Pledge 1: Greater Powers for a Stronger Region

During the industrial revolution, Manchester and East Lancashire clothed the world with its cotton, bringing great wealth and opportunity. As the mills shut down, successive governments did not always do everything they could to replace the lost jobs with meaningful work.
But there are great opportunities in Lancashire, and we have incredible Labour Councils doing their best to regenerate our town centres. Accrington and Rawtenstall spring to mind as examples of councils working with tight budgets to bring meaningful investment.
As an MP, I would always advocate for power and money to be brought to Lancashire and Manchester in a new settlement, which works for the people in the area, so that small towns and villages are no longer forgotten.
We desperately need more spending on our infrastructure. The struggle that the region faced in getting the Todmorden curve link to Manchester re-opened was shocking, when other regions have huge sums spent on road and rail investment. The Tories are now threatening to scrap HS2, a vital link between London and our region. We are losing police officers, we have little control over where new schools are built, and are facing huge spending pressures in the schools that already exist.
That is why one of my pledges is to fight for greater devolution across the North West. On 4th May, we will have an elected Mayor, and this must surely be an elected Labour Mayor. I pledge to work with Andy Burnham if he is elected to fight for a fair deal.
We need an end to the cuts to education, a properly funded NHS, a fair transport settlement and more powers for councils to build the housing that we need in our city.
It is only by giving communities control over their neighbourhoods and cities that cities can truly prosper and meet the needs of their residents. Tories in Whitehall have allowed London to regulate its bus and other transport systems to meet the needs of a modern, cosmopolitan city. Why should we not also have regulated busses, with a fairer fare system, across the region?
We understand our local economy better than bureaucrats in Whitehall, and spreading the opportunities growth brings is foremost on the minds of our communities. We deserve devolution that goes beyond any current model – and we should be handed powers over job centres, work finding and benefits. Working regionally with trades unions and employers we can boost employment, make hard work pay well and stop the race to the bottom on terms.
Again and again, Conservatives in government have taken power and money from the North of England and moved it to the Conservative voting Home Counties. Of course London will always be the nation’s capital and most important city, but this is no reason to ignore what we have to offer. In fact, over centralisation puts a massive strain on London’s infrastructure, public services, housing – and the cost of living for ordinary working people in the capital.
As an MP, I will always fight our corner. Get in touch if you want to join my campaign at karleastham@gmail.com
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s