Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

MPs in Mixed Reaction

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

MPs in Mixed Reaction

Article excerpt

STEVE Gibson says he is "neither Labour, nor Tory but simply commonsense", but the Gibson/Mallon plan has attracted a very mixed response from the region's MPs.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop has dismissed the zones as "a recycled idea from Mrs Thatcher's time that was a failure then, and would be a failure now."

He said: "The Riverside Park area was designated as an EZ but all that happened was a rush to get speculative office development off the ground, but with no tenants and no businesses to fill the new buildings. Meanwhile the exercise only depressed property values elsewhere on Teesside."

"Far better, as the North East Chamber of Commerce has said, to use the cash that will be pushed towards the setting up of Enterprise Zones to be put to productive use to stimulate the real economy and getting workers trained up for the new skills that are required in today's economy."

But Stockton South Conservative MP, James Wharton, has been backing the idea for more than 18 months and yesterday met Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to talk about Middlesbrough's chances. …

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