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Issue 58 April - May 2015 •• Now 25,000 copies monthly •• My time as Redcar MP A Coastal View exclusive as Ian Swales steps down and tell us what a privilege it has been representing the Redcar constituency in Parliament Ian speaking in Parliament


Ian with Vince Cable Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills at Kirkleatham By Ian Swales


W


ell my time as an MP draws to a close and it’s amazing to think that fi ve


years have raced by. May 2010 brought surprises for me.


Despite working hard I didn’t expect to be


elected. Then, as a Liberal Democrat, I didn’t expect to be part of a government. As soon as I had fi nished celebrating I felt very moved by the faith that people had put in me and how badly they wanted things to change. Parliament has so many weird procedures


and is also a very complicated building. I just about found my way round both by the end! My time there had many highlights particularly through sitting on the Public Accounts Committee where I think our work had a big impact. I suppose people might remember when we grilled Amazon, Google and Starbucks about the tax they paid. This work has led to tightening the rules about companies paying tax. Committees are one example where people work across parties and I can now count MPs from all parties amongst my friends. I regularly meet Tees Valley Unlimited, the


Local Enterprise Partnership, which is helping to power our economy forward. I fought for this agency and the subsequent City Region status and City Deal. Teesside often used to


get a raw deal when decisions were made outside the area. As well as constantly raising local issues in Parliament, I am proud that the Liberal Democrats implemented 80% of their 2010 manifesto which is quite a feat for a small party in a coalition government. I was especially pleased by the big increase in the income tax threshold to over £10,000 which has helped so many people locally. Of course my main highlights are about


the constituency. My top priority was unemployment. Getting the steel works re- started and the government piling money into local businesses has led to a big fall in Redcar constituency unemployment from a peak of over 4,000 to less than 2,400. The big growth in apprenticeships means unemployment of those aged 18 to 25 has fallen even faster but there is still a lot more to do. I hope the next MP will also see jobs as a top priority, especially through encouraging private sector investment. One great feature of my time as an MP has


been meeting so many new people locally. Engaging with businesses, charities, colleges, schools, community groups and individual constituents. I have been so impressed by the community spirit that I knew was there but hadn’t seen in such detail. Of course many


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