I recently had the opportunity to speak in a debate on the Retail Sector. In my speech I outlined the need to have an improved strategy to help the Retail Sector both locally and nationally.

Nearly a quarter of jobs in the Blaydon constituency are in the Retail Sector, so it is vitally important that this sector thrives. From the high street traders -in the towns of Ryton, Birtley, Whickham, Winlaton, Dunston Hill, Crawcrook, Chopwell, Rowlands Gill, Blaydon- to the major retailers, like the intu Metrocentre, our consituency is made up of important retailers. It is these that have made our towns such great and vibrant places to live in.

It is therefore necessary that the Government implement new measures that can help the Retail Sector with the issues it faces; issues such as internet shopping and empty high streets. I’m currently doing what I can locally, working with retailers and Gateshead Council, but we need to have a more enhanced plan to support the Retail Sector across the UK.