlands, something I fight for on a daily basis.

“What won’t help attract inward investment however, is the persistent talking down of our region by Labour.

She added: “This Government has given councils opportunity for more powers at a local level, and is righting the wrongs of the past such with a fairer system of school funding and investing heavily in local transport infrastructure.

“My hope is that parties of all colours can come together with ambitious new proposals so Erewash can reap the financial benefits of devolution.”