Gary Elsby Independent PPC For Stoke-on-Trent Central Policy Statement

By Gary Elsby Independent PPC Stoke Central

It was a life-changing, but quick decision, to step out of the Labour Party at what I see as an intrusion into local Party democracy by Lord Mandelson with an intent not in the best interests of the City. As a consequence, I have been asked to state the differences between the policies of the National Labour Party and my own, which are long held but stifled under what goes for “Ëœagreement’ at the Annual Conference held each year by the Labour Party.

A future fair for all, (but this time, including the people of England and Great Britain)

* Pensioners:

The rise of annual increase in pensions is either linked to prices or inflation. We know that the lowest always wins and pensioners always come off worse. Pensions should therefore be determined on an annual basis, with the higher of the two references used to set the increase. Determined efforts should be made to end the tax system on pensions by people who have paid tax all of their working lives.

* Families:

Universal family allowance should be ended for people earning above £75,000 and redistributed to those on less than £30,000. This gives it to families needing it the most.

No family with school age children should be subject to an eviction order due to economic circumstances beyond their control and legislation must be forwarded to enforce such repulsive acts are outlawed.

* Housing:

At least 1 Million new Council/Social Housing homes should be built, which would ease the need of 5 Million people needing a home who cannot afford to enter the private market. This would create hundreds of Millions of paid working hours, hundreds of thousands of new construction jobs and tens of thousands of new apprenticeships. Rents should be ring-fenced and paid back into sustaining the housing stock for the future.

* Economy:

We should grow our economy and not return to a “Ëœcut and slash’ approach to repay National debt.

* Tax Increases:

The Universal approach to National Insurance increases is wholly wrong and must be stopped. We should remove the thresh-hold of the upper earnings limit and those that earn the most, should pay the most. A VAT increase claims all victims, regardless of how much or how little they earn and must not be introduced. A City such as Stoke is a regenerating area and it simply does not make sense to tax it. These measures remove that threat.

* Health Service:

Free prescriptions should be available for everyone in England requiring one, just like the rest of the UK. A freeze in NHS spending will be the severest CUT ever introduced in the NHS since inception and must not be introduced…

* Health care for the Elderly:

The dreadful £23,000 “ËœDeath Tax’ now dropped by Labour and the Tory “Ëœinvoice’ of £8,000 to pay for minimal care for the elderly was embarrassing. I would only support a “Ëœring fenced’ National Insurance increase solely to administer “Ëœfree care’ which would submit responsibility to the Country and give dignity and respect to the elderly.

* Schools:

Communities know what is best for their individual areas and not always the politician and should therefore have a more significant say in what happens in their local area. Community schools must be promoted as the best example of better education for all and the Academy system must be held to account.

* Trident and ID cards:

The Trident missile purchase must be dropped as an unnecessary expense in these times of social hardship considering we have more WMD now than we ever need or shall ever use. ID cards should be considered an expensive and irrelevant intrusion into our lives.

* Justice:

The right to remain free must be held uppermost in a society that will, if it is allowed, detain without charge beyond a time limit that is considered unjust by the majority.

* Immigration:

An end to mass immigration should be introduced and a cap on immigration of 50,000 nett per annum should be used to sustain a level of 70 million population at its highest.

* Energy:

A diverse and wide-ranging energy source should be arrived at that involves all kinds of material uses, including Clean Coal Technology for North Staffordshire Coal fields, nuclear, oil, gas and including greener methods of production to comply with EU guidelines.

* People:

Government must be made aware that ordinary people and business, now feel a shared burden of persecution by the State upon a weary public and a new approach must be made that lifts this burden in an effort to promote a more just and social society.

Gary Elsby

Prospective Parliamentary candidate

Born in Stoke Central.

Stoke-on-Trent Conservative’s Set The Record Straight Over Labour Lies

The Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Stoke North Andy Large and Conservative Candidate for Stoke Central Norsheen Bhatti have stated their intention to dismantle Labour’s desperate scare tactics in Stoke.

Through out this election campaign both candidates and especially over the last weekend whilst campaigning in Hanley have been approached by people who have been told by Labour activists that Conservatives are set to remove free bus passes and TV licenses for pensioners. This is simply untrue.

Conservatives believe in retaining these benefits as well winter fuel payments, because they will help ease the pressure pensioners are under due to our high inflation levels, eroding the value of their pensions.

Commenting Norsheen Bhatti said:

“This election is probably the most important election for voters in Stoke for a long time and what Labour is doing is simply unjust, not just for us the candidates but for the people of Stoke, who want to make an informed decision.

This is another reason why we need change in Stoke, we have been lied to and let down by Labour for far too long. Only the Conservatives here can bring about the change we desperately need.”

Commenting Andy Large said:

“The depths that Labour are sinking to in this election are quite staggering. But Norsheen and myself are resolved to let people know the real truth in Stoke. Voting Conservative as a pensioner is the best way to secure your future : We will retain the current benefits and focus on stabilising the economy to reduce inflation and engender continued growth.”

