St Austell & Newquay Labour Party Press Release
Following the announcement that Flybe has gone into receivership, blaming the coronavirus for making a difficult situation worse, the St Austell and Newquay Labour Party calls on the Government to take urgent action to restore the routes and address Cornwall’s poor connectivity by rail, land and air.
The loss of Flybe from the SW and in particular for us from Cornwall airport Newquay is a devastating loss of jobs for local people and for connectivity for Cornwall. The sudden closure of Flybe has caused 2,500 job losses in all, and without warning for staff.
The impact on the local economy, the jobs, workers and their families of the loss of economy from those flights is going to hurt our area, without question.
New providers are likely to be found for the protected Public Service Obligation flight from Newquay to Heathrow/Gatwick by Cornwall Council and the Department of Transport.
But this will not compensate for the loss of other flights which are not protected to Manchester, Leeds and Amsterdam among many other destinations, which provided such a boost to our local communities.
The loss of this airline will be keenly felt by Cornwall in particular as our rail services are slower than many other parts of the country and we are restricted to one rail line out of Cornwall, which itself can be closed due to high tides at Dawlish.
Plymouth airport closed 9 years ago. We are very poorly served already and that has just got a lot worse.
Whilst we should be trying to reduce the amount we fly to lower our carbon impact we are without viable alternatives here in the South West.
For Steve Double to blame the EU laws for failure to save Flybe from administration is beyond bizarre. This is another example of how we live in the era where truth plays no part in reality. The Government has not learnt the lessons of the collapse of Monarch and Thomas Cook. The Government promised to ensure regional investment and connectivity to support us in the post Brexit economy – but have yet again failed to protect our Region from the damage.
Labour will be working with local Unions to see what support we can offer to local people who have lost their jobs at very short notice and who are frightened about the future in such a period of uncertainty.
In Steve Double’s column in last weeks St Austell Voice of the 12th February, he has included information on funding for the NHS. He says ‘by the end of the Parliament the NHS will receive an additional £33.9 billion every year. This amounts to an additional £651 million per week’
This Government is increasing funding for the NHS by 3.1%, it is fantastic to see an increase, but this will not fill the gap left by ten years of underfunding by this Government. It’s not a record breaking increase unless you measure it against previous Conservative years in Government. The historic average yearly increase for the NHS Is 3.7% per year.
The NHS is short of 100,000 staff, care is being rationed, we've got the worst ever performance in A&E, corridor nurses, growing waiting lists, half of all NHS trusts are in debt including the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, and we still have no social care white paper, that incidentally we were told by Johnson was oven ready.
The NHS and social care are in crisis, and things would be even worse if it wasn’t for the amazing NHS staff.
The £33.9 billion Mr Double is quoting is actually a spending increase in real terms of £20.5 billion, but we won’t get that amount until 2023/24. Expert think tanks are clear this will not be enough to address future issues in the NHS.
But to come back to Mr Double’s figures what does that mean year by year rather than giving us a figure five years hence?
The NHS budget is currently £119 billion for 2019/20 rising to £122 billion in 2020/21. So the NHS is getting a £3 billion increase in April 2020. That makes It closer to £57 million a week not quite the £651 million Mr Double is saying we will get per week, and nearly £300 million less than Mr Johnson promised us on his bus.
It’s not good enough to mislead the public over what this government is giving the NHS, by using figures that are not costed for inflation and are five years hence. Do better Mr Double.
Steve Double has surpassed himself and scored a nasty own goal. He was on the cover of St Austell Voice talking about ‘ridding the town of this blight’ talking about people who are homeless in St Austell.
There’s been a rise in the number of people who are homeless in this country in the last ten years and one of the main reasons is universal credit. The current system makes people wait five weeks before they can receive any help and penalises and sanctions them too. Universal credit has forced people into being homeless. It was introduced by the Conservative Party and Mr Double has voted every time for it.
A third of children in St Austell and Newquay are now officially living in poverty. Many are likely to be the homeless people of the future.
