Ed Miliband labels science park ‘inspiration’ in tour
PUBLISHED: 09:47 15 November 2011
LABOUR leader Ed Miliband called a Crow country science park an “inspiration” when he paid a visit there this week, and called for other businesses to follow suit.
The MP, along with Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, visited TTP at Melbourn Science Park on Monday for a tour, to see the technology and media projects underway.
There was also a question and answer session, where employees at the centre and business owners in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire quizzed Mr Miliband on a number of issues.
The former Energy Secretary joked with the crowd, laughing that Mr Umunna would be “given the difficult questions”, and invited questions on any topic from the audience.
“I want to start by thanking everyone for giving up their time, and in particular, want to thank TTP,” he said.
“I’ve had chance to look around the company. It’s truly an inspiration to see what you have managed to achieve here.
“You are a company with the most committed staff and the most amazing leadership. Congratulations to you for what you have managed to do.”
Mr Miliband and Mr Umunna witnessed the technology and media projects underway at the site, after being asked by the business to do so.
Both commended the work done at the site, and said that they had been impressed by what they saw.
“We want to talk to people in businesses across the country,” Mr Miliband added.
“Some of the messages I’ve got today are about some of the things government needs to do differently. Companies like yours need much greater certainty.”
Mr Umunna added: “We value coming here. I think involvement, in terms of international competitiveness, will be key, and when I’ve asked ‘who else is making this in the world’, you’ve said ‘no-one else does this’.”
“That’s fantastic. We need more companies doing just that.”
Business, immigration, university fees, education, economy, apprenticeships and house prices were among some of the issues and questions raised.
One employee at the company said that he thought house prices in the area were too high, claiming that some properties cost “a ridiculous amount”.
Mr Miliband responded: “I think this is a major challenge for our country, as you termed it, generational injustice.
“There’s no easy answer to this issue. We’ve got to act on all fronts, making land available and encourage social housing.
“It’s getting later and later that people can afford housing... problems with the banks are making it worse.”
Mr Miliband and Mr Umunna also said that they wanted to increase apprenticeship schemes, make it easier for businesses to thrive, and tackle high university tuition fees.