Tuesday, 27 April 2010

NHS must be protected - Ian Swales

Commenting on today’s focus on health, Redcar Liberal Democrat candidate Ian Swales wants less waste and a new approach to the NHS.

Ian said:

“The NHS is a vital service that must be protected, but the Government have increased careless administrative bureaucracy and funded hospitals through Private Finance Initiatives. Across in Durham the taxpayer is paying back £521m for a £60m hospital.

“That so much money is wasted as unemployment in Redcar rises is incredibly disappointing. To protect the NHS we need to stop the waste of public money by the old Government.

“Patients must come first and money must go to where it is needed. The Liberal Democrats would scrap central targets and guarantee treatment on time. Local people should have the power to stop local hospital closures through elected health boards.

“The Liberal Democrats have a practical approach to the NHS that would change the way the power flows, back to patients, doctors and nurses.”

Monday, 26 April 2010

Those curious Sky News poll graphs

I wonder why the poll graphs shown by Sky News make Labour look slightly higher than the Liberal Democrats, when Labour are in third place in all three new polls out today? The Tories are also shown higher than they really are in comparison. The BBC News poll graphs are much more accurately displayed.

Surely this is simply an error and not a subtle attempt to mislead the public Mr Murdoch?

Vince Cable in Redcar to meet steelworkers - pictures

Liberal Democrats Shadow Chancellor, Vince Cable, was in Redcar today to meet steelworkers with Redcar's Lib Dem Candidate, Ian Swales.

Sir Stuart Bell ducks out of Middlesbrough Hustings

"Sir Stuart Bell, Middlesbrough’s MP for the last 27 years, has shown the contempt he has for his electorate by opting out of Thursday’s Hustings meeting at St Barnabas Church in Linthorpe, the one and only chance the people of Middlesbrough have to hear and question their general election candidates. His excuse? Church Commission business," writes Chris Foot-Wood, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Middlesbrough.

"I have long argued that MPs should not be spokespersons for any outside body, only for the people of their constituency. I have made a cast-iron promise that I will NOT be the parliamentary spokesperson for ANY outside organisation, ONLY for the people of Middlesbrough. Sir Start Bell is a Church Commissioner and is the official parliamentary spokesperson for the Church Commissioners. THIS IS WRONG! The people of Middlesbrough follow many different faiths and some adhere to no church. All must be equally represented by their MP without fear or favour or bias. That is my aim as your future MP."

Copy of an email sent to the other candidates from the Hustings organisers this morning:

Hello Mbro PPC's

I was sorry to hear this morning by email that Sir Stuart Bell could not attend the Hustings this Thursday evening because of Church of England Commissioner business. I gave 2-3 weeks notice and have had real difficulty contacting him only hearing from him today - if I had heard sooner perhaps I could have changed the Husting date. I hope this will not affect your coming.
Kind regards

Rob Tucker
Co-ordinator Mbro & Redcar
Friends of the Earth
Tel 01642-294580

>Middlesbrough & Redcar Friends of the Earth with Churches Together have arranged a hustings at St Barnabas Church Linthorpe, Thursday 29th April, 7-8.30pm

Saturday, 24 April 2010

More Saddleworth pictures

Granddaughter Charlotte asks the Mayor of Oldham how she can become Mayor of Redcar as Howard Sykes looks on.

What's this MP guy doing in the way?

Roy Bardsley (in wheelchair) beside the sign he fought for.

The bungalow on the left is in Lancashire. The one on the right is in Yorkshire.

Real county boundary signs back after 36 years

 Glynis and Charlotte are pictured with Howard Sykes at the Lancashire boundary sign
Over the years local authorities have been extremely difficult when it comes to erecting boundary signs for real Lancashire and Yorkshire but when Saddleworth White Rose Society stalwart, Roy Bardsley, wrote to Councillor Howard Sykes, Leader of Oldham Metropolitan Borough, six months ago, he got a very positive response.

Lib Dem Howard said YES and today we travelled to Grains Bar at Saddleworth to witness the unveiling of the first of what we hope are many West Riding and Lancashire signs at the historic boundary.

