THE GENERAL election is now less than a week away.
Residents from across Bromsgrove district will be heading to the polls next Thursday (June 8) with polling stations open between 7am and 10pm.
People will be asked to vote for Conservative Sajid Javid, Labour’s Michael Thompson, Lib Dem Neil Lewis or The Green Party’s Giovanni ‘Spoz’ Esposito.
Ahead of the big vote, The Standard challenged the four to make five pledges each to the people of Bromsgrove about what they would do to improve the district if they were elected. Here’s what they came up with.
Sajid Javid (Conservative):
Sajid Javid, who was the Bromsgrove MP and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, is now the Conservative candidate for the forthcoming general election.
Here is what he has put forward as part of his campaign:
1. Constituents – To continue to work hard for all his constituents regardless of their political views.
2. NHS security – To secure year-on-year increases in spending on our local NHS.
3. Infrastructure improvements – To deliver even more investment in local infrastructure, including helping to reduce congestion and improve rail services.
4. Economy – To make sure our local economy stays strong.
5. School funding – To secure fairer funding for our local schools.
Sajid also announced the Alex will be prioritised for substantial funding if a Conservative Government is re-elected on June 8.
He said: “Improving our local health services for constituents is one of my top priorities.
“Our local NHS is so precious and if re-elected, I’ll continue to fight to help improve our services.
“Only the Conservatives will provide the growing economy our NHS needs.”
Giovanni ‘Spoz’ Esposito (Green Party):
The Green Party’s Giovanni ‘Spoz’ Esposito gained the most votes the party had polled in Bromsgrove in any general election last time around.
He will be hoping to improve on that on June 8.
Here are his five pledges:
1. Environmental prosperity – I would lobby and encourage investment in high-tech environmental companies to enable them to set up in the Bromsgrove constituency.
2. Rubery regeneration – Rubery has been overlooked for too long, big investment is required now.
3. Affordable and Social Housing – The young people from our area cannot afford to live here because the relationship between wages and property prices are massively out of sync and skewed.
4. Tackle poverty – 15 per cent of children in the constituency are living in poverty. In an area that, in relative terms, is one of the wealthiest in the country, we should be ashamed of ourselves that this is allowed to happen.
5. Education boom – Reverse the cuts that our schools are being dealt by this short-sighted government. Teacher morale is at an all time low and the incredible work they do is being undermined by real-term cuts, under-investment and counter productive meddling. Class sizes must come down, teachers should be allowed to teach and our young people deserve better.
Neil Lewis (Liberal Democrats):
The Liberal Democrat candidate Neil Lewis’ pledges centre on health, schools, clean air, better health, the economy and local business.
1. Health – The Liberal Democrats will deliver an additional £1/4 billion for the Alex, the Worcestershire Royal, in our GP surgeries, for local mental health services, prevention services and for social care in Worcestershire over the next five years. This money will enable us to hire an additional 142 nurses across our health care areas.
2. Schools – We will provide an additional £30million per year for schools in Worcestershire with additional money for early stage children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
3. Clean Air, Better Health – I will support a diesel scrappage system along with championing electrical and automated vehicles that will transform our local transport, reduce congestion and clean up our air whilst reducing asthma problems and lowering demand on our NHS.
4. Economy – I pledge to keep our membership of the Single Market – to avoid a ‘lost decade of growth’ that would destroy jobs, lower wages and raise inflation. I will champion a government Business Bank providing a new type of long-term and stable funding (‘patient capital’) to invest in the high quality, mid-sized manufacturing businesses on which so many of Bromsgrove’s residents depend.
5. Innovation and business – I will promote the creation of a replacement ‘local business’ friendly rates system that breathes life and vitality into our High Street and villages. As your Liberal Democrat MP I will help drive forward a ‘real world’ skills and entrepreneurship funding programme to help our start-ups become successful scale ups which create new growth opportunities and bring energy to our local economy.
Michael Thompson (Labour):
Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Michael Thompson has put cuts to health and social care, school budgets and older people in Bromsgrove at the centre of his pledges.
1. Bromsgrove has suffered too many cuts to its health and social care. Labour will make a £30billion investment into the NHS, halt health STPs (sustainability and transformation plans), end health service privatisation, create a publicly funded National Care Service and ring-fence mental health budgets.
2. Labour will increase Sure Start, create childcare places for two-year-olds, restore Education Maintenance Allowance for 16 to 18-year-olds, scrap university tuition fees and give free access to FE colleges for adults who wish to up-skill or change career.
3. Those who retire in Bromsgrove are too often forgotten when they should be recognised. In Bromsgrove, 20,390 pensioners could lose Winter Fuel Payments up to £300 a year. Labour will keep Winter Fuel Payments, the Triple Lock on state pensions, free buses and will not increase the retirement age further.
4. Labour will invest in local infrastructure and empower communities, allowing funding to alleviate Bromsgrove’s road network problems, such as building a Western bypass.
5. Labour will abolish zero hours contracts, increase the living wage to £10/hour and create equal rights for temporary and part-time workers. Labour recognises the EU referendum result and is committed to a Brexit that protects jobs, workers rights and our national and local economies. Labour will not leave the EU without a deal discussed and approved by Parliament.