Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today urged the Government in the House of Commons to take urgent action to tackle metal theft which is damaging to the economy and can be extremely dangerous.
He spoke today in the Chamber of the House of Commons in support of Labour’s four point plan to tackle this damaging criminal activity.
Tom said: “Metal theft is becoming an epidemic and the Government must stop shirking its responsibility to take action and deal with it. Labour MP Graham Jones has introduced a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament which could really make a difference but instead of doing the right thing the Government played party politics and blocked it. They also blocked Labour amendments in the House of Lords last night.”
“The Church of England alone lost £4.5 million last year due to metal theft and, as reported in the today’s Evening Gazette, St Agnes Church in Easterside could be facing repair costs of more than £100,000 due to metal theft. St Leonard’s Church in Loftus was also seriously damaged due to metal theft last year. In addition, cable theft from railways in Britain went up from 1,593 in 2009/10 to 2,712 in 2010/11 and on North Eastern railways from 593 in 2009/10 to 1087 in 2010/11.”
“I will take the opportunity today in the House of Commons to urge the Government to put aside party political issues, for the good of my constituents and the wider economy, and take urgent action to put a stop to this organised crime and dangerous trade. I have also asked the Second Church Estates Commissioner a Parliamentary Question to ascertain what the cost of this crime has been locally in our area.”