The signs, paid for by Saddleworth White Rose Society, Yorkshire Ridings Society, Association of British Counties and the Friends of Real Lancashire, were erected on the wall of the former Toll Bar house (Lancashire) and on the original West Riding plinth.

On behalf of the hosts, Saddleworth White Rose Society, The Town Crier welcomed the Mayor and Mayoress of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Councillor and Mrs Jim McArdle, James the Youth Mayor of Oldham, Leader of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Councillor Howard Sykes, the Lady Chairman of Shaw & Crompton Parish Council Councillor Mari Wiswell, the Leader of Saddleworth Parish Council Councillor Brian Lord, Phil Woolas MP, representatives of Friends of Real Lancashire, Yorkshire Ridings Society, Association of British Counties and several elected Councillors.

The Lancashire sign was unveiled by the Lady Chairman of Shaw & Crompton Parish Council Councillor Mari Wiswell and the West Riding sign by Councillor Brian Lord Leader of Saddleworth Parish Council.

After the event we were treated to a hot pot lunch at the Rams Head Inn at Denshaw.

The original signs were removed following local government re-organisation in 1974 but organisations like SWRS, YRS, FORL and ABC have long campaigned to have them replaced. The 1972 Act of Parliament that resulted in Saddleworth becoming part of the Borough of Oldham in Lancashire, abolished the West Riding County Council but it did not abolish the West Riding of Yorkshire, nor did it abolish real Lancashire. As Government statements made clear at the time, the changes were for administrative purposes only - "for all other purposes Yorkshire is still Yorkshire."

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A claim for Redcar

Official statistics released today show that the number of claimants of Jobseekers Allowance in Redcar constituency increased to 7.1% of the working age population. The Lib Dem candidate for Redcar Ian Swales said:

“Unemployment in Redcar constituency is over 10% and almost 4,000 people in Redcar are claiming benefits for unemployment this month – an increase of 0.8%.

“Under Gordon Brown we have an unsustainable economic model based on decades of over-reliance on the City of London, while Teesside’s industrial base was completely neglected.

“We need total change for sustainable regional growth, and support for the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing is a vital industry and it has played a fundamental role in the region’s economy for the past 150 years.

“Redcar needs to become the hub of industrial activity that it once was. Only the Liberal Democrats have the vision, drive and credibility to rebuild the economy, creating new jobs that last.”

Monday, 19 April 2010

Download a Lib Dem poster

Download your own colour Lib Dem poster here.

Lib Dems in the North East launch Regional Manifesto

Liberal Democrats in the North East have launched their ideas for a fairer North East in Newcastle today.

Launching the party’s regional manifesto, Lord David Shutt of Greetland (pictured third left), Lib Dem Chief Whip in the House of Lords, said:
“The Leader’s debate last week has shown that the Liberal Democrats are a credible political force. Here in The North East, the Liberal Democrats have been Labour’s main challengers for years and have demonstrated that we are able to make a difference once in charge. Our principles set out in our manifesto nationally will also bring a very positive change to the region: our planned tax reform means that people in the North East will have an average £700 extra to spend each year; we will invest £175m into local schools with children from poorer backgrounds to make sure that each child gets a fair start in life; and we will invest in the North’s manufacturing base by improving the region’s infrastructure and refurbishing derelict ports which will enable giant offshore wind turbines to be produced here rather than abroad. The Liberal Democrats are committed to real change for the North East.”
Ian Swales (pictured first left) Lib Dem Candidate for Redcar said:
 "The Liberal Democrats have the ideas to improve the Teesside economy and are prepared to back them with major investment. Labour have done too little, too late, to deal with the local jobs crisis. Teesside would be a net winner from the Liberal Democrat tax policies and our schools would get a big injection of funds. I hope local people will recognise that we can bring real change after the area has been taken for granted for so long."

