Another blow for Hexham as M&S announces closure

Hexham has been struck another blow with the announcement by M&S that their flagship store in the town will be closing. Years of Conservative complacency and inaction have seen our high and front streets decimated. Now our town centres in Hexham, Prudhoe and Haltwhistle are dominated by boarded up shop fronts and empty units.

Our Parliamentary Candidate Joe Morris has said: 

I used to walk through Hexham and see a thriving high street, but now it’s peppered with empty shop fronts. Not only are flagship stores like M&S closing, but we’ve seen smaller businesses shut too.

The Tories have failed to support struggling high street businesses with the massive changes in consumer habits – failing to bring forward the review of business rates they promised in their last
manifesto. They’ve failed to tackle predatory parking companies, with a number of constituents telling me they simply stopped going to M&S because of the poor parking system. High streets are how towns across our constituency present themselves to visitors and tourists. They drive the tourism that supports much of the economy along Hadrian’s Wall and bring visitors to the area. Unfortunately, the Conservatives in Northumberland have failed to support
the retail sector properly.

If I’m sent to Parliament to be the first ever Labour MP for this constituency, I’ll prioritise fighting for our high streets. Labour have already pledged to scrap business rates and to replace it with a system fit for the future. I’ll champion good retail workers and practices and stand up against predatory parking companies that damage local businesses and limit consumer choice. I’ll be an MP who will fight for every high street – standing up for businesses and workers across Tynedale and Ponteland.

Households will be £870 worse off under Conservative Budget

This week also saw the Conservative’s pre-election budget. Much trumpeted cuts to NI (used to fund the public services we all depend on) will do little to compensate for the highest taxation burden in 70 years and households in our constituency face the harsh reality of being £870 worse off on average under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s tax plan.

Figures show that for every 10p working people will pay in tax under the Tories’ plan, they will only get 5p back, meaning that people in our constituency are still worse off under this government.

The OBR has confirmed that this will be the only Parliament on record where living standards have fallen, with real pay increasing by just £17 a week over 14 years of Conservative government. Under Labour, wages rose by £183 a week over 13 years.

This budget also reveals that with Rishi’s recession, GDP per capita is smaller than when Sunak became prime minister.

Joe Morris, Labour’s candidate for Hexham Constituency said:

People across this constituency deserve better than this chaotic Conservative budget. Once again, working people are forgotten as taxes continue to rise. Whilst Jeremy Hunt promises jam tomorrow, people in Hexham constituency still face high prices in the shops and bigger mortgage bills.

Only Labour can deliver change. Rishi Sunak must call an election.

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

The Chancellor’s Budget has lifted the lid on 14 years of Tory economic failure. Taxes are still rising, prices are still going up in the shops, and mortgages are higher. Nothing Jeremy Hunt has said today changes that. It’s time for change. It’s time for an election.


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Right across Hexham Constituency Labour Party members are working to Build a Better Britain and get Guy Opperman out after 13 disastrous years of Conservative government.

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