Casework Update – November

May 12, 2014

November has been a busy month, with the highlight being the Jobs Fair I held at South Tyneside College. I was delighted to meet constituents who had walked into the Fair without work and left with a job offer or interview.

One woman I spoke to had been out of work for 30 years while taking care of a family member. When her relative sadly passed away this constituent was worried that she would not be able to find work having been out of the job market for so long. However, thanks to the Jobs Fair she was able to speak to a local care provider who said she had exactly the skills they were looking for. They promised her a job on the day.

Other employers reported that the event was a great success. Nissan alone hired 5 new employees on the day, and enrolled a further 30 on to their pre-job training programme. We are still waiting to learn the full impact of the Jobs Fair, but I was very pleased with what I saw on the day.

As well as the Jobs Fair I have been helping local people who have attended my surgeries, or who I have met while door-knocking around South Shields.

1. A disabled gentleman came to me to complain about a blocked drain outside his property which was causing flooding and blocking access to his home. He told me that he could not use his bath or washing machine without risking flooding his home, but the council had told him the issue was ‘non-urgent’, meaning it would not be taken care of for up to three weeks. I contacted South Tyneside Council immediately and the drain was unblocked that same day.

2. I also spoke to residents during one of my fortnightly street surgeries who told me about a local property which had been repeatedly vandalised, and which was attracting anti-social behaviour.  I contacted the Police, who are now working closely alongside the property’s owner, the local Safer Neighbourhood Team and residents to prevent these incidents from happening in the future.

If you are experiencing any problems with local services, or have any other local issues you would like to speak to me about, you can come to one of my fortnightly surgeries, or contact my office on 0191 427 1240 or at

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