It’s not just universal credit and the way it is applied it’s also cuts to drug and alcohol treatment services; it’s cuts to drug prevention programmes; it’s cuts to public health; it’s cuts to schools budgets (over £20 million in Cornwall); it’s underfunding the NHS; it’s cuts to police and probation budgets, a loss of 21,000 police staff, all on the Conservatives watch.
All these cuts have been introduced, voted for and overseen by Mr Double and his party. This is what has caused the rise in the number of people who are in dire straits.
Let’s help people back on their feet when they hit hard times, so they don’t need to be living on the streets. Other countries, towns and cities have done it.
I don’t hold people who are homeless to blame for their plight I blame this Conservative government and Mr Double. Austerity has been a political choice and it’s not over. Meanwhile MPs get a pay rise and huge companies making millions in profits pay little or no tax. These Conservative policies are a blight on us, not people who have fallen on hard times.
I’d also like to see the Voice celebrate the kindness and care a homeless man gave someone who collapsed in St Austell, by printing that news on their front page next week, not this awful unkindness and vilification.
St Austell and Newquay Labour Party
Felicity Owen the Labour Party Candidate for St Austell and Newquay challenges Steve Double to stick to facts in his campaigning and in his campaign literature.
Steve Double, the Conservative candidate, has stated in his campaign literature that the proposed link road for St Austell is only safe in his hands and that people who want the link road must vote for him and that Labour will not take it forward.
Felicity challenged him on this at the BBC Radio hustings saying that Labour would support the link road and that Steve was misleading the voters. Labour would support the link road, to reduce air pollution in St Austell, to take heavy goods traffic away from the town and residential areas, for public transport, to promote safety and because local people want it. During the radio hustings Felicity was curtly told by Steve to look into her party policy on this and that Labour would not support the road and that she was wrong.
Felicity was not given a chance to make a rebuttal at the hustings but has released a video of her with the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn and Angela Rayner talking about the manifesto and the link road and all three agree it fits with Labour’s policies for the future.
Felicity is demanding a retraction and apology from Steve Double and is very clear she will not be letting him mislead local people. Felicity said “I want a different sort of politics. One that is not about shouting down your opponents but behaving with courtesy and common decency. We may hold very different political views. Steve and I totally disagree on most Conservative policies especially their austerity policies during which the rich have got richer and the poor poorer. The number of children in St Austell and Newquay living in poverty has shamefully increased under this Conservative Government which is an abomination but I see it serves no one’s purpose to be discourteous. I want a future of politics where the public can trust politicians to tell the truth. I’d very much like that in the national media too’.
The Conservative party is failing future generations. Britain is at a crossroads with uncertainty over its political and economic future. As the generation that will have to live with and manage the outcomes of Brexit going forward, young peoples’ voices need to be listened to and acted upon.
Brexit will have an impact on all age groups in our society, but in particular on young people who are currently in education or beginning their journey in the world of employment. This is because they will inherit the post-Brexit world.
Growing up as a young person in today’s society is not easy. The odds are often stacked with the tripling of tuition fees, an unaffordable housing market, lack of proper jobs, the numbers of jobs with zero hours contracts and the rising cost of living.
I am keenly aware of what these challenges are and the solutions that can help to make the post-Brexit Britain a positive place for young people. So one of the main things that I am campaigning for is to give young people a voice on Brexit.
Young people feel their views aren’t being listened to and many of them feel that this government won’t be able to deliver a Brexit that will work for future generations. What I often hear on the doorstep is that my vote won’t count so I am not going to bother. Labour policies offer hope for all and for young people in particular.
One of the key issues for me now is how we dispel this anxiety that many young people have about the post-Brexit period and what this means for their life opportunities.
I believe that the Labour Party is taking the right decisions on Brexit, stopping a No Deal Brexit which would have disastrous consequences for everyone but especially for young people. We must build a society where young people can help to change the political landscape and get involved in a way that will deliver results for them.
Young people have suffered disproportionately under the Conservative and Conservative and Liberal Democratic Coalition governments of the last ten years. With for example a 73% cut in youth services, multi-million pound cuts to schools’ budgets and tripling in the cost of University tuition fees.