Conservative PPC For Stoke North Looking Forward To Public Campaigning In Tunstall And Hanley

Conservative PPC for Stoke-on-Trent North Andy Large today announced that he will be setting out on two days of public campaigning in Hanley and Tunstall as part of the General Election Campaign 2010.

He is determined to meet as many members of the Stoke North Electorate as possible, ahead of polling day on May 6th.

Andy said:

“I am really looking forward to getting involved in all kinds of conversations with the people of Stoke North. Up to now I have been touring the housing estates and the reception has been fantastic. But it’s now time to meet the shoppers! I am happy to talk on any subject, anything that is concerning residents.”

Andy will be outside Hanley Potteries shopping centre: 24th April from 11:30 to 14:00. He will be outside Tunstall market : 30th April from 10:45 to 14:30

If electors wish to speak to Andy, but cannot attend on the campaign days, Andy is available on the phone on 07909 948 204.

Unmployment Levels Focus Attention In Stoke Central Election Campaign

Norsheen Press Release!

Unemployment figures published for February 2010 for Stoke Central show that the rate stands at 6.9 per cent. The unemployment figure for February 2008 was 3.8 per cent. Whilst unemployment nationally is at a 16 year high this demonstrates how things can only get worse (and not better) under Gordon Brown and Labour.

Commenting on these figures, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Stoke Central Norsheen Bhatti said:

“These figures bring home just how serious this election is. For families in Stoke, the problems are felt, and it matters a great deal to them what kind of MP and government they’re going to have after the election.

In Stoke Central we simply can’t afford another five more years of Gordon Brown and Labour policies that have damaged our families and destroyed our local industry.

Only the Conservatives in Stoke have the energy, ideas and leadership to create jobs in Stoke and get our city back to work again.

Conservatives will take radical action to support people back into work. We will stop Labour’s jobs tax and overhaul our welfare system to provide professional, personal support into a job. To tackle youth unemployment we will create 200,000 new and pre apprenticeships, 100,000 Further Education college places and 100,000 work pairings.

Putting people first, I will fight for Stoke Central, encouraging industry and investment into the area and ensuring that local people are trained in the skills to do the jobs that are created.”

Stoke North Conservative Andy Large Takes Campaign Into Cyberspace

When Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate in Stoke North, Andy Large, decided that a fresh approach was needed to speak to Stoke North voters, he used his background in the IT profession and a keen local film maker to make his own party political broadcast, about why they should vote for him.

Andy’s four minute film sees him speaking from several locations within the constituency about himself and his ambitions for Stoke North, including regeneration of the area, which Andy sees as a key issue this election. He said:

“I wanted to speak to every constituent within Stoke North, something that just isn’t possible even with the amount of door knocking and speaking to people we are doing, and this seemed like the perfect solution,”

“A friend had suggested it, and I jumped at the chance. Stoke North has lots of interesting buildings and landscapes so it was difficult to chose the right ones, and although we couldn’t feature them all, I wanted to give a flavour of the constituency. I hope constituents will take the time to watch the video ““ it’s only short, but gives residents the opportunity to see what I’m about, and that we need regeneration, not the stagnation we currently have in Stoke North. I think I’m the candidate to provide that.”

Watch The video below and why not watch the interview Andy recorded with Pits n Pots earlier this year.

Congratulations To The Mitchell School For Winning Most Improved State School In 2009

The Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Stoke Central has congratulated the Mitchell School for winning the award of being the most improved state school in 2009, beating schools throughout the whole of the country.

Commenting on her recent visit to the school, Norsheen Bhatti said:

“The parents, students and teachers have done fantastically in creating such an enjoyable, innovative and ambitious learning environment for the pupils of Mitchell School.

I was really pleased to see how everybody at the school is so proud of their school and happy to be there. We in Stoke on Trent should also be proud of the Mitchell School for winning this award and for setting an example to the rest of the country.

Our children in Stoke deserve quality education and Conservative policy would improve standards giving every child in Stoke the kind of education that is only currently available to the well off by prioritising safe classrooms, smaller schools and talented and specialised teachers.”

Unemployment fails to improve in Stoke Central showing no sign of economic recovery in our city.

Unemployment figures published for February 2010 today show that the rate in Stoke Central is still the same as it was last month, the figure remains at 6.9 per cent.

Commenting on these figures, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Stoke Central Norsheen Bhatti said:

“Any fall in the national unemployment figures is welcome, but today’s figures are still real cause for concern because in Stoke Central they have failed to improve and there is no sign of economic recovery in Stoke.

With fewer people in work and fewer jobs in the economy there is now a real fear of a jobless recovery under Labour. Long-term unemployment is continuing to grow and more people are giving up on work altogether, disappearing from the unemployment figures.

The people of Stoke Central can’t afford five more years of Gordon Brown. We need a credible plan for jobs and growth, but Labour’s policies will put the recovery at risk, undermining confidence, threatening higher interest rates and mortgage rates and ultimately damaging jobs. We desperately need change to get Stoke working again.”

Youth Hustings event a great success

Last night I attended the Youth Hustings event organised by the YMCA.

