Coronavirus and Jobs


Today’s jobs figures show more of the impact coronavirus is having, which is why the government will continue to protect, create and support jobs while levelling up the entire country.

  • We all know many people will be understandably concerned about the future, which is why the government is doing everything in our power to protect both lives and livelihoods, although of course, we will not be able to save every job. 
  • The government has already delivered an unprecedented package of support, protecting 9.5 million jobs with our £30 billion furlough scheme, supporting more than 2 million self-employed people and paying out billions in loans and grants.
  • The government has also set out our Plan for Jobs, to protect, create and support jobs as we build back out economy, including a £2 billion Kickstart scheme that will create thousands of high-quality jobs for young people.
  • These are just the latest steps in the government's response to coronavirus – the first phase was about protection; now is the time to focus on jobs. There is a third stage still to come, with a Budget and Spending Review in the autumn, to focus on rebuilding Britain.


Gary Bullivant said…
I hope the Whitehaven Plan for Jobs doesn't rely on any promises from West Cumbria Mining. Meeting on 20 August to take their revised application has just been cancelled. It looks somewhat as though certain members didn't like what officers had written this time.
Chris Whiteside said…
The Plan for Jobs is a national programme which does not "rely on" any individual local project.
Gary Bullivant said…
I think it does at least in part.

"The Financial Times reports that the UK Government is planning to unveil a significant economic stimulus package in July 2020. As part of the preparation process, the country's Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities have been asked to submit lists of "shovel ready" capital projects by Thursday 18th June 2020."
Gary Bullivant said…
and I think that your colleague Mike Starkie might agreewith me too.
Gary Bullivant said…
Well, to extract from the linked article to demonstrate a different view...

"Copeland Council elected mayor Mike Starkie has been a vocal backer of the project and wrote to Boris Johnson this week to ask the Prime Minister to ensure it will go ahead.

Mr Starkie said: “The WCM project satisfies all of the criteria you have set out in your desire to support ‘shovel-ready’ projects and does not need any Government grant or subsidy.

“I do hope you can help to make sure it can now proceed without any further blockage or delay.”

So he still has all three of his wishes left. However, what he thinks he was doing writing to the Prime Minister asking him to interfere in a quasi-judicial process that was delegated back to the County by the Secretary of State as recently as 1 November 2019, I for one don't know. Still, he's not the only elected representative to want to subvert due process on this matter, as a review of the timings involved in the cancellation of next week's planned Development Control meeting has made clear enough to anyone who understands that agenda and reports are required to be published at least 7 days before the scheduled date of a meeting.

I bet Mr Starkie didn't anticipate that the blockage and delay he feared would actually come from the Council officers and members themselves.
Chris Whiteside said…
Both Mike Starkie and myself spoke in favour of the mine application at the planning meeting and continue to support it. I make no apology for that view.

Equally, since as Mike Starkie points out in the article you linked to, this is not a project which requires any government subsidy, it is not the sort of scheme which the government was inviting council leaders and metro mayors to write in and ask for help with.

By the way, Mike Starkie is a single authority mayor, not a combined authority or "metro" mayor: in Cumbria it would be the LEP which would have submitted a list of schemes. I will try to find out what they put in.

In the terms of your original question I doubt very much whether any aspect of the government's plan for jobs relating to Cumbria will be "relying on promises" from West Cumbria Mining.
Chris Whiteside said…
I will also ask why the meeting has been postponed.

Did the law not make me jointly liable in terms of any libel action which results from anything you post here, I might find it interesting to invite you to specify who exactly you are accusing of what action to "subvert due process." However, as any answer to that question might well be actionable and if so I would have to remove it to avoid becoming liable myself, it would look silly to risk asking for a comment and then deleting the reply to my question.

Far be it from me to defend the actions of the present leadership of the council, but I would be careful of jumping to any such conclusion.

I have not heard why the meeting has been postponed and as I say will ask, but if for example the answer was that the necessary report was not ready, or was clearly not going to be ready, in time for publication the required five working days before any meeting on 20th August, then the decision to cancel the meeting would be about acting within due process, not subverting it.
Gary Bullivant said…
They have told me and others that the meeting was postponed because the report was not ready. I wonder when that reality dawned on the author and his superior officers - was it before or after it was seen by members? Please be sure to ask.
Gary Bullivant said…
Can I take it that you were satisfied with the response "the report wasn't ready"? At what level of the internal pre-release process do we think it was determined to be "not ready". Recalling the late hour of the notification email, had it cleared any level of officer at all or had it to be read by the Chair before it became apparent to the author that the deadline would have to be declared to be missed?
Chris Whiteside said…
the short answer is yes, until and unless any actual evidence should materialise that it was postponed for any other reason, which I do not anticipate.

It is not in the least surprising that the report would take longer than had been expected to prepare given the large number of submissions received just before the deadline which, although most of them came from people who don't live or work anywhere remotely near the proposed mine, all had to be read, assessed and considered.

I have not had a reply to the questions on the subject which I asked two weeks ago, which I find mildly concerning, but I suspect it is not not due to anything more sinister than people being very busy and lots of people on holiday in August. I have chased again.

I suspect you may be putting two and two together and making seventy-four.
Chris Whiteside said…
Right, I now have confirmation that things are as pretty much exactly as I indicated above that I suspected they might be, and I will put up a new post.

The senior planning officer had provided a reply to my initial question but it did not immediately reach me, which was indeed apparently because a colleague was on leave.

When I kicked off about this yesterday evening I received a reply first thing this morning.

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