Last Chance to Register to Vote

Today is the last day to register to vote.

Registering to vote online is quick and easy.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 22 May 2017.

You can now register to vote online, all you need is your national insurance number and to answer a few questions about yourself.

To register to vote please visit – www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Last Chance to Register to Vote

Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote.

Registering to vote online is quick and easy.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 22 May 2017.

You can now register to vote online, all you need is your national insurance number and to answer a few questions about yourself.

To register to vote please visit – www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Labour pledges to protect education

A Successful Education – Make Every School a Good School


Our schools are facing a cash crisis. Under Tory education proposals per pupil funding to schools in East Durham will be cut by an average of £319. The Tory chaotic education policy is failing to deliver school places where they are need. Millions have been wasted on Free Schools which have gone bust or closed after failing to meet basic educational standards. The Tories introduced then withdrew plans to turn all schools into academies and now they want a return to devise grammar schools.

Universal free school meals in Primary schools at the cost of 700 million pounds to 900 million pounds a year- depending on uptake. We will pay this by a levy VAT on private school fees to raise between 1.3 billion and 1.5 billion pounds a year depending on costing. It’s an absolute disgrace that often due to circumstances out of their control, parents do not have enough money to feed their children.

Labour’s policy will benefit the educational attainment and health of all children while ending a subsidy to the privileged few.

Research confirmed by the National Centre for Social Research and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown offering universal access to free school meals improves educational attainment through improvements in pupils’ productivity, enabling primary school pupils to advance by around two months on average.

The provision of free school meals also has been proven to improve the health of pupils through better nutrition – with over 90 percent of pupils eating a school lunch consuming food or drink containing vegetables or fruit (including fruit juice) compared with only 58 percent of pupils who eat packed lunches.

A Labour Government will ensure that the children you teach never go hungry.

Re-instating Student Maintenance Grants and Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) at the cost of 1.7 billion and 700 million pounds respectively. Our young people deserve a decent education without financial blocks.

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies thinktank suggested the EMA, which was worth £30 a week, helped to boost participation among 16-18 year olds. But it was abolished in England in 2011 as part of the coalition government’s efforts to reduce the deficit and replaced with a much less generous bursary system, following claims it did not represent good value for money.

While the Tories continue to burden our young people with debt, the Labour party is committed to investing in them. It is only by investing in education that we can ensure that all of our young people, whatever their background, are able to succeed in whatever they aspire to do.

When we can help improve the education of over a million young people with a small increase in corporation tax, it is an investment we would be foolish not to make.

Cuts to school budgets need to be stopped. It is an insult to the great work teachers do by slashing their budgets, meaning they struggle to pay for essential equipment and retain staff.

School budgets are being pushed beyond breaking point. The government’s £3 billion real terms cut to education funding must be reversed or we will see education and care suffer dreadfully.

In Durham alone we will lose just under 25 million in the budget for schools which will cause a average loss of 405 pounds per pupil, losing around 670 teachers. Its an absolute disgrace.

The unfair and divisive funding formula is an attack on our education system. Increasing the headline rate of corporation tax gradually from 19% at present to 26% by 2020-2021. This still will remain the lowest corporation tax in the G7.

This increase in corporation tax will also be used to pay for free life long education. This is absolutely fundamental in improving the current workforce and giving people from working class backgrounds the opportunity to succeed. I completely reject the Tory rhetoric that tuition fees have little to no influence when making the decision to venture into further education. A lifetime saddled with debt, with Tory cuts ensuing there are no jobs, is completely disheartening, and is creating a generation of apathetic voters who see the education system as having failed them. In reality, this was a political decision to undermine working class voters who quite simply cannot face 9 thousand pounds worth of debt per year. This is why Labour will change this.

Labour has always prioritised education. Education is our route to success, providing skills for our children to grasp opportunities and lead successful lives. A Labour Government delivered Building Schools for the Future, which led to our schools being transformed, such as the Academy at Shotton Hall and Easington Academy.

The next Labour Government will build on our past success

Just as Labour established the NHS, it will set up a National Education Service to offer everyone the chance to study for “cradle to grave.”

-All primary school children in England will get free school meals paid for by removing tax breaks for private schools.

-There will be a properly funded system of free childcare which will eventually extended to all two-year-olds and, in some cases, to one-year-olds.

-The cap on teachers’ pay will be lifted and teachers will have more control of the national curriculum.

