Simon’s Priorities for Southampton Itchen

by | Aug 23, 2019

Investment

Under the conservatives, Southampton Itchen is a forgotten community.

In the last ten years, we have seen zero investment in Southampton Itchen. We have seen the  Police station in Bitterne close and the number of police officers working in Southampton slashed. Our NHS has also been cut with the closure of our only out of hours NHS service at the Bitterne Walk-in centre. Our schools have been starved of investment and not a penny piece has been spent on improving our public transport system.

In the last four years, I have talked to thousands of local residents and listened to their concerns. I know that they are worried about crime and their own safety. I know that they are concerned about cuts to school budgets and the impact they are having on their children’s school. I know that many can’t get to see their GP when they need to.

We need a government that is going to invest in us, our families and our community.

A Labour government will

  •  Invest £250 million in renewing our national infrastructure, including public transport
  • Set up regional investment banks that will invest in the manufacturing industries of the future

Housing

What Simon is saying about Housing….

We have ten thousand people on our local waiting list and thousands of families trapped in insecure, poor quality and expensive private rented housing. The number of us who can afford to buy our own homes has plummeted and, like me, many of you will know young people in their twenties and thirties who despair of ever getting a foot on the housing ladder. At the same time Southampton residents in desperate housing need have to wait an average of seven years to get a secure council home. We all deserve the security of a decent home to build a life around.

A Labour government will

  • Build a million council homes for rent on secure tenures – in Southampton this will mean 4000 new council homes.

  • Scrap ‘no fault’ evictions, control rents for private renters and give councils new powers to regulate the private rented sector.

  • End rough sleeping within five years, with a new £100m plan for emergency winter accommodation for every rough sleeper in every area and 8,000 new homes earmarked for those with a history of rough sleeping.

Health 

What Simon is saying about Health….. 

My experience of leading our City Council for five years and working with the local NHS tell me that we will soon face a crisis in primary care. Many of our long serving GP’s will retire in the next few years and not enough doctors are being trained to replace them. 

 At the same time the vicious conservative cuts to our council’s budget have created a crisis in Social care. Older people live in fear that all of their hard earned savings including their home will be taken from them in social care costs. 

 It’s a shocking statistic that a quarter of all prescriptions in our city are for antidepressants.  This statistic tells us why we need investment in Mental Health services. We need to ensure that Southampton people get early help for their mental health conditions. So that they can recover quickly and live a happy worthwhile life. 

 A Labour government will…..  

  • Labour will always give the NHS the money it needs and we will invest to tackle the crisis in social care.

  • To guarantee the best possible services for patients, Labour will invest in our health and care workforce. A Labour government will step in with a long-term workforce plan for our health service that gives staff the support they need to do the best for their patients. Labour will put safe staffing levels into law

Education

What Simon is saying about Education…..

Having worked in our schools for over twenty years I know the contribution they make to giving our kids the best start in life. We all know that the government has cut the amount spent on each child in our schools. Support for students with special needs has been slashed and this is having an impact on the quality of education for all students. Class numbers are rising and options in secondary schools reduced.

 Education doesn’t end when we leave school or University. In the ever changing world of work we also need to invest in our adult population. Re-skilling people for the jobs of the future will boost productivity and pay for itself in increased taxes and reduced benefits.

A Labour government will do

  • Labour will introduce free school meals for all primary school children. Ensuring that no child goes hungry and can concentrate to the best of their abilities is fundamental to achieving our vision.
  • To give all children the best start in life, we will also reduce class sizes to less than 30 for all five, six, and seven-year-olds, and seek to extend that as resources allow.
  • Labour will stop the Tories’ unfair cuts to school budgets with a real terms increase in funding. Our priority will be to make sure all schools are properly resourced.
  • We will also provide universal free childcare for all 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
  • Establish a National Education service to give people of all ages the skills they need to get well paid work.

Your working life

What Simon is saying about your rights at work….

Many hard working Southampton families are finding it really hard to make ends meet. Government support for these families has been slashed at the same time as increases about uncertainty at work.

 Let’s remember our History. Well into the 1940’s the thousands of Southampton residents who relied on work in the docks had to queue at the dock gates to be given work on a daily basis. No guaranteed hours, no security, no way to live a life. That was all ended when the 1945 Labour government brought in the Dock Labour Scheme. At a stroke working people in Southampton were given the security they craved.

 Well the bad news is that under our current Conservative government the uncertainty is back for thousands of Southampton families. Instead of queueing at the dock gate today’s casual workers wait at home for a text message telling them whether they have work that day. No guaranteed hours, no security no way to live a life.

 In 1997 the Labour government brought in the minimum wage, a decision that was opposed by the Conservatives. The next Labour government will take the next step by making this minimum wage a living wage set at £10 an hour. For the first time workers will be guaranteed wages that are high enough to deliver a decent standard of living. The £10 rate will apply to everybody over the age of eighteen, taking away at a stroke the practice of getting rid of staff when they became eligible for the current full minimum wage.

What a Labour government will do…..

  • Labour’s economic strategy is about delivering a fairer, more prosperous society for the many, not just the few.

  • We will give low paid workers a pay rise by introducing a Real Living Wage of at least £10 an hour, which would help nearly one fifth of workers. We’ll ban zero-hour contracts and invest in the economy right across the country, creating jobs that last and lifting working people out of poverty.

  • As real earnings are still falling for most under the Tories, it’s not fair that those who are already squeezed should pay more. So Labour has pledged not to raise tax on 95% of people. We will shift the tax burden from low- and middle-earners onto the super-rich and giant corporations.

  • Labour will reduce poverty and create a more equal society.

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