I was thrilled to hear that TATA Steel is investing £7m in its Hartlepool Pipe Mill – this funding boost will create nine new permanent positions and many more contractor roles.
One of my key campaigns during the by-election was to support the Government’s aim to create the economic environment for increased investment in the North East which would in turn generate good quality high-skilled jobs, and I am glad that we are seeing this materialise here in Hartlepool.
During my last visit to TATA, I discussed the importance of this kind of growth and investment for our steel industry.
With a deal to scrap tariffs on exports to the US agreed earlier this year and now this spending boost, I am confident that the industry will continue to provide a secure and prosperous career path for local people – particularly considering the mill’s plans for “greener” steel production and the potential for hydrogen in the future.
Last week we also announced the Social Housing Regulation Bill, which will strengthen the powers of the Regulator of Social Housing and subject housing associations in Hartlepool to Ofsted-style inspections.
This is welcome and long overdue news – I know a number of you have raised concerns with me about social landlords failing to meet their obligations when it comes to timely repairs or issues of health and safety.
This Bill will slash the time the Social Housing regulator has to warn landlords about inspections from 28 days to 48 hours, and I am therefore confident that this new legislation will combat the issues some of those in social housing are facing.
Finally, Tuesday of this week marked 40 years since the liberation of the Falkland Islands.
While I was unable to attend the service at Hartlepool War Memorial due to parliamentary commitments, two members of staff from my office attended on my behalf and laid a wreath in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in 1982.
I am sure people across town will be remembering local lad Ian E Turnball in particular, an 18-year-old acting cook on board HMS Coventry who sadly lost his life during the conflict.