Monday, 12 April 2010
LABOUR MANIFESTO LAUNCHED AND KATHY'S ALREADY ON HER SECOND LEAFLET!!
On the day that Gordon Brown launched Labour's Manifesto under the slogan A FUTURE FAIR FOR ALL , Bridgwater & West Somerset Labour candidate Kathy Pearce stepped up her own campaign to wrest the Constituency from Tory Misrule with her second leaflet.
Kathy's first leaflet has already gone out to 27,000 homes across the Constituency, which stretches from Bridgwater in the East through Watchet and Minehead to Porlock and Exmoor in the West, and has already firmly established her as the key challenger to the Tory incumbent Ian Liddel-Grainger who is proving to be less of an asset to the Conservatives than his 8,000 majority may seem.
The second leaflet drop , combined with canvassing and a poster and billboard campaign, kicked off on Bridgwater's Hamp estate where Kathy grew up and went to school and where she has been a popular local District Councillor for the last 10 years.
Kathy said "Everything we have achieved in the Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency is because we've had a Labour Government from Sure Start supporting Families to the Introduction of the Minimum Wage and it's places like Hamp that would take the brunt of any future Conservative Government cuts - and I don;t want that to happen , so I'm fighting to win here and I'm proud to be part of the Labour Party and our Manifesto and the promises launched today!"
The key points in the Labour Party manifesto include:
Promise of "a choice of good schools in every area". Where parents are not satisfied, they will have the power to trigger a ballot on bringing in a new school leadership team from a "proven and trusted accredited provider" through a merger or takeover. Up to 1,000 secondary schools would be part of such an accredited schools group by 2015.
Every pupil leaving primary school is "secure in the basics," with a "three Rs" guarantee of one-to-one and small-group tuition for every child falling behind. In secondary school, every pupil would have a personal tutor and a choice of good qualifications.
Every young person to be guaranteed education or training until 18, with 75 per cent going on to higher education, or completing an advanced apprenticeship or technician level training, by the age of 30.
IMPROVING THE NHS AND SOCIAL CARE
Legally binding guarantees for patients including the right to cancer test results within one week of referral, and a maximum 18 weeks' wait for treatment or the offer of going private.
Preventative healthcare through routine check-ups for the over-40s and a major expansion of diagnostic testing.
All hospitals to become foundation trusts, with successful ones given the support and incentives to take over those that are underperforming. Trusts given freedom to expand into primary and community care and to increase their private services, where these are consistent with NHS values and if they generate surpluses that are invested in NHS.
Promise to introduce a new National Care Service to ensure free care in the home for those with the greatest care needs. A cap on the cost of residential care so that everyone's homes and savings were protected from charges after two years in a home.
IMPROVING THE POLICE
"Swift action" to be taken when police do not perform well. Where a police force or local basic command unit (BCU) consistently fails local people, Labour would ensure "either that the senior management team including the borough commander or chief constable is replaced, or it is taken over by a neighbouring force or BCU."
Legislation to give victims of anti-social behaviour financial support to pursue legal injunctions, with the costs met by the police, council, courts or other agency that let them down.
Pledge not to raise the 20p in the pound, 40p and 50p rates of tax. Renews previous promise not to extend scope of VAT to food, children's clothes, books, newspapers and public transport fares, but stops short of saying rate will remain at 17.5 per cent.
CREATING A NEW ECONOMY
Pledge to build a hi-tech economy, supporting business and industry to create one million more skilled jobs and modernising our infrastructure with High Speed Rail, a Green Investment Bank and broadband access for all.
Target to achieve about 40 per cent low-carbon electricity by 2020 and create 400,000 new green jobs by 2015. New rules for takeovers, with government allowed to intervene in "public interest" in those affecting utilities and infrastructure. Would require a super-majority of two-thirds of shareholders in corporate takeovers.
Northern Rock could be turned back into building society under a drive to boost "mutualism". Labour would secure the best deal for the taxpayer from stakes in publicly controlled banks; introduce a new global levy on banks; and reform the rules for banking to ensure no repeat of past irresponsibility.
WORK AND FAMILIES
National minimum wage to rise at least in line with average earnings, and a new £40-a-week "better off in work" guarantee. Higher "living wage" paid by Whitehall departments to lowest-paid workers such as cleaners.
Create 200,000 jobs through the Future Jobs Fund, with a job or training place for young people who are out of work for six months. Benefits cut at 10 months if they refuse a place; and anyone unemployed for more than two years guaranteed work, but no option of life on benefits.
Paid paternity leave doubled from two weeks to a "father's month". Labour would work with employers to see how it could be taken flexibly – for example, by taking first two weeks round time of the birth and the remaining two during first year of baby's life.
Pledge to introduce new "toddler tax credit" of £4 a week from 2012 to give more support to all parents of young children – whether they want to stay at home or work.
"Double referendum" on same day on whether to move to Australian-style Alternative Vote for elections to the House of Commons (in which voters mark candidates in order preference) and to a democratic and accountable House of Lords. A free vote in Parliament on reducing the voting age from 18 to 16. Legislation to ensure parliaments sit for a fixed term and an all-party commission to chart a course to a written constitution. A statutory register of lobbyists, with MPs banned from working for lobbying companies and required to seek approval for paid outside appointments.