The MP writes for the Standard in this month’s Westminster Diary.
WHEN I speak to any of my fellow MPs and they hear my constituency is Birmingham Northfield the first thing that springs to mind is the Longbridge car plant – nearly 17 years since thousands of workers lost their jobs when production at MG Rover halted.
In my two years as an MP I have been busy helping with both the past and the future.
The past needs to be tackled because, and it shocks people when they hear this, many of the workers at Longbridge are still owed money.
PwC have been working on the insolvency process and until all issues are tackled no money can be released.
Unbelievably there was still one small subsidiary waiting for a tax clearance before this could be brought to a close.
Having written to HMRC I am pleased to say this has been done and we are now almost there.
And the future because the old plant is being substantially redeveloped.
I meet on a monthly basis with the developers St Modwen’s and have raised all sorts of issues with them – improving disabled access at Longbridge station, working on the look and layout of the area, the ongoing development of West Works and many more points.
Longbridge will mean ‘cars’ for many people for a long time to come.
What I want to champion for the area – not just as the Member of Parliament but also as a resident of Longbridge myself – is to respect the heritage, look after those who suffered when the plant folded, and see that Longbridge becomes a brilliant place to live, to work, to shop and to learn.