GENERAL ELECTION - Redditch candidates map out their plans for the borough - The Redditch Standard

GENERAL ELECTION - Redditch candidates map out their plans for the borough

Redditch Editorial 28th Jun, 2024 Updated: 3rd Jul, 2024   0

AHEAD of the general election on July 4, we asked the Redditch prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) to outline their and their party’s plans for the borough.

Here’s what they had to say……

CONSERVATIVE – Rachel Maclean: ‘I will continue to deliver’

REDDITCH and the Villages is my home, and it has been the honour of my life to serve as your MP for the past seven years.

We’ve achieved a lot together, but there is more to do.

Like at the Alex Hospital where we have secured huge investment from an £18.8million operating theatre complex to the return of the Garden Suite Chemotherapy Unit.




Or the £16.6million Town Deal we have secured to regenerate the town centre.

And in the villages where I have stood up for our rural communities by protecting our greenbelt from inappropriate development and ensured we build the houses we need in the right places.


I have a record of delivering results and I plan to build on that should I be given the enormous honour of being re-elected as your MP.

I will continue to fight to return a maternity and children’s service to the Alex, ensure the Town Deal money regenerates our town centre and stand up for strong borders and controlled immigration.

But all of this is at risk in this election. National polling and polling for our constituency is very different. Polling for our constituency shows it is a two-horse race between me and the Labour candidate.

A vote for Reform will lead to a Labour MP, which I know Reform voters do not want. I’m sure that is not what the Reform candidate, who has actually praised my work, wants either.

I am a local woman who has delivered real results, and I hope to be able to continue this work, but it is only with your help that I can continue to deliver real results.

Rachel Maclean

Conservative PPC for Redditch

 

LABOUR – Chris Bloore:  ‘We need to get the country back on track’

EVERYDAY, in every corner of this constituency, I speak to hardworking people playing by the rules yet struggling due to the mistakes of this Conservative government.

Many local people, hoping to slow down, are now working longer and cutting back on family essentials due to the cost of living crisis.

In Headless Cross I met a couple struggling to pay their new increased mortgage payments on their dream home, because of Liz Truss’s reckless gamble with our economy and are even considering downsizing.

I spoke with a family on Odell Street, who are cutting back on holidays, activities for their children and even simple pleasures like eating out or going to the cinema. Life is simply unaffordable right now for the people I grew up with in this community and we simply can’t go on like this.

But It’s not just the economy that is broken, people are desperately concerned about our NHS.

Over a decade ago, I joined the ‘Save the Alex’ team to campaign against losing critical services. Politicians promised us services would be returned. Politicians told us that we should ‘judge them on their records’. Well, we’re no closer to the return of those critical maternity and paediatric services and local people have noticed and are angry. But not only have they failed to meet their promises, we now face skyrocketing waiting lists for cancer treatments, long A&E waits, and the 8am scramble for GP appointments.

But the list of concerns that people share with me are not just limited to the cost-of-living crisis and the NHS. People are angry that we have lost control of our borders and our immigration system is broken.

People are worried that the visible neighbourhood policing, like my grandad provided, has disappeared, with too many crimes going unsolved.

Our schools are setting deficit budgets, too many children are not getting the SEND support they need, home ownership is out of reach for too many and our Adult Social Care system is struggling to cope with increased demand.

One of the most common comments I get on the door is that nothing works in this country anymore.

In the final two weeks of this campaign I’ll continue to share Labour’s first steps to get this country back on track.

When trust in politics and politicians is at an all-time low, I’ll continue to keep knocking on doors, to have the conversations that matter, because I strongly believe that Redditch’s best days are ahead of us.

Chris Bloore

Labour PPC for Redditch

 

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT – Andrew Fieldsend-Roxborough: ‘The NHS and our rivers need saving’

WHEN I HAVE been talking to residents across the constituency, three main topics have come up – the NHS, the natural environment, and housing. This has been the same within Redditch town and in the surrounding villages.

This election we have the chance to save the NHS from the state that this Conservative government has left it in, we do this by investing in Social Care.

There are patients that end up in hospital because something that could have been looked after at home has escalated and there are patients stranded in hospitals because care is not in place.

The Liberal Democrats will put in place free personal care for all which will save time and resources elsewhere in the NHS.

Severn Trent Water dumped sewage across the constituency 294 times in 2023, for a staggering 2,737 hours. This is simply environmental vandalism. The Liberal Democrats will massively expand marine protected areas and introduce Blue Flag status for local rivers which would set legally-binding targets to prevent sewage dumping in those sites. We also need a new regulator, one with greater powers to hold water companies to account.

