My Priorities for Hastings and Rye
Locally we have never needed a Labour MP and Labour Government more. Here are my top priorities for our community:
1 Tackling health inequalities and saving our local NHS
Our NHS is struggling after a decade of Tory cuts and then a pandemic on top. It’s a real struggle to get a GP or a dentist appointment and health issues that could be nipped in the bud are left to worsen. We are one of the worst places in England for getting a GP appointment. At the Old Town surgery, there are over 15,000 patients to 1 GP.
I’ve seen from my own experience how our local ambulance service is at breaking point. We waited 90 minutes for an ambulance for my dad that was supposed to arrive in 18 minutes, and the data I have obtained through Freedom of Information request shows we are waiting longer than the rest of Sussex, Kent and Surrey. Read more here.
I will fight for our corner of East Sussex to get the NHS resources, focus and funding we need. Whether it’s the Conquest hospital, our local Ambulance service or our GP surgeries, we can and must do better.
I’m proud to be backed by UNISON and the GMB representing many local NHS staff and stand with our nurses and health workers who deserve a proper pay rise.
2 Action on our Housing Crisis
We have a housing crisis, fuelled by Airbnbs and second homes. The system is stacked against the younger generation and key workers who are being priced out, even from renting. Where will our nurses, teachers and firefighters come from if they can’t make a home here?
I will campaign to change the law to give councils like ours the power to control the number of Airbnbs and levy extra council tax on these holiday lets to support local services and ensure our local hotels do not get undercut.
Our local Labour-run Hastings Borough Council, and Icklesham Parish Council, are doing pioneering work to provide more social homes but the challenges are immense.
Only intervention from the top, by a Labour Government, can help us build the social homes we need to address the supply issues in our local housing market. This is why I am campaigning for a Labour government.
3 Giving every child the best start in life
Our schools and early years services have been decimated and I know a child born today won’t get the chances I did growing up here. Our children and young people deserve better, and need a Labour Government.
It is outrageous that half our young people are leaving school without the equivalent of a C in Maths and English. The Sure Start centres that Labour opened now lie empty, closed by Tory County Council cuts.
Teachers are being expected to do more with less and it’s no wonder that our schools are struggling.
We can and must do better for every child in Hastings and Rye.
4 Tackling the Climate Emergency and equipping our young people for the green jobs of the future
Our community is on the frontline of climate change and we already see the effects.
Our Labour council was right to be one of the first to declare a climate emergency and is pioneering what good looks like but with no budget from government it’s a drop in the ocean and we are up against, literally, a rising tide.
We need more affordable, reliable and regular buses and trains. The Tories have promised the earth to people locally and have nothing to show for it. Better transport infrastructure and links would provide the boost our local economy needs.
As a coastal community, we can be at the front of the green jobs of the future. I would work with East Sussex College to ensure we are offering young people the chance to train in solar panels, wind turbines and insulation.
As your Labour MP, I would throw everything into tackling the climate emergency with the urgency it needs, rather than our Conservative MP, Sally-Ann Hart, who voted to dump more sewage in our ocean.