LETTER: I groaned

I’m sure I’m not the only one on all sides of the debate to read your headline, ‘Let the election battle commence’ [Express, April 21], with a groan.

It can’t have escaped your notice we are already in the middle of a county council election campaign.

Many people I have spoken to during the ESCC campaign have already expressed weariness. On being questioned further they feel powerless in the face of a barrage of propaganda together with an increased daily grind just to carry on. For those of us who think how we are governed is important, many of the questions to ask about how Government policy affects our lives are the same as the local ones. What differs are the available solutions. The Labour Party has been campaigning in the ESCC elections for decent roads and public transport throughout rural areas so local people can afford to stay in their communities. In a National campaign we add the railways to that. Looking at the ‘Southern’ contract which seems to benefit the company whether or not they run trains or whether or not they are run with the safety of passengers in mind.

As for employment the injustice meted out to workers on a daily bases is clear to me as a trades unionist so I am campaigning for all ESCC contracts, whether in house or outsourced, a clause banning ‘0’ hours employment contracts, for all workers to be given a minimum contract of 20 hours/week (preferably full time) as it seems to me since companies limited by shares are legally entailed to maximise the profit for their shareholders before provision of service, to employ workers on ‘0’ hours contracts transfers the risks of the business from the owners and entrepreneurs to the poorest of their workers, this is also a National Campaign.

I have recently learned from an Eastbourne estate agent that no one can rent privately without a full time permanent contract with a minimum income (she didn’t specify). The young couple in the shop at the time couldn’t provide this so (as adults) they were asked to provide a guarantor who was earning at least £18.5K/year (not everyone can do this). Unfortunately ‘being poor’ is not a protected characteristic in ‘The Equalities Act 2010’.

So we have a lot to campaign on, locally and nationally. I urge all your readers to look at the policies and support those candidates who are prepared to make the county and country a more civilised place in which to live.

Jerry Gould

Labour Candidate Ouse Valley West and the Downs