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Lib Dem manifesto offers fairer deal for Redcar

Prospective Lib Dem MP for Redcar constituency, Ian Swales, has welcomed the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto today, saying:

“People feel badly let down on Teesside. The Conservatives and Labour have both failed to protect the North’s industrial and manufacturing base. They have both pursued an unsustainable economic model dependent on the City of London. Only the Liberal Democrats have put forward the policies needed to build an economy based on innovation and sustainability for jobs that last. We would break up the banks and get them lending again and our plans for creating jobs by investing in green energy and infrastructure would greatly benefit Teesside.

“Only the Liberal Democrats are really putting fairness at the heart of their policies, raising the income tax threshold to £10,000. In Redcar constituency this would mean people are on average £700 a year better off.

“On education, our Pupil Premium will see an extra £10m invested in local schools, targeted towards the most disadvantaged children and giving every child a fair start regardless of their background.

“Finally, we will clean up politics by giving people the right to sack corrupt MPs.

“All of these proposals will lay the foundation of the just and fair society the people in Redcar constituency want to see.”

Chris first with nomination

Chris Foote-Wood, Liberal Democrat candidate for Middlesbrough, has stolen a march on his rivals to be the first candidate to hand in his nomination papers today (Wed 14th April).

“We are first in the field and we hope to be the first in the ballot on May 6,” said Chris, “LibDems were second here last time and we have very chance of beating Labour’s Stuart Bell. If elected as MP for Middlesbrough, I will open an office in the town, I will live in the town and hold regular surgeries. I will be the full-time MP for Middlesbrough and will not take on any other jobs”.

Chris Foote-Wood, a journalist and broadcaster most of his working life, is now an author and publisher. He has stood for Middlesbrough before, he used to work in the town and was a sports correspondent with the local Evening Gazette for over twenty years.

PICTURE SHOWS: Middlesbrough’s LibDem candidate Chris Foote-Wood (on right) with his agent Cllr Maelor Williams, on the Town Hall steps with his nomination papers today (Wed).

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Ensus shows what is needed on green jobs, say Lib Dems

The Government must rethink business regulation in order to make it easier for new companies to set up on Teesside, say North East Lib Dems Fiona Hall MEP and Redcar Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Ian Swales, following  a visit to the Ensus biorefinery plant at  the Wilton site in Redcar, which came online earlier this year.

The Ensus plant, the largest biorefinery in Europe, produces bioethanol, high protein animal feed substituting for rain forest soy meal, and non-fossil carbon dioxide for the drinks industry. It has created 100 jobs on site and around 2000 in the supply chain.

Said Ian Swales:

“Ensus is a success story and shows how the Wilton site, where I used to work, is transforming itself with the new technologies of the 21st century.

“The British business regime is difficult for any new company trying to get off the ground. Holland and Germany are much more user-friendly. If we don't make it easy for new enterprises to base themselves on Teesside, then they will go elsewhere.”

Commented Fiona Hall:

“The message we heard at Ensus is that European-level regulation is helpful, because it gives investors certainty. But much more needs to be done at a UK level to get new green jobs off the ground. That is why support for green jobs is a key commitment from the Liberal Democrats.”

Thursday, 8 April 2010

What happened to Government jobs promise?

IAN Swales, the Liberal Democrat prospective MP for Redcar constituency, renewed the call for civil service jobs on Teesside today, to help create employment in the area.

“Historically, government jobs have often been moved into areas that have structural economic problems,” said Ian.  “The DVLA in Swansea, the Passport Office in Liverpool and the HMRC offices in Newcastle are just a few examples.

“It’s about time that the government stepped up and helped this area, which is suffering terribly as a result of the recession and years of underinvestment.”

Ian also called on Vera Baird MP to explain what had happened to her promise of government jobs in the area. 

“Vera Baird publicly claimed that the government had plans to move “well paid civil service jobs” out of London to create more opportunities,” said Ian, “what happened to that promise?"

“It’s another example of how the area has been let down, time and again by this Labour government.

