As a Labour candidate in May’s election I’m delighted to see the continued commitment of the current Labour Group to the principles on which we’re standing, as detailed in last week’s Express (31/3/17 page 18).
On the doorstep, when I discuss these issues the standard response from opponents is: ‘How can we afford this?’
Personally, I find it difficult to understand how the East Sussex County Council can afford contracts with companies who are legally obliged to maximise profits for their shareholders over any provision of services, and the idea the restructuring of secondary education will be cost free is laughable. Money can always be found for the pet projects of Government but less so for the provision of basic services for ordinary people.
In the same edition of the Express an earlier column details Maria Caulfield’s commitment to the Jo Cox Commission on loneliness amongst older people. There seems to me to be an irony in supporting elderly people through this commission whilst sitting in Parliament supporting a Government which focuses on minimising any expenditure on services.
My question is not ‘How can we afford these services?’ it is ‘How can a civilised society NOT afford to provide decent services for all its citizens?’
Of course the greatest shame is that the decisions of ESCC are made by a cabinet of eight members rather than the 49 we elect to represent us. I would say this skews our Council’s policies entirely in the direction of the largest minority of those who bothered to vote.
(Prospective Labour Candidate; Ouse Valley West and the Downs)