-Labour will also abolish university tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants for students.

-We will stop Tory education cuts and fund our school to cut class sizes.

Through high quality teaching, smaller class sizes and adequate funding Labour will make every school a good school.

Labour pledges to protect Firefighers!

Easington Labour Candidate met firefighters during a campaign visit at Peterlee Fire Station on Tuesday 16th May.

The manifesto, published yesterday, confirmed that Labour will recruit at least 3,000 new frontline firefighters. Give fire services in England a statutory duty to tackle flooding and guarantee that Police and Crime Commissioners will not be given control over fire services.

Labour will also abolish the public sector pay cap that has meant firefighters are on average £2000 worse off than they were in 2010.

Speaking about cuts to frontline services and attacks on staff pay, pensions and conditions, Mr Morris said the country faced a stark choice at the election, he said:

“In little over three weeks the country faces a choice. I do not believe our public services can afford another five years of a Tory government.

Fire deaths have risen for the first time in 20 years since the Tories came to power, and response times to emergencies are getting slower. The service is in crisis and the Tories don’t have a plan to save it.

Labour are the safe pair of hands who will deliver a properly resourced fire service to protect public safety. Jeremy Corbyn offers real change which has not been seen for a generation. He wants to tilt the balance in favour of those who for to long have been rejected and overlooked by a political establishment.

Labour’s manifesto will deliver seismic change for our country, if we do not grasp the opportunity now, it may take a long time before we get the chance to create real, positive change.”

One Week left to Register to Vote

Only one week left to register to vote.

Registering to vote online is quick and easy.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 22 May 2017.

You can now register to vote online, all you need is your national insurance number and to answer a few questions about yourself.

To register to vote please visit – www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Theresa May backs the return of fox hunting- I do not!

Theresa May has restored the Tories reputation as the nasty party. She has called for a return of fox hunting and if elected will deliver a vote in Parliament.

Conservative peer Lord Mancroft, Chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations, said a Tory victory with a majority of 50 MPs would be a real opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act.

The heinous act of fox hunting is barbaric, completely unnecessary and firmly belongs in the history books.

Easington Labour Candidate Grahame Morris said:

“I am worried. Fox hunting is a horrific type of animal cruelty, plain and simple.

I am appalled that the Prime Minister would support the return of fox hunting, it is yet another reason we need to stop Theresa May returning to Downing Street.

I am proud of Labour’s record on animal welfare and banning fox hunting.  There is no place in a civilised society for such a cruel bloodsport and the Prime Minister views on this matter are simply out of step in modern Britain.

The only way to protect animal welfare and maintain the hunting ban is to vote Labour on the 8th June”   

Labour has a long record of achievement in protecting and promoting animal welfare. We must work towards ending unnecessary suffering of animals and Labour are offering a real alternative to the cruelty and inaction we have seen from the Government over the past seven years.

The Hunting Act is one of Labour’s most popular and successful pieces of animal welfare legislation and we must protect it from being repealed by the Tories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walkers Crisp Factory Closure

Commenting of the closure of the Walkers’ Crisps Factory, Grahame Morris, Easington Labour Candidate said:

“I am very disappointed that Walkers have proceeded with the decision to close the crisp factory at the end of the year and did not engage with the Union at the earliest opportunity to consider alternative proposals to closure.

My thoughts and concerns are with the families and workers at Walkers who have shown nothing but hard work and commitment to the company.

Walkers must now allow the Trade Unions and Jobcentre Plus to work with staff to give them new skills where required and every support to finding new employment in the locality.”

LABOUR ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR A NEW NATIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE

As Labour’s candidate for Easington,  I wanted to let you know about Labour’s bold new plans for a National Education Service.

Seven years into government, it’s clear that the Tories are failing to deliver on the basics of education. Schools are suffering under their cuts, whilst class sizes are soaring. On their watch there are more unqualified teachers, and yet their obsession with selective education means that their plans for new grammars will only benefit a lucky few.

Labour is ambitious for every child. That’s why we’ve announced plans for a new National Education Service which will deliver opportunities for the many, not the few. Labour will:

  • Stop the cuts to school budgets will a real-terms increase in funding 
  • Cut class sizes to lower than 30 for all five, six and seven year-olds 
  • Introduce free universal school meals for primary school children, funded by VAT on private school fees
  • Bring back Education Maintenance Allowance and maintenance grants for students from low and middle income backgrounds
  • Scrap fees on courses for adults looking to retrain or upskill

Research by the National Union of Teachers warn that under Tory education plans Dene Community School would lose £600 per pupil by 2019.

