Standing Up For Stourbridge

A message from Pete Lowe – your Labour candidate in Stourbridge:


Image may contain: 1 person, suit and close-upI know first-hand the challenges that young people face. I have one daughter who will be saddled with a mountain of student debt and another who is struggling on a zero-hours contract. Only the Labour Party promises educational opportunity for all and secure employment from day one that will give young people hope for the future.

Labour’s promise to maintain the triple lock protection on pensions gives my Mum and all pensioners in Stourbridge the peace of mind that their incomes will be protected.

My parents were the first generation in my family who could afford to buy their own home. Their grandchildren are faced with unaffordable private rents and mortgages. I will support a radical increase in affordable housing to buy and rent.

Stourbridge schools are projected to lose more than £4.5m in funding by 2019. The budget at my own primary school, Thorns, will be cut by more than £700 per pupil per year!

As a registered nurse for over twenty years I have worked in our local hospitals and am proud of Labour’s greatest achievement in government – our NHS. The NHS is under threat from reduced funding, increased waiting lists and further privatisation. I will fight for the future of our NHS.

The Tory government has cut Dudley council’s funding by 25% since 2010. Affluent and leafy Surrey has been given an increase of 1.4%. Why have the Tories got it in for the people of Stourbridge?

In this election we have a choice: a local resident who is committed to his community and committed to fight for a better future, or a career politician and the Tories who have failed our NHS, failed our housing needs, have no idea what it’s like to live on a pension or disability benefits, and have no sense of the struggle to help our children fulfil their ambitions.

Vote Labour on 8th June. Aim high, vote Lowe!


For more from Pete and the Stourbridge Labour campaign team, go to Pete Lowe – Standing Up For Stourbridge.

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Labour Briefing: You can’t trust the Tories!

On the day that the Tories U-turned on the dementia tax, a little something from the Labour Party on broken Tory promises…

Theresa May pretends otherwise, but she has been at the heart of the Conservative Government for the last seven years. Her personal record is the record of this Conservative Government – one of failure and broken promises. From the economy to the NHS, policing to schools, Theresa May’s government has failed again and again to deliver on the pledges they made to the British people.

• They promised economic stability, but they have missed every debt and deficit target they set themselves.
• They promised to raise living standards, but working families are set to be on average over £1,400 a year worse off.
• They promised to improve all standards of NHS care, but A&Es are in their worst state on record and hospitals are in financial crisis.
• They promised to protect school spending, but per pupil spending is going down and class sizes are soaring.

If they broke this many promises in just two years, imagine how many they could break with another five.

To read more about the Tories’ record of broken promises and failure, download ‘One Tory Manifesto. Two years of Failure. 50 Broken Promises’, a document produced by the Labour Party Policy and Research Team highlighting Tory broken promises.

West Midlands Mayoral Election: All to play for in May

Stourbridge Young Labour’s Andrew Tromans takes a look at Siôn Simon’s Labour candidacy for West Midlands Metro Mayor, and what his policies would mean for our region…

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London. Bristol. Liverpool. The West Midlands? The question of whether the second biggest conurbation in the UK will elect a Labour Mayor will be settled on 4th May. Siôn Simon, Labour’s candidate in the West Midlands Mayoral election, has a strong record of standing up for our region, both as a government minister and MEP. He has pushed for the West Midlands to have greater autonomy for years – long before the Tories cottoned on to the devolution agenda. Mr. Simon has bold and ambitious plans for transport and housing, and has also recently called for the West Midlands to have its’ voice heard around the Brexit negotiating table.

Transport

Much like London, transport policy will be a key battleground for the runners and riders in the West Midlands Mayoral contest. Siôn Simon has touted several ambitious policies such as introducing 24-hour bus services on popular routes to help shift workers or late night revellers get home on public transport. Labour’s man has also proposed scrapping the charges for using the M6 Toll road. This would be music to the ears of anyone who has commuted in or out of Birmingham during rush-hour.

Closer to home, the Combined Authority that the new Mayor will chair from 8th May has already signed off on a major transport project that will provide a tram to link from Brierley Hill to the Wolverhampton-Birmingham Metroline, offering Black Country residents an alternative to using the roads to make their journeys. Furthermore, in recent weeks there has been lively discussion about undoing some of the damage Dr. Beeching inflicted upon our railways in the 1960s and reopening the Stourbridge-Walsall link.

However, it is HS2 that dominates the transport debate in the West Midlands. Optimists suggest that HS2 will bring businesses to the West Midlands and increase the value of housing. Others have grave doubts about the economic benefits that marginally quicker journey times to London will bring. Regardless, it’s certain that – if elected – Mr. Simon will work tirelessly to ensure our region gets the crucial transport investment it needs.

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Housing

Addressing the housing shortage is a priority for the Labour Party both nationally and locally. It would seem that the West Midlands public agrees – a poll conducted by the Birmingham Mail suggested that residents want the new Mayor and Combined Authority to focus on housing as a matter of urgency. This concern appears to be well founded, with The National Federation for Housing suggesting that only 48 per cent of the new homes needed to meet demand were being built in 2014. At the first public hustings event for the West Midlands Mayoral candidates held recently at the Black Country Museum, Siôn Simon called for action on the ‘indefensible’ state of housing in the West Midlands and outlined his plan for a region-wide housing strategy that includes using a £200m budget to develop 15,000 new homes. This fund was granted as part of the devolution deal between Whitehall and the West Midlands. However, as Birmingham and the surrounding areas receive new funding and development, the Mayor and Combined Authority will need to ensure that a similar pattern of gentrification and “social cleansing” to that seen in areas of London does not occur in the West Midlands.

More for Birmingham?

There is a justified concern in some parts of the region that the new funding for the West Midlands through the Combined Authority will simply mean ‘more for Birmingham’. One of the key challenges for the new Mayor is to make sure the benefits of devolution touch every part of the West Midlands. This problem is compounded by the fact that residents in areas outside of the main conurbation such as Redditch and Cannock Chase will be affected by decisions made by the Mayor but will not be able to pass judgement at the ballot box. Labour’s Siôn Simon is keenly aware of this tension and has pledged to be a ‘Mayor for the whole region’. It is Mr. Simon’s vision, for example, to ensure that everyone in the region lives no more than 30 minutes away from a cultural attraction or green space.

The election on 4th May represents a huge opportunity for Labour in the West Midlands. It is an opportunity for the party to win back the confidence and trust of voters and wield executive power. It is also an opportunity to show just how different Labour’s priorities are to those of Theresa May’s Tories. A Labour victory in this historic election will be owed to the dedication of grassroots members and supporters, and we should all remember that the road to Number 10 runs through the West Midlands. It’s time to knock on some doors…

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Sion Simon came to Stourbridge to help out with our NHS street stall recently. Now Sion needs our help! Go to http://www.sion-simon.com for more info. on joining #TeamSion. The first West Mids Mayor HAS to be Labour – we can make that happen.