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

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is one of Labour’s most popular and successful pieces of animal welfare legislation and we must protect it from being repealed by the Tories.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

Election Day Message – Vote Labour

I want to wish all Labour Council candidates the very best in the local elections especially in my constituency in County Durham but also all across the country where elections are taking place. Huge thanks to all the Labour supporters and volunteers who have helped in the campaign. I was a Councillor representing part of my home village of Murton for a number of years when my boys were young so I understand the pressures and the costs to personal and family life of standing for locally elected office.

I am sure we all ask at times why we do it particularly when tested by those who have in the main done little or nothing for their communities but carp criticise and sneer. I have asked at times if I am I done with this, but I don’t think I will ever be done with the Labour Party. My belief in the politics of community and the values of social justice are unshakable. The evidence is clear when we have the opportunity we can achieve great things that transform lives and life chances of those who with all humility we seek to represent. That has been my experience of Labour in power in local government and in national politics. In my youth I have been fortunate to see what I had hoped was an end to hunger homelessness and squalor, and be part of a Labour Council which built decent housing for families and warden controlled sheltered housing for the elderly. It was Labour in power which built the new schools and made education a priority which meant that we have had better lives than our parents and our children have had the opportunity of a good education and a better start in life.

Labour has made a difference to the lives of my family too. When I was battling lymphatic cancer at the turn of the year, it was Labour’s greatest achievement, the NHS, through early diagnosis and prompt treatment which saved my life.

So, regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s election, I will never be cowed from standing up for Labour, and standing up for the difference we can make when we work together for the common good. I’m not done yet and neither is the Party which I love and owe so much to. So let us push cynicism aside and let’s press on to do our best. We are standing on the shoulders of those who went before and faced many adversities and hardships. I know that the Labour values we stand for are the hope of the world and WILL win through in the end.

Labour Candidate Grahame Morris makes #MindManifesto2017 pledge

Easington Labour Candidate Grahame Morris has backed Mind’s Mental Health manifesto and has committed to following their six actions for the next government.

The six action’s include:

1. Deliver the investment and commitments agreed in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health – the national plan to improve mental health care – and go beyond this to take us closer to putting mental health on an equal footing with physical health.

2. Improve public understanding of mental health and reduce negative attitudes and discrimination, including supporting the Time to Change campaign.

3. Tackle the culture of fear and silence of mental health in the workplace by providing increased and better support and incentives for employers to create mentally healthy workplaces for all staff, including employees with mental health problems. For people with mental health problems who are out of work, ensure they are offered voluntary, individually tailored back-to-work support delivered by trained staff who understand how mental health can impact on a person’s ability to get and stay in work.

4. Make sure anyone with a mental health problem who requires it can access financial support from the welfare system to help manage the extra costs of having a mental health problem, so they can stay well and live independently, free from the fear of sanctions and having their benefits removed if they are too unwell to work.

5. Ensure local authorities have sufficient funding to deliver tailored social support and advice to alleviate debt, social isolation and housing insecurity – the issues that make life harder for people with mental health problems.

6. Change outdated and discriminatory legislation like the Mental Health Act and the definition of disability to ensure everyone with mental health problems gets support and respect.
Easington Labour Candidate Grahame Morris speaking about the Mind Manifesto 2017 campaign said:

“I am delighted to add my support to this campaign and pledge to help deliver the six goals Mind have highlighted for the next Government.

The Tories record on mental health is one of failure with funding cut by over 8 per cent and 6,600 fewer mental health nurses compared to 2010.

It is unacceptable that thousands of patients in crisis have to travel out of the area for a psychiatric bed and that extra funding meant for children’s mental health services has actually been used for other NHS services.

I hope all candidates in this election will make mental health a priority of the campaign and ensure that mental health is given the due care, attention and funding required in order to support high quality mental health services that can be transformative for a persons’ quality of life.”