A Labour Government will transform the lives of young people, tackle the climate crisis and introduce socialist policies. Labour pledges to make things better for young people under the banner ‘Only Young Once’
Labour has 200 policies that will improve life for the many and put people before privilege. The following policies are just some of those that will make a difference for young people giving them hope for the future.
Votes at 16
Ending zero hours contracts and unpaid trial shifts
A £10 an hour minimum wage for all workers from age 16
A network of youth clubs and services for young people
Rent caps, security for renters and new council homes built
Our radical green industrial revolution to tackle the climate crisis
Restoring schools funding and EMA for students staying on past 16
Developing a national education service
Scrapping Uni tuition fess and reintroducing maintenance grants
Free bus travel for under 25’s
Developing a people’s access to food fund
Ending child poverty
Scrapping Universal credit
Protecting the NHS and developing mental health services in particular child and adult mental health services that are so lacking.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that the Conservatives continually try to hoodwink the public with their spins and lies to get a deal through parliament which, although it will have the greatestnegative impact on us for generations to come, they do not want it scrutinised. If it is such a fantastic deal then why not have it scrutinised in the proper manner? I think the reasons are obvious. They do not want the public to see that they have removed the level playing field as I mentioned last week. How can any government change worker’s rights from legally binding to non-legally binding? Johnson cannot be trusted.
Johnson has failed to deliver Brexit by October 31st as he promised to do.
The Labour Party are standing up for truth and honesty and we want the best outcomes for the many not the few, but especially for young people, the future.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she is fighting
‘For working people
For the poor
For economic mobility
For our planet
We fight for a green new deal’
Just as Alexandria is in the US so Labour is fighting for these same things in the UK. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me.
In a major speech in Northampton on Thursday last week, Jeremy Corbyn, condemned Boris Johnson’s “cynical stunt” Queen’s Speech and laid out Labour’s alternative for “real change” across the country.
Jeremy Corbyn called Boris Johnson’s Queen’s Speech “a farce” as no programme can be delivered with “a majority of minus 45”. The Labour leader called out Mr Johnson for “using the Queen to deliver a pre-election party political broadcast for the Conservative Party”.
Jeremy used his Northampton speech to lay out “a preview” of Labour’s “most radical, hopeful, people-focused programme in modern times: a once-in-a-generation chance to rebuild and transform our country”.
• A £10/hour minimum wage for all regardless of age
• Banning fracking
• Free personal care for the over sixty fives and free prescriptions
• Scrapping tuition fees
• An end to rough sleeping
On the farce of Boris Johnson’s Queen’s Speech, Jeremy Corbyn said:
“On Monday, we will be treated to the farce of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, amid full pomp and ceremony, setting out an agenda to parliament that it has no intention or means of delivering.
“This government isn’t going to put any legislation before parliament. It has a majority of minus 45, a 100 per cent record of defeat in the Commons and is seeking a general election which will end the parliamentary session the Queen is about to open.’ The state opening of Parliament will cost us, the tax payers £220,000. Given that Boris Johnson cannot put any of his ideas into action because he does not have a majority in the House it is an expensive, complete and utter waste of time.
On wanting an election, Jeremy Corbyn said:
“It wasn’t long ago that Johnson was pretending not to want an election. Now he is pretending that it’s Labour that doesn’t want one.
“So let me address this directly: Prime Minister, we can’t trust you not to break the law because you’ve got form. We can’t trust you not to use the period of an election campaign to drive our country off a No Deal cliff edge that will crash our economy destroy our jobs and industries cause shortages of medicine and food and endanger peace in Northern Ireland.
“So it’s simple: obey the law, take No Deal off the table and then let’s have the election. We’re ready. There’s only one reason it hasn’t happened yet – we can’t trust you.”
On Labour’s “real change”, Jeremy Corbyn said:
“We might be just weeks away from the first Queen’s Speech of a Labour government. And in that Queen’s Speech, Labour will put forward the most radical, hopeful, people-focused programme in modern times: a once-in-a-generation chance to rebuild and transform our country.
