General Election 2017: Julie Cooper - Labour

Julie Cooper
Julie Cooper

In this election the stakes are high for Burnley and Padiham, for jobs, for business and for our standard of living.

As we leave the EU we must ensure that every British job is protected and every British business supported. Theresa May’s approach of stamping her feet and hammering the table says nothing about being strong but everything about being wrong.

Most importantly it will not achieve the deal that we need to secure our future in Burnley and Padiham.

I will fight for a Pro-jobs Brexit and for fair funding for Burnley, because it is only through creating a strong economy that we can have decent public services The Conservatives have always been reluctant to invest in Burnley and they can’t be trusted now.

The Coalition and Conservative Governments have decimated our public services here in Burnley.

Bus services have been axed, libraries and community centres closed; our police and fire services hammered.

The Tories talk a lot about keeping us safe and then they take 500 uniformed police officers off the streets of Lancashire!

Worst of all, they have pushed our NHS and social care systems to the brink and they still plan further savings of £22 billion.

Having served as Shadow Health Minister, I know that it does not have to be like this.

Labour will fight for the NHS by investing an additional £30 billion and £8 billion to end the social care scandal. This is the right thing to do and we will do it.

I have been personally disgusted by the Government’s callous plans for pensioners.

I passionately believe that dignity and security in old age, should be a right.

The current social care system is anything but dignified; abandoning old people on hospital wards for weeks, whilst they wait for social care packages is not dignified.

There is nothing dignified about leaving frail pensioners to struggle at home with inadequate care.

As if this were not all bad enough, the Conservatives are threatening the financial security of pensioners by removing the triple-lock on pensions, changing social care funding and means-testing the Winter Fuel Payment.

I will stand up for pensioners protecting pensions, retaining the Winter Fuel payment and free bus passes for all pensioners and ending the WASPI women pension scandal.

Labour will invest in dignified, patient centred social care to give the older generation the respect they deserve.

But of course, I will look to the future also, ensuring that our children and young people get the best possible start in life.

Education is the key to economic prosperity but under the Conservative’s plans schools in Burnley and Padiham will lose an average of £400 per child.

Local head teachers tell me that this is the last straw and will result in teacher redundancies, larger classes and a reduced curriculum.

Labour will properly fund all schools and nursery schools. We will scrap student tuition fees and reintroduce Educational Maintenance Allowance to enable all 16-18 year olds the chance to continue their education or training.

We will invest in training, skills and high quality apprenticeships.

The Tory manifesto shows that they have far worse in store.

The need to fight for Burnley`s future has never been greater.