At county and community level, I work hard to represent my constituents. I am proud of my record and reputation as a vocal representative for my community. I would take this same approach as an MP, being a strong local voice in Westminster.
Health and care services
Health and care services are one of my biggest priorities both as a campaigner and a county councillor. The Conservatives have thrown the NHS into crisis, which can be seen in overflowing A&E departments and people waiting hours for ambulances. I sit on the Lancashire Health Scrutiny Committee, where I work to ensure safe, excellent services for everyone in Lancashire, despite the damage being done by the Government. I use this platform to challenge the Government’s privatisation of our NHS and the damaging cuts to services. I scrutinise what NHS organisations and local authorities are doing to provide the best services possible, even at times of huge cuts and increasing demand.
I have made disability equality a big focus of my work. From making accessible streets and pavements a council priority, to getting a Changing Places room included in the refurbishment of Preston Bus Station, I have made real change happen. I support disability campaigners in their work and always ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are at the forefront of my mind. I support Labour’s manifesto commitment to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into UK law.
Good transport links are important for everyone and maintaining and improving them has been a big part of my work. As a councillor, I listen my residents who tell me that transport and highways are a cause of real concern for them, in particular making sure we have decent, affordable and sustainable public transport.
In one win for my community, I made sure that development money set aside for bus services, which had been sitting doing nothing, was spent on a much-needed local bus service.
Child Poverty and Hunger
I have worked with fellow councillor Jean Parr to get child hunger on the agenda at the County Council. I have promoted and supported the work of community organisations, including giving grants to local food banks. The current MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale denies that poverty exists in the area and shouts down his constituents and local charities when they tell him the truth. This isn’t good enough. I promise to listen to everyone, even when they’re giving uncomfortable truths.
Labour would ensure children have enough to eat as a minimum, while working towards an enriching life for all.
I have supported local businesses through repeated flooding, lobbying for County resources to be directed to long-term solutions and for reinstatement of regular maintenance of drains.
I have challenged Government policy on changes to domestic violence refuge funding, gaining cross-party support and ensuring widespread media coverage of the campaign.