The first thing Labour will do is to get Brexit sorted, get a deal that protects rights, protects peace in Ireland, protects industry and jobs. Have a referendum with this new deal and remain on the ballot and give people a choice which will be adhered to.
Grotesque inequality is not a given and has been hoisted on us by the Conservatives. Labour will end austerity, protect our services like the NHS, and enable everyone to reach their full potential with a right to education throughout life.
This is why I am a Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate. Labour policies can unite and transform the country in a way that has not been done since Clement Atlee introduced similar radical policies (like forming the NHS) in 1945. Labour won then, and we can do so again if people want a fairer country.
Labour – #PeoplebeforePrivilege
My email address is email@example.com if you want to contact me
This article was first published in the St Austell Voice on 11th September 2019
Johnson (and Cummings) have made their move, Parliament is to be prorogued, a highly controversial plan which basically (despite what the Tories will try to argue) shortens the timetable for MPs who want to scrutinise a no-deal Brexit, which we know will be harmful to people and businesses in the UK.
I am outraged by this action and I think that we can all see it for what it is, a deliberate restriction of democratic engagement.
Jacob Rees-Mogg calmly explaining “move along folks, nothing to see here…” gives me cause for concern. Johnson claims that the decision to suspend parliament is not linked to his Brexit strategy, and is instead needed because this session of parliament is late being prorogued. Our very own MP has tweeted that the overall loss is “only 4 days” so why should we worry. Unsurprisingly this was quoted by all Conservative MPs indicating that this was the “mantra” of the day to be used by all.
The government has announced that it would suspend (or 'prorogue') parliament from a day between the 9 and 12 September to 14 October. The period includes the traditional recess of around three weeks for party conferences. However, the insult to parliamentary power is clear. Parliament gives its assent to the conference recess each time. Had MPs wanted more time to debate Brexit, they could have decided not to support the recess this year (and there are indications that this was being considered). The five-week prorogation will be the longest in history; if it was just about bringing a new Queen’s Speech it could have been much shorter.
Large numbers of people have taken to the streets to protest about the proroguing of Parliament and I know that many people are very angry about this move, as am I. We took to the streets in a cross-party peaceful demonstration in St Austell this Tuesday and I am sure there will be many other protests. If this was a Labour government that had taken this action, does anybody imagine that Rees-Mogg would be saying “this is all perfectly above board”. Of course he wouldn’t, he would be outraged.
Recently cabinet members Sajid Javed, Amber Rudd and Matt Hancock were on record as being against proroguing and now they face criticism (rightly) for backing the plan. Hypocrites, being made to bend to the will of Cummings. Sajid Javid’s aide Sonia Hussain was suspected of leaking information and summoned to the office of Dominic Cummings for interrogation. He then sacked her with no evidence of wrongdoing and had her escorted away by the police. Only later, was Javid informed and he wasn’t happy apparently, because he confronted Johnson. So this is what the Tory government has come to in the midst of handling what has become a national crisis. Truly shocking.
More than 50 cross-party MPs have vowed to sit in an alternative House of Commons if Johnson carries out his suspension. They have said that the suspension is an unconstitutional coup and that parliamentarians must not allow the government to avoid scrutiny at this time of emergency.
So this is about seizing power from the people’s representatives and handing it to a non-elected Prime Minister. The government seems to have learnt from President Trump; nothing is about principle, but focusing, not on the ethics of what you are doing, but simply how you can win. The latest announcement from Johnson/Cummings is that they are going to bar any Tory MP who doesn’t go along with their plot to force a “No Deal” Brexit; they will not be allowed to stand as Tory candidates at the next election. In taking this decision Johnson/Cummings have shown a complete disregard for the most fundamental of our democratic traditions.
Proroguing parliament goes against the spirit of democracy.
We must ALL fight this downward slide into something that resembles dictatorship.
