This weekend I went to Basildon which has been in the national news over the past week as workers laid off by Visteon have been protesting for better redundancy pay from Ford.
I joined our Westminster candidate, Stephen Metcalfe and many local councillors. Steve told me that unemployment in Basildon was already up 70% by the end of January and that workers at the job centre are struggling to process new applications. This is before the news from Visteon. He, local councillors and a committed team of helpers have been hand delivering a door-to-door survey to ask people how the economic downturn has affected them personally and what more they think government or local council can do to help.
Here, where the economic downturn is biting hard the proclamations of last week's G20 leaders are a million miles away. Steve's team hope that local people will come up with some practical suggestions to help them at their own local level. People I spoke to were glad that someone was listening to them.