"This pledge was, until recently, featured on Vera Baird’s personal website, but has been removed: 
 Local unemployment is around 4%, the lowest for nearly 30 years. The Government has plans to move well paid civil service jobs out of London which will create more opportunities. Vera Baird's website 2nd December 2007.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Ian Swales publishes his pledges to Redcar residents

The Lib Dem contender for the Redcar parliamentary seat today released a series of pledges to local residents.

Ian Swales has pledged to be open and honest about his expenses - and publish details on his personal website.

He said if elected as MP for the Redcar constituency he would not profit personally from the use of expenses and would not sit on any company board.

He also promised to open an office in the constituency and hold regular advice surgeries for local people.

Ian said: "People have been let down badly by politicians, especially on expenses.

"I will always remember that taxpayers money is for the taxpayers' benefit and if I earn people's support and become their MP I will not let them down.

"My pledges are my way of restoring the public's faith in democracy and are my personal commitment to the people of Redcar that I will always do my best for them.

Ian's pledges to the people in Redcar constituency:

My first and foremost priority will be to represent local people.  I will be there to help, to listen to your concerns and to stand up for our area and our communities. I will:

* Have an office in the constituency open at times convenient to the public, and hold regular advice "surgeries" in easily accessible places
* Ask for your opinions about things that matter to you on a regular basis
* Keep an open mind about issues and seek a range of views and experiences
to ensure that I am roundly-informed
* Report back on what I am doing - not just at election time
* Always be honest with you, whether we agree or not

I will make sure that your views are heard, locally and at Westminster, and I will be an effective voice for Redcar. I will:

* Listen and work with residents groups and others who represent people in Redcar constituency.
* Meet regularly with local service providers such as the police, health services and local schools so that I am fully aware of their concerns, priorities and activities and can help at a parliamentary level.

I will be open and honest in the expenses incurred in representing you. I will:

* Publish details on my personal website and answer any questions you may have about them
* Not profit personally from the use of expenses
* Not sit on any company board

Lib Dems ready to fight for change in Redcar Constituency

Liberal Democrats in Redcar constituency – led by prospective MP Ian Swales – swung into action today after months of waiting, the moment that Gordon Brown announced the General Election has been called.

Ian Swales, Lib Dem candidate for Redcar said: “At long last, people will get the chance to decide who they want for their local MP – and choose the person they think is best placed to fight for our area.

“The Liberal Democrats will be fighting this election calling for real change and a fair deal for our area. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for fair taxes, to give all our children a fair start in life, to create new green jobs, and bring in big reforms to make sure our country is run fairly.

“In Redcar constituency, we will be fighting to give local people a local MP – who will be based here and represent the constituency in Parliament, not the other way around.

“If elected, I’m determined to use my years of business experience to bring jobs and prosperity to the area. We need to tackle head on the years of Labour neglect the results of which we can plainly see on our high streets.

“It’s a massive job, but this is an area with proud people and great natural resources. Labour hasn’t made the best of that – we will.

“Liberal Democrats in Redcar are going into this election well prepared and in a confident mood. We genuinely believe that we can bring real change to our area by working together with the local community. This is a two-horse race between ourselves and Labour here, and I am confident that we can win.”

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Ros Scott visits Redcar

Ian Swales campaign to win Redcar constituency at the General Election was boosted by a visit from Baroness Ros Scott, President of the Liberal Democrats.

Ros, who was accompanied by fellow blogger, Mark Valladares Liberal Bureaucracy, met up with campaigners in the 9'0 Club in West Dyke Road, Redcar, before visiting Redcar town centre and helping to collect signatures in support of our campaign for a proper pier.

She congratulated Redcar Lib Dems for their "outstanding" series of by-election victories over the past twelve months and spoke of the party's hopes for success at the General Election.

Former Newcomen Ward Lib Dem Councillor, Stan Wilson, travelled from his home in Sowerby, near Thirsk to attend the visit and he sends best wishes from his wife Stella and himself to all his friends in Redcar.

Pictured L to R: Glynis, Charlotte Seaman (our granddaughter), Chris, Stan Wilson, Lib Dem President Baroness Ros Scott, Ian Swales prospective MP for Redcar.