My email address if you wish to contact me about any issues is firstname.lastname@example.org
Two years ago the United Nations released the findings of an inquiry into state-level violations of the human rights of disabled people in Britain. Its conclusion was that a “human catastrophe” was under way. In employment, education, housing and social security, disabled people are hugely disadvantaged. In Britain we still have huge problems in how we perceive disability. The Tories over the last nine years have systematically destroyed many of the rights, independence, dignity and mental health of many of Britain’s disabled people.Disabled people have been demonised as not really disabled. Meanwhile, the welfare state has become an instrument of punishment.
The Centre for Welfare Reform calculated in 2013 that disabled people have endured nine times the average burden of austerity cuts. The figure rises to 19 times for the most severely disabled. In 2017 figures show that 4 million disabled people were living below the breadline.
The gains in the 1990s, such as the Disability benefits, which provided more help for more people with care and mobility needs, have all been affected by severe cuts, and then we have the introduction of the bedroom tax, universal credit and the notorious “fit for work” tests. Sanctions against disabled people and the chronically ill rose 580%. Last year 70% of disabled people judged fit for work successfully overturned that decision on appeal.
Austerity has been a Tory political choice since 2010. Social security benefits will have been cut by £35 billion a year by the early 2020s. Tax cuts will cost the Treasury £47 billion per year by 2021-2. This is great, if you are wealthy.
Cuts to social care have pushed back disabled people's ability to live independently, cuts to benefits have pushed back gains in lifting disabled people out of poverty.
Social care is often portrayed as the basics – going to the toilet and getting dressed; that's obviously key, but cuts to care provision mean that there are many people who are having to pay extra costs and choosing between buying food or things like incontinence pads.
But it's more than that, it's your ability to live the sort of life that a non-disabled person takes for granted; going to the pub with friends, to a job interview, going on a trip to see a relative in a different city. You take social care away and disabled people are treated in a way that just isn’t acceptable. You have to tackle the attitudes that make those cuts easy as much as the cuts themselves. Ministers have worked with the right-wing press to spread the myth that disabled people are a drain on the public purse – Iain Duncan Smith backing the Sun's campaign to track down so-called benefits cheats, Esther McVey telling the Mail she's going after the bogus disabled, Philip Hammond blaming the economy stalling on the increase of disabled workers. That's very scary indeed.
So what can be done to effect change? Well representation is really important. More disabled people need to be involved in leading the conversation, for example disability charities led by disabled people. A future Labour Government will review this whole issue and invite disabled-led organisations to the table. There need to be more disabled people involved in the decision-making, and nothing decided without the disabled. This should be the standard rights stance, and is quoted as a key approach in Labour’s disability manifesto.
Labour’s manifesto will undertake many changes – for example, ending the use of private companies to do benefits assessments. It proposes to provide holistic assessments which would help disabled people overcome barriers put in their way; things like that would have a huge impact on improving disabled people's lives. It should be well within our capability to make the changes that would make life better for disabled people.
Please note that Debbie George has been elected as the Disabilities Officer for St. Austell and Newquay Constituency Labour Party so please contact her if you have any issues, and she will do her best to help.
Vote Labour. FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW.
This is the second time I have written about the climate but with last week’s announcement from the IPCC and activity in Cornwall from Extinction Rebellion highlighting the threat of rising sea levels and the extinction of marine life, I make no excuses for taking up column inches on the greatest risk we currently face.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have released a new report written by some of the most knowledgeable scientists on the planet which reports that the climate crisis is damaging the ability of the land to sustain human life and will worsen as temperatures rise.
The report says global heating is increasing droughts, soil erosion and wildfires while diminishing crops in the tropics and thawing permafrost.
The report is clear that we face a stark choice. We can continue to destroy forests and keep on with our current intensive farming practices which will in turn intensify the climate crisis. Or we can act now and allow soils and forests to recover and store carbon and cut meat consumption and food waste.
It is time to address the climate crisis whilst we can. We have a limited number of years to stop global warming and Cornwall is ideally placed. We are creating a lot of renewable energy and at times our wind turbines need to be turned off as we've reached a maximum download to the grid. We could become self-sufficient for energy but all this government is doing is continuing to focus on fossil fuels that we desperately need to move away from to reduce CO2 emissions. They've increased VAT on renewables and allowed fracking, a hazardous procedure and one which contaminates vast amounts of water. The United Kingdom is now on course to miss carbon reduction targets and a legally binding 15 percent renewable target by 2020. The government are not taking the climate crisis seriously and heading in the opposite direction creating further damage.