Everyone deserves to have a place they can call home and so the Liberal Democrats will end rough sleeping within the next Parliament. For renters, we will ban no-fault evictions. For owners, we will abolish residential leaseholds and cap ground rents to a nominal fee. For those looking to buy, we will build 380,000 new homes-a-year of which 150,000 will be social homes and with the Rent to Own model rent payments for these social homes would mean you own the property after 30 years, no deposit required.

There are so many issues that require solutions, too many to talk about here and so I encourage you to read our manifesto and judge it for yourself.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a strong local champion who will fight for you and your community.

Vote Liberal Democrat for a fair deal.

Andrew Fieldsend-Roxborough

Liberal Democrat PPC for Redditch

 

REFORM UK – Julie Alison: ‘Work with me and let’s make Britain great again’

OUT AND about campaigning in Redditch, these are what I see as priorities;

Housing – The population is Redditch has increased by a minimum of 20,000 in the last 20 years but over the last few years exponentially, currently running close to 90,000. Some areas of Redditch have the highest density in Europe at > 4,153 population/sqkm. Areas of Winyates and Churchill are classed as the sixth most deprived in the country. Figures from Shelter tell us a significant proportion of housing in Redditch in Social Housing with at least 1,000 people on the waiting list for homes. Private Landlords have exited the housing sector en-masse due to punitive taxes imposed by the Conservatives. Often families with children are being forced out of their homes with little or no notice. We have to scrap the 2019 tax changes for landlords, increase council support against section 21 notices, fast-track temporary housing. We have to, in the short-term, repurpose vacant properties, houses and shops. A full review of Section 108 private developer contribution is needed in the building of social housing. We need to incentivise new construction and fast-track planning initiatives.

Working Families – The average salary in Redditch is at £28,000 per annum. As rents increase, disposable income reduces. Together with increased fuel bills and the cost of living means a lot of hard-working families are struggling. Currently working families are entitled to 30 hours free child care (from nine months of age), introduced in April 2024. We would support this

The biggest helping hand would be the following;

Increase the tax threshold to £20,000, if both parents earn over this then they would have an additional £3,000-per-annum straight in their pocket . A reduction in the fuel duty to 20p from 54p would give the average working family another £56-per-month minimum. Abolish IR 35 rules for sole traders, this is unfair as they don’t receive a pension or sick pay.

The NHS – No maternity ward at the Alexander Hospital is sandalous! Driving 24 miles to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital to give birth is simply unacceptable. As is access to children’s service. Reasons given by the NHS are centralisation of services . Whatever happened to putting the patient first? We would campaign against this. We would also put the patient first in all cases with NHS vouchers. If you haven’t seen a doctor within three days, you get to see a private doctor using your voucher. If you haven’t seen a consultant within three weeks, you get to see a private consultant with your voucher. Nine weeks for an operation, you get to see a private surgeon. We would improve staff retention and staff return with zero basic rate tax for three years within the NHS. We would also give tax relief of 20 per cent on private healthcare insurance.

I’m out of time, but one word for the environment, improve the access roads to Redditch and fill in the potholes!

Julie Allison

Reform UK PPC for Redditch

 

GREEN PARTY – David Thain: ‘Investment is needed to resolve housing shortage and improve the NHS’

Green Party picture June 2024

NOW, in 2024, it is more important than ever for the Green Party to have an important, elected, voice in both national and local politics.

This is particularly true in Redditch and the Villages where we have a housing shortage – demand for social housing is high and the housing waiting list has a minimum of 1,000 households on it at any one time (Source – moderngovwebpublic.redditchbc.gov.uk).

The Green Party will introduce a number of measures to help alleviate this, by providing more sustainably built homes and transforming the planning system so new developments come with access to public services and green spaces are protected.

Our town centre is another major concern for people: I would push hard for investment to transform the Kingfisher Centre and encourage innovative new initiatives.

However, it is important also, to take into account that the Kingfisher is not the town’s only commercial centre.

We are rightly proud of our natural heritage in Redditch – our town has an estimated 3million trees, although many are currently dying off, nearing the natural end of their life cycle, but we need a proper plan to manage this transition and maintain this envious heritage. The Green Party, of course, will make this a priority.

Nationally, the Green Party is the only party that would tackle the complex problems facing the nation and offer viable solutions.

We have been honest, brutally honest, and said that many areas of our national infrastructure, especially our treasured NHS, will require considerable investment – but we have laid out in our manifesto exactly how and where this investment will be found.

Visit greenparty.org.uk/about/our-manifesto/ for more.

I’m respectfully asking for your vote and support on the 4th July

David Thain

Green Party PPC for Redditch

The Standard contacted Mohammed Amin from The Workers Party of Britain but is still awaiting a response.

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