When (and not if) the piers are restored to their former glory and all Whitby's other precious treasures are too, let the contracts be given to firms who employ at least 20% of local labour, and I don't necessarily mean just from Whitby. The local economy of Whitby is heavily funded by tourism and people from the Teesside area, many of which enjoy day trips to the town. Figures have recently been published showing the percentage of work that has been contracted to local firms for the various councils in Teesside, and I was shocked to hear on Radio Tees this morning that the percentage has decreased by up to 20% in the last year for some of our councils. In fact, only Hartlepool's council has actually bothered to actively increase the amount of work carried out by local firms. It is perfectly legal to include certain provisos in the terms of a contract when it's put out to tender, and even a firm from outside of the area can still apply if they comply with the requirement. (eg. At least 20% of local labour must be employed to carry out the work). The advantages of councils choosing a policy such as this are not just financial, as the spokeman from Hartlepool explained in the interview which was broadcast on Radio Tees this morning, it also ensures that there is steady increase in the number of skilled local workers who will in turn, spend some of the money they earn and help to boost the local economy. A typical example was given which highlighted the benefits of this policy. It occurred recently when a storm and high seas caused overnight damage to Hartlepool's north pier (I think it was), but Hartlepool council were able to arrange for immediate repair work to take place by Seymours, because they had previously been used for similar work involving the sea defences and they employed local labour which meant that the work could be done without delay. Maybe S.B.C could learn a thing or two from Hartlepool Council. In fact, maybe they should contact Seymours or Hartlepool Council's procurement dept for advice. After all, many of Seymours employees and their families will no doubt, be regular visitors to Whitby, and by spending some of their wages there, they are helping to boost Whitby's economy.