The temperature of the planet has already increased by nearly one degree and we are approaching a point of no return. Many biologists believe we are living through the sixth major mass extinction where more than 75% of species will become extinct.
Whilst the planet burns, our new Prime Minister is spending money like there is a bottomless pit on a possible no deal, having increased money allocated to this to £6 billion. I’m sure the final bill will be much higher. Money that should be spent on addressing the climate crisis, creating a public transport system to help us move away from our reliance on cars, and helping the increasing numbers of people who are living in fuel poverty.
A no deal Brexit will affect people who have the least most. Businesses are already suffering, and the pound has hit its lowest level for many years. We are predicted to be nine months away from a recession.
There is a will to make change happen and address our climate crisis, many of us are trying to stop flying, reduce car use, change to green energy suppliers, eat locally sourced food, consume less meat and dairy, use seasonal produce and reduce food waste. We can do many things ourselves, but it needs government to respond and at present they only seem to be interested in making a horrid mess of Brexit, and the economy.
Governments are best placed to introduce legislation to enable us all to cut down our reliance on fossil fuels and to embed net zero carbon policy at all levels and departments of government. As well as working internationally with other governments to make progress on taking action across the world.
Labour have plans for a Green Industrial Revolution that takes the climate crisis seriously which will be good for the planet, people and business. Labour is committed to taking action on the scale that is required to address our climate crisis. We need a Labour government and we need it now.
If you would like to contact me my email is email@example.com
The Liberal Democrats have won the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, leaving new PM Boris Johnson with a working majority in Parliament, of one. With many of the current Conservative MPs not prepared to back a no deal Mr Johnson faces more challenges than even Mrs May.
Theresa May cut the police force by 20,000 officers which Mr Johnson obviously realises was a mistake, which he is now reversing. These are not “new” or “extra” police officers, they are being recruited because the Conservatives made a mistake.
One of the most stand out comments from a politician this week was when the Home Secretary Priti Patel announced “Quite frankly, with more police officers out there and greater police presence, I want (criminals) to literally feel terror at the thought of committing offences.”
The Home Secretary isn't actually planning anything new. Her call for "zero-tolerance policing" is rather an unsubtle message to police officers that they can step up the use of stop and search powers with impunity.
After what I would imagine were jaw dropping moments with her advisors Mrs Patel is now trying to distance herself from her wish to bring back capital punishment. Her appointment and her comments really do give reason for us to be scared of Boris Johnson’s premiership. It is a fact that tough words will not bring an end to soaring crime rates but a public health approach preventing crime arising will.
Under the Conservatives, students are being priced out of a university education and they have cut the adult skills budget to the bone. The Conservatives have trebled tuition fees to £9,250 and students in this country will graduate with some of the highest debts in the world. This means the poorest students leave university with up to £57,000 worth of debt.
They scrapped the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) which supported disadvantaged young people to stay in college, and Education Maintenance Grants, which helped thousands of students with the cost of living.
They have cut the funding for further education, with per student spending now at a similar level in real terms to that 30 years previously. The Conservatives have slashed the adult skills budget by 40 per cent since 2010. There has been near 40 per cent fall in learners studying for a level three and four qualification since 2013. Which is not surprising.
Through our National Education Service, Labour will invest to ensure that education works for the many, not the few. Labour will:
We will shift the tax burden from low and middle income earners onto the super-rich and large corporations to fund opportunities for all. We will end VAT exemption for private school fees which will pay for free school meals for every primary school child.
The £11 billion is an estimate of the actual revenues currently being paid to universities through fees, and this money will all go directly back into universities so they will not lose out. Education is a right not a privilege. Join Labour to fight for a fairer future. www.labour.org.uk
This blog will be created by members of the Exec committee on topics of interest to the St Austell & Newquay Labour Party