TV star opens shop but MP says job crisis is Shameless
By Walsall Advertiser | Thursday, October 27, 2011, 09:20
CROWDS gathered outside one of Walsall's landmark buildings as Shameless star Tina Malone officially unveiled its new guise.
Shameless star Tina Malone helps to officially open the new Poundland with store manager Gary Blakemore. Above left, the new store. (SI)
The new Poundland store in Park Street, which occupies what was formerly TJ Hughes, has created 20 new jobs. (SI)
Scores of people collected outside the old Savoy cinema in Park Street on Saturday, October 22 as it was opened as a Poundland store.
The TV star stepped in at the last minute for Coronation's Street's Beverley Callard, who plays Liz McDonald, who was forced to pull out to attend the funeral of the show's Betty Driver, which was held in Manchester on the same day.
But visitors who turned out for the Halloween theme family fun day to celebrate the store's grand opening weren't disappointed as Tina, who plays Mimi Maguire in the hit Channel Four show, posed for pictures and signed autographs.
Store manager Gary Blakemore said: "It was a fantastic day, everyone was having fun.
"It was a great way to welcome shoppers in Walsall to the new Poundland."
The new store, which was formerly TJ Hughes, has create 20 new jobs.
But many applicants were left disappointed after a staggering 500 people applied for jobs there.
David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall North, says the fact that so many people applied for the few jobs available shows that unemployment is still a big problem for the borough.
"The report that 500 applied for the 20 vacancies at Poundland in Walsall gives the lie that the unemployed don't want to find work," Mr Winnick said.
"As unemployment substantially increases in the borough, as elsewhere, there is bound to be intense competition for job vacancies that arise.
"It is, indeed, a tragedy that the country seems to be returning to the 1980s when two major recessions occurred and unemployment remained so high for such a long time."