Firstly I’d like to congratulate Nicky Twemlow of the YMCA for organising such a great event for the young people of the city.

The night provided a few surprises, not least the amount of young people who actually turned up. There were far more youngsters there than I expected. In a city that’s supposed to be full of political apathy, these young people demonstrated passion, commitment and most of all, the need to carve out a bright future for themselves and the City.

The Panel consisted of the usual political suspects ““ Rob Flello MP (Labour), Norsheen Bhatti, Conservative PPC, Dr Zulfiqar Ali, current local Councillor and Lib Dem PPC, Matthew Wright representing the TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) and also a PPC, and Professor Mick Temple, who described himself as a “Political Scientist”. The notable absentee was Simon Darby of the BNP, who had the previous day confirmed his attendance but then didn’t show up. I’ll leave it to you to make your own mind up about that one, the young people certainly did.

The Panel were excellently chaired by Mike Sassi, Editor of the Sentinel, who kept the whole thing ticking over and kept the politicians in check, allowing plenty of time for questions from the students themselves. I have a sneaky feeling Mike actually enjoyed the whole event!

Question topics ranged from regeneration and boarded up houses, minimum wage jobs, Higher education tuition fees, public transport, job availability for young people, and even how to fill the leadership void in Stoke on Trent (a great question!)

The one thing that was annoying was the fact that all the politicians at some point turned it into a “party political broadcast”. You could feel the atmosphere in the room change, as the young people switched off. If only they could have kept to the point and engaged with the young people about what’s important to them, it would have been an even better event.

Two things really resonated with me. The first was a quote from Professor Temple, the “Political Scientist”, who said he “had no faith in the politicians who represent this city,” and “the third rate people who stand for councils”. After being pushed on this by Mike Sassi, Professor Temple then went on to say that the only hope for this City is for local, community minded people to stand as councillors, people who care about the community and the people within it, rather than party politics. He suggested local community activists against the BSF programme (Trentham, you know who you are!), would make ideal Independent councillors. I found this quite a shock coming from a political lecturer, advocating community politics instead of party politics. What do you think? Is the only way forward for Stoke on Trent ,to rid itself of party politics?

The second thing that really struck a chord was the amount of passion, drive, ambition and commitment some of the young people had. They want jobs, they want a future, they want to be proud of the city they live in and love. The evening ended with a rousing speech by Danny Flynn, Chief Executive of the YMCA, who told the young people to get out there in the community, volunteer, be part of something, and make a difference.

In the words of one young person, “we need to work together to make things better, if we stick together and have one voice, we can make change”. Not an exact quote, but you get the gist.

Well that sounds great, all we have to do now is get the Council to listen and it will all be fantastic!

I look forward to further Youth Hustings events, and congratulate the YMCA on a great job. I hope they organise this on a regular basis, to give more young people an opportunity to debate the things that matter to them.

Norsheen & The Local Conservatives Stand Up For The Coachmakers

Stoke Central Conservative PPC Norsheen Bhatti and the local party intend to stand up for the local pub community and support The Coachmakers campaign against it’s proposed closure.

Recent figures show that a net 3,690 local pubs have closed under Labour.

On top of Gordon Brown’s above-inflation rises in alcohol duty imposed in the Budget local pubs will face above-inflation hikes in their Rateable Values ““ and thus their tax bills.

According to the tax inspectors’ guidance features such as poolrooms, children’s play areas and darts have been targeted. Nice pubs have also been targeted including good beer cellars / stores (taxing real ale) and rare and unspoilt pubs.

Norsheen, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Stoke Central said:

”Only the Conservatives will stand up for the local community pub.

In Stoke Central many pubs have closed down under Labour and this planned tax bombshell may threaten further pubs. It’s not just a tax on the pubs but also on our local communities”.

Norsheen also added:

”A local pub I want to see stay open is The Coachmakers. It’s currently facing the threat of demolition by the Council even though over 11,000 people have signed a petition calling to save it.

The Coachmakers is one of the most beautiful and friendly pubs in Stoke that I’ve had the pleasure to go to and I will support The Coachmakers campaign to keep it open.”

Become your own boss, Conservative plans for Stoke Central’s public sector workers

Public sector workers across Stoke Central could become their own boss and deliver better services under new Conservative plans, backed by Norsheen Bhatti, the Conservative Parliamentry Candidate for Stoke Central, this week.

Under bold proposals, public sector workers would have a powerful new right to form employee-owned co-operatives to take over the services they deliver.

The new right to form employee-owned co-operatives will apply throughout the vast majority of the public sector ““ including JobCentre Plus offices, community nursing teams and primary schools. Employee-owned co-operatives will continue to be funded by the state so long as they meet national standards, but will be freed from centralised bureaucracy and political micromanagement.

Norsheen Bhatti said:

“Public sector workers should have the chance to become their own boss. Employee-owned co-operatives can help cut waste and deliver better services for everyone across Stoke Central. This could be the biggest shift of power from government to people since the right to buy your council house in the 1980s.

“This shows how Conservatives will give power to the public sector workers who are fed up with Gordon Brown’s top-down control of their working lives.”