February 3, 2015

Bill Esterson

I live in Maghull with my family. My children go to local schools and our GP is also in Maghull. I care very much about this area and about the people who live and work here.

When I talk to people across Sefton Central, you tell me that you have seen a fall in living standards in the last five years. You also tell me that the crisis in our NHS means that there have been long delays, whether waiting for an ambulance, at A&E, or for an operation.

Since the Lib Dems went into government with the Tories, we have also seen:

·         Delays at GP surgeries.
·         Closure of services like the Breast Cancer service at Ormskirk & Southport Hospital
·         An unprecedented use of food banks by those in work

If Labour wins the election, our priorities will be living standards and saving our NHS.

The current government has cut the budget to Sefton Council by more than 40%. That cut is the reason why services have been slashed and the Conservatives have already said they will make much bigger cuts if they win the election in May.

Many of you have concerns about future development. Living here, I share those concerns and have objected to large scale building on our green belt. But the biggest threat to our community comes from the current government, thanks to the planning rules they introduced, rules which councils have to comply with, rules which favour developers over local people.

Labour will change the planning system if we win the election, so that we can better protect our community and make sure that any large scale development benefits local people. That protection can happen if developers have to build where they already have planning permission first, if councils are allowed to include existing planning permissions in its planning numbers and if councils are given the support to have a proper brownfield first approach to building. Any large scale housing developments also need to have an allocation of affordable housing that gives first preference to local people and roads and health services need to be improved as well.

The best way to protect this community is to change to a government that will put local people first. This applies to council services and to large scale housing developments.

I have fought for our community when it comes to living standards, the NHS, opposing cuts in government funding for services and the environment for the last five years and rest assured, I will continue to do so.