For many years people who haven’t bothered voting have said ‘they’re all the same’ , but today with the publication of a radical socialist manifesto by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party there really is a choice to be made and no one can say there isn’t. With the Tories taking the voters for granted and simply assuming they have the right to win the General Election on June 8th, now there is a message addressing the concerns of the Many and not the privileged Few in our society. Labour’s policies have been proving popular with the public and the Polls have been going up and up, leaving the Tories worried and relying on the collapsing,defecting UKIP vote. Somerset’s Labour candidates are getting out and about in their constituencies spreading the message and meeting supporters old and new and a surprisingly increasing number of people who have never voted before but will be this time.
Speaking at the launch today Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said “For the last seven years, Britain has been run for the rich, but now is the time for us to build a country in which everyone can lead a richer life.I am confident that once the people of Britain have looked at the issues they will support our promise of a fairer Britain, run for the many not the few.”
You can read and judge the manifesto for yourself here.
Somerset Support for Manifesto
Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for the Bridgwater and West Somerset election on June 8th,Wes Hinckes, said “At last a manifesto that puts people and their families centre stage.How long have we waited for this? For the voices of everyday people to be heard? For the needs of our children to be listened to? For those who are ill, disabled, or infirm to be treated with dignity and respect?This manifesto is fit for the 21st century and a modern society.We are absolutely delighted with it and look forward to making it a reality.”
Somerton and Frome Labour candidate Sean Dromgoole agreed “Best Manifesto for 30 years. It is one that any progressive can vote for without the fear of regret. A quiet, decent, open, honest British revolution is starting. The flame was the huge popularity of our leader Jeremy Corbyn. The Manifesto is our route map. Bring everyone with you and hold on tight. This ride is only going up.”
Candidate for Labour in the Wells constituency Andy Merryfield said “Labour’s Magic Manifesto; not a wand in sight but a clearly expressed, fully costed programme of change ‘for the many not the few’ that will enable us to continue our positive campaign to create a fairer country.”
Properly Resourcing the NHS
Secretary of West Somerset Labour Party Katherine See said “As a nurse I welcome all of Labour’s manifesto promises on our NHS. In particular promises to properly resource our ambulance service. South West Ambulance Service Trust is massively over stretched in West Somerset with ambulances often having to travel from far outside the local area to attend emergency calls. This is the result of under staffing, under resourcing and high demand due to our top heavy elderly population and widely spread communities.”
Employment and Environmental protection
Chair of Bridgwater Branch Labour Party Jane Grenfell said “I’m particularly pleased to see a commitment to protecting women from unfair redundancy just because they’ve had or are having a baby. Lifting the public sector pay freeze will help our communities where many people are employed as civil servants. Also the ban on fracking is great news. Here in Somerset we are facing fracking near to Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. The environmental risk, just to extract more fossil fuel is too high”
Real Democracy for Our Youth
Bridgwater’s newly elected Labour Deputy Mayor, 27 year old Cllr Diogo Rodrigues (Dunwear North) was delighted with the manifesto “Hurrah a Manifesto with the interests of our young adults at heart. No longer shall young people be penalised for a debt we did not inherit – real hope and opportunity awaits us. Not only will we see a meaningful living wage of £10 and hour to bring about an end to this modern day age discrimination – but no more barriers to education with tuition fees completely abolished and maintenance grants reintroduced, to give every young person the opportunity to educate and develop skills which will help them excel in adult life. And to top it off the voting age will be lowered to 16 – this is real democracy and fairer representation – young people deserve a say in their future and a Labour government will listen.”
Education For All
Newly elected Councillor for Bridgwater Eastover, Chelsea Chadwick, said “Labour’s plan to create a National Education Service will ensure that no child, young person or adult is left without the skills they need to prosper in a fair society. By investing in our communities like this, we can ensure that low-skilled and low-prospect jobs are a thing of the past.”
And Cllr Maureen Smith (Minehead) said “As West Somerset came bottom of the national league for social mobility, the proposed National Education Service will address the lack of range of education and, especially, vocational skills training in the District, made worst by the recent Tory cuts in education funding.”
Leader of Bridgwater’s Labour controlled Town Council, cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) said “Education above anything shows the real choice between the parties. The Tories want to bring back the divisive and elitist Grammar school system, the Lib Dems conned people into voting for them the last time round about ending tuition fees and then put the Tories back in power and immediatly broke their promise which is why they are simply not trusted any more. The biggest cheer of the manifesto launch was when Corbyn promised to scrap tuition fees. People know he’s a man of principle who will do what he says. It’s no wonder that within minutes of the launch 100s of thousands of young people were queuing up to register to vote. The way we will beat the Tories is by sidelining the treacherous Lib Dems and getting people who have never voted for years or for ever even on the register by the 22nd and out to vote on the 8th.”
Homes for the Many
Cllr Mick Lerry Leader of the Labour Group on Sedgemoor District Council said “ Many people in the Bridgwater & West Somerset Constituency will welcome the news today that Labour will establish a new Department for Housing to focus on tackling the crisis and to ensure housing is about homes for the many, not investment opportunities for the few. Labour’s new housing ministry will be tasked with improving the number, standards and affordability of homes. We will overhaul the Homes and Communities Agency to be Labour’s housing delivery body, and give councils new powers to build the homes local communities need. A new Housing Ministry will make sure that Housing will get the high priority needed, for people who wish to rent or purchase their home. By making sure that there is a National Transformation Fund, Local Authorities in the constituency will be able to access the funding to build council houses in greater numbers. This will also give a real possibility of home ownership for many who are priced out of the market. For too long councils have not been able to borrow money to build houses, when the business case shows that there is a need and incoming rent or funds from the sale of houses will cover the borrowing costs.
Cllr Lerry continued “I also welcome the fact that we will make the building of new homes, including council homes, a priority through our National Transformation Fund, as part of a joined-up industrial and skills strategy that ensures a vibrant construction sector with a skilled workforce and rights at work”.
Something for everyone
Labour’s Manifesto also pledged to protect our bus services in rural areas where local councils are having to financially support essential bus services, which were closed down by private bus companies. The Tory Buses Act passed a few weeks ago will soon stop even this lifeline.
On Migration the manifesto struck a chord in our county where the ageing population is a major issue and in particular in West Somerset which has the oldest population in the country. Countries like Germany have recognised the the need for migrants to address this population imbalance and Labour clearly has too.