Reproduced from his final Ipswich Star column ahead of the General Election campaign, David Ellesmere sets out the difference a Labour government would make.
I’ve enjoyed writing for the Star and I’m pleased to have met many people who’ve told me that they enjoy reading my column. Hopefully, whatever the outcome of the General Election, the Editor will ask me to continue writing after May.
Over the last three and a half years, through my column and my work as Leader of Ipswich Borough Council I hope I’ve given a good indication of where my principles and priorities lie:
- Protecting frontline council services through sound financial management in the face of huge cuts in Government funding
- Maintaining and increasing support for partner organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau and New Wolsey Theatre
- Building the first new council houses in Ipswich for a generation
- Taking action to bring new development and jobs to Ipswich at Princes Street, Stoke Bridge and the former Sugar Beet site
- Raising wage levels in the town by becoming an official Living Wage employer, increasing apprentice pay and ensuring no employees are on zero hours contracts
- Saving the nationally important wildlife site of Kiln Meadow from Conservative and Liberal Democrat plans to concrete over it with housing
- Supporting the local Credit Union to take on pay day lenders preying on desperate and vulnerable people
- Fighting to protect threatened services such as lollipop patrols, children’s centres, the Riverside Minor Injuries Unit and Specialist Support Centres for children with learning disabilities
If I am elected as Ipswich’s MP in May I will continue to be guided by these same principles to do what is right for our town both here and in Parliament.
Too many people currently feel that the system isn’t working for them. Hard work is no longer a guarantee that you will get on in life. The rich are getting richer and everyone else is worse off.
Labour has many policies that will be of huge benefit to people both in Ipswich and across the country. They will help us start to turn Britain back into a country where, when the economy improves, we all benefit, not just a few at the top. Labour would:
- Save the NHS by rolling back the Government’s privatisation plans and investing an extra £2.5bn to employ more doctors, nurses and care workers
- Increase the Minimum Wage to £8 an hour
- Abolish the cruel and unfair Bedroom Tax
- Increase the amount of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds to 25 hours per week
- Bring down gas and electric bills by reforming the broken energy market
- Get the long term unemployed back to work with a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee
- Reduce student tuition fees by £3,000 a year
- Scrap rip-off letting fees, make tenancies more secure and bring down the cost of renting from private landlords
- Increase the top rate of tax, introduce a Mansion Tax on homes worth more than £2m and close tax loopholes so that individuals and companies that can afford to contribute more, do.
I hope you’ll consider voting for me in May and, if we haven’t already, that we meet for a chat during the election campaign.