With less than a week to go until St Mary’s goes to the polls to elect a representative at the national, county and town level of government, the East Riding Labour Party candidates continue to talk with local residents about their new vision for East Riding Council.
Paul McGrath was critical of the Conservative’s record: “For the past four years all 6 Councillors representing Beverley have been Conservative and Beverley cannot afford another four more years. The Conservative dominated Council for the entire term has been defined by divisions, defections and discord. That is what they offer for the next term in office.”
Only Labour Party candidates are providing a new vision and a real alternative to the Conservatives in Beverley. Labour’s manifesto contains a number of concrete policies that would make a difference to everybody across the East Riding of Yorkshire. Important actions for Beverley include opposing any developers attempt to build executive homes on our green belt, campaigning against fracking and protecting vital community services from reckless cuts.
David Sweet is proud of the Labour Party’s commitment to the living wage: “East Riding Council should not allow any of their employee’s to earn a wage that they cannot live on. It is right and fair that the East Riding Council should pay every employee at least the living wage. The Labour Party had been campaigning on this issue for a long time and I am pleased that it is part of our offer to the voters.”
The issue of housing has formed a large part of the campaign for Ben, Paul and David reflecting the anger and concern over the unwillingness of the Conservative Councillors to listen to the electorate. The St Mary’s candidates are steadfast in their opposition to any further building of executive homes on our green belt. They will also oppose any attempt to use the welcome funds to rebuild Longcroft Lower School as a an excuse to put all of Longcroft School on one site and free up a land for developers.
Ben Cooper, one of the youngest candidates standing for election, said: “we need more truly affordable housing in Beverley, otherwise it will become too expensive for my generation to live here. Too many young people are unable to afford to pay the rent, never mind thinking about saving for a mortgage. It is time for the Council to support young people by building more affordable homes right across the East Riding.”
In my opinion it was a Saturday morning well spent – doing our ‘second Saturday’ thing outside Wilco’s. It was slow to start, probably because of the cold. Nevertheless there was much interest in what we and our posters had to say.
Footfall increased suddenly at 11:00. The usual hostility was noticeably less that at other recent events and people were almost queuing to get their name on our petition sheets. Two of those individuals admitted to being Tory voters!!
Living Wage campaigners in East Yorkshire have welcomed a government announcement in support of the Living Wage.
Low paid workers at the Department for Work and Pensions will see their minimum wage rise in April 2014. The Ministry of Justice may soon follow suit.
Speaking today, George McManus, Parliamentary Spokesman for Beverley and Holderness Labour Party said, ‘This is great news and reflects public support which we recently saw on our street stall in Beverley. ‘
He went on, ‘Last Saturday a hundred shoppers signed our petition calling on East Riding Council to adopt the living wage. The Labour Party believes in the dignity of work. The Living Wage makes good sense for workers, business, the taxpayer and the economy. ERYC should now follow this national lead.’
Thanks to everyone who came and made our street stall the success it was! Hundreds signed the Living Wage petition, please comment to have your name added. Our poll closed with 13 votes all in favour of the Living Wage.
At our stall we also heard the public’s views on George Osbourne’s Autumn Statement, which many were very angry about (and quite rightly so).
This is the question Beverley Labour Party will be asking Christmas shoppers at our next street stall on Saturday 8th December. We believe that individuals and the wider society would benefit is nobody had to work for less than £7.45 an hour. Both York and Selby councils have adopted this principle but the East Riding Council hasn’t.
Tell us what you think between 10am and 12 noon outside Wilkinsons, Toll Gavel, on the 8th December. We look forward to seeing you there!