Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Dudley MP Ian Austin has called on the Government to move its Green Investment Bank to the West Midlands instead of privatising it.

The Green Investment Bank was launched by the Government in 2012 with £3 billion in funding to invest in renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies. The bank could now be sold off to Australian firm Macquarie, with concerns that it could see its assets stripped.

Austin previously campaigned for the bank to established in the West Midlands to bring new businesses and jobs to the region to replace those lost in traditional industries.

He has now written to the Chancellor Philip Hammond urging him to consider relocation to the West Midlands as an alternative way of boosting the economy while saving money on rent and staffing costs.

Ian Austin said:

“I think there is a huge potential for our region to move from the sort of energy-intensive low-skilled traditional industries that we are losing to modern low-carbon manufacturing and green industries.

“Instead of rushing to sell off the Green Investment Bank to the highest seller, the Government should move it to our area to boost employment and save on the bank’s costs.”

Austin calls for green investment in West Midlands

Dudley MP Ian Austin has called on the Government to move its Green Investment Bank to the West Midlands instead of privatising it.

Dudley MP Ian Austin has backed a new Children's Society campaign to help families in debt.

A new report from the Children's Society sets out the impact of debt on families on their children, including their mental health.

The charity is proposing a new 'breathing space' scheme to offer interest-free mortgage loans so they can get back on top of their finances.

Austin has now written a letter to the Work and Pensions Minister Damian Green asking the Government to support the scheme and help vulnerable people and working families with problem debt.

For years Austin has been advocating for the protection of working families from spiralling debts, fighting loan sharks and supporting the Castle & Crystal Credit Union in Dudley which offer affordable loans to locals.

Ian Austin said:

“Money is still tight for a lot of families in Dudley, with some falling into spiralling debts that they struggle to keep up with.

“This report from the Children’s Society sets out a common-sense policy to give families some breathing space, and I want the Government to consider it.

“I’ll also keep working to drive payday lenders out of our town and promote responsible lenders like the Castle & Crystal credit union here in Dudley.”

Austin backs Children's Society campaign to help families in debt

Dudley MP Ian Austin has backed a new Children's Society campaign to help families in debt.

Dudley MP Ian Austin has challenged the Health Secretary over the closure of Dudley’s Dove House drop-in centre for people with mental health problems.

Click here to watch Ian's question to the Health Secretary about Dove House

Speaking at Health Questions in the House of Commons, Austin called on the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to give Dudley a fairer share of funding so that Dove House could afford to continue operating. In his reply, Jeremy Hunt promised to look into the matter.

Dove House opened in the 1970s to offer support and social contact to people with severe mental health problems across Dudley borough.

The centre is based at Bushey Fields and is operated by mental health charity Dudley Mind with funding from Dudley Council, but it has been reported that the council can no longer afford to fund it. The centre could now close by 30 June.

Austin has repeatedly called on the Government to give a fairer share of funding to public services in Dudley. Cuts in government funding have seen Dudley Council lose £76 million since 2010 and this will rise to £92 million by 2019/20. The spending power of Dudley Council has been reduced by 20%, this compared to just 1% in Surrey, 2% in Buckinghamshire and 5% in Wokingham.

Speaking at Health Questions, Ian Austin said:

“Dove House in Dudley has been helping people with mental health problems since the 1970s, but which faces closure this year for the want of what is actually quite a small amount of money.

“Will he look at this personally and do everything he can to keep this really valuable facility open.

“The reason it’s closing is because Dudley is losing twenty percent of its funding compared to just one percent in Surrey which he represents.”

Austin challenges Health Secretary over mental health drop-in closure

Dudley MP Ian Austin has challenged the Health Secretary over the closure of Dudley’s Dove House drop-in centre for people with mental health problems.


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