On a visit to Dene Community School, I spoke to staff regarding these proposed education cuts:

“Dene Community School would be one of the worst affect by Tory education cuts. There can be no justification for such a cut or the failure to invest in our young people.

The Tories are failing our children with their chaotic education policy and constant changes. Millions have been wasted on failing Free Schools, they introduced then withdrew plans to make all schools academies and now they want to turn the clock back with the return of grammar schools.” 

Mr Morris added:

“I believe we need to make every school a good school. This means stopping Tory education cuts and reducing class sizes. 

Education is essential for delivering opportunity and improving the life chances for children in the Easington constituency. 

Education is a public good and is an investment in people which will reap long lasting dividends”

The reason I’m standing as Labour’s candidate for Easington is because I believe that opportunities should exist for everyone.

Labour’s 10 Pledges To You

Labour’s aim is to rebuild and transform Britain for the many, not the few. These ten pledges set out the framework for what Labour will campaign for.

Pledge 1 – Full Employment

We will create a million good quality jobs across our regions and nations, and guarantee a decent job for all. By investing £500 billion in infrastructure and industry, backed up by a publicly-owned National Investment Bank and regional banks, we will build a high skilled, high tech, low carbon economy to ensure that no one and no community is left behind.

We will invest in the high speed broadband, energy, transport and homes that our country needs and allow good businesses to thrive, and support a new generation of co-operative enterprises.

Pledge 2 – A Secure Homes Guarantee

We will build over a million new homes in five years, with at least half a million council homes, through our public investment strategy.

We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls, secure tenancies and a charter of private tenants’ rights, and increase access to affordable home ownership.

Pledge 3 – Security at Work

We will give people stronger employment rights from day one in a job, end exploitative zero hours contracts, and create new sectoral collective bargaining rights.

We will strengthen working people’s representation at work and the ability of trade unions to organise, so that working people have a real voice at work.

And we will put the defence of social and employment rights, as well as action against undercutting of pay and conditions through the exploitation of migrant labour, at the centre of the Brexit negotiations agenda for a new relationship with Europe.

Pledge 4 – A Secure NHS and Social Care

We will end health service privatisation and bring services into a secure, publicly-provided NHS.

We will integrate the NHS and social care for older and disabled people, funding dignity across the board, and ensure parity for mental health services.

Pledge 5 – A National Education Service

We will build a new National Education Service, open to all throughout their lives. We will ensure there is universal childcare to give all children a good start in life, allowing greater sharing of caring responsibilities and removing barriers to women participating in the labour market.

We will bring about the progressive restoration of free education for all; and guarantee quality apprenticeships and adult skills training.

Pledge 6 – Action to Secure Our Environment

We will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environmental policies, and take action to fulfil the Paris climate agreement.

We will ensure a fair transition to a low-carbon economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy.

We will deliver clean energy and curb energy bill rises for households – energy for the 60 million, not the Big Six energy companies. We will defend and extend EU environmental protections

Pledge 7 – Put the Public Back into Our Economy

We will rebuild public services and expand democratic participation, put the public back into our economy, give people a real say in their local communities with increased local and regional democracy.

We will act to ‘insource’ our public and local council services, increase access to leisure, arts and sports across the country, and expand our publicly controlled bus network.

We will bring our railways into public ownership and extend democratic social control over our energy.

Pledge 8 – Cut Inequality in Income and Wealth

We will build a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest earners are fairly taxed, and shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid.

We will act to create a more equal society, boost the incomes of the poorest and close the gender pay gap.

Pledge 9 – Action to Secure an Equal Society

We will ensure that the human rights of all citizens are respected and all are protected from discrimination and prejudice.

We will take action to tackle violence against women and girls, racism and discrimination on the basis of faith, and secure real equality for LGBT and disabled people.

We will defend the Human Rights Act and guarantee full rights for EU citizens living and working in Britain – and not allow them to be used as pawns in Brexit negotiations.

Pledge 10 – Peace and Justice at the Heart of Our Foreign Policy

We will put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy, commit to working through the United Nations, end support for aggressive wars of intervention and back effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis.

We will build human rights and social justice into trade policy, honour our international treaty obligations on nuclear disarmament and encourage others to do the same.