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Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy in Weymouth
2:30pm Saturday 9th February 2013 in News
A MEMBER of the shadow cabinet packed his running shoes for a visit to Weymouth to find out what the community think of local issues.
Jim Murphy, Shadow Defence Secretary, went for a run along Weymouth seafront as part of his training for this year’s London Marathon before attending a public meeting at the Community Safety Centre.
The MP for East Renfrewshire also visited Bovington Camp to speak to people who are concerned about government sell-off of Ministry of Defence land.
He met with members of the public and Labour Party members and councillors at the community centre in Radipole Lane.
The party is meeting with people around the country to help shape its policy for its next manifesto.
Mr Murphy said: “We are interested in people’s opinions and experiences. This is about the long term.”
The focus of the meeting was youth and unemployment, although all topics were discussed by Mr Murphy. Around 30 people turned up for the session.
He said: “What makes a community is the local people.
“The one thing that strikes me about Weymouth is that the town has a genuine personality.
“I’m glad to hear there is hope for the theatre, it would be a poorer town if it lost it.”
Mr Murphy blasted the Government’s decision to axe the Portland Coastguard helicopter.
“Local people would expect their MP to have that service retained,” he said.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Councillor Rachel Rogers said it was ‘fantastic’ having the former Minister for Europe and Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform visit Weymouth.
She said: “The primary local issue is the economy. In the borough there’s a lack of jobs and the jobs that are out there are lowly paid.
“Benefits are being cut and there is an increase in the cost of living.
“We hope that this session will focus attention on things and we will take that back to the Labour Party.
“We’re pleased with the turn-out, we wanted to make sure enough people were here for a variety of opinion.”
Mr Murphy rounded off his stay in the borough with a curry at the Littlemoor Community Centre with representatives of the local Labour Party.
He is running the London Marathon in aid of the Army Benevolent Found, which offers lifetime support to serving and retired soldiers and their families.
He can be sponsored on his Just Giving page justgiving.com/jimmurphymp