Published in Nailsea People.

Labour members running the stall at Nailsea Farmers Market
Labour members running the stall at Nailsea Farmers Market

 Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day were celebrated together at Nailsea Farmers Market this Saturday when North Somerset Labour Party ran a stall to gauge the appeal of Labour’s ‘five missions’ among Nailsea voters.

Drawing on the theme of Valentine’s Day, members of the public were asked which of Labour’s five missions were closest to their hearts. As the sun came out on Saturday morning passers-by were invited to put a sticker on the Labour mission they loved the most. Children were given an ang pao (Chinese red packet).

The Labour Party has five bold, fully funded missions for Britain should it win power at the next general election:

  1. get Britain building again with 1.5 million new homes in five years;
  2. switch on Great British Energy, a new publicly owned clean power company to cut bills and deliver good jobs;
  3. get the NHS back on its feet by paying doctors and nurses overtime to cut the waiting lists – paid for by ending the non-dom tax break;
  4. take back our streets with 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCOSs; and
  5. break down barriers to opportunity by introducing free school breakfast clubs and more specialist maths and science teachers – paid for by removing tax breaks for private schools.

Over a third (39%) of those who participated chose getting the NHS back on its feet as the mission they loved the most. Labour’s District Councillor for Nailsea Youngwood, Cllr Clare Hunt, said: “I often hear from constituents who are struggling to access care for themselves and their loved ones because of the effects of 14 years of Conservative underfunding and mismanagement, so it is unfortunately not surprising that so many Nailsea residents expressed concern for the NHS.”

Reports indicate that the past 14 years of Conservative austerity policies have taken a shocking toll on the nation’s health. The average height of UK children who grew up under Conservative-Liberal Democrat austerity has fallen compared to European peers, suggesting widespread childhood poverty and social deprivation. In 2011, life expectancy for men and women stalled. Not only are we as a nation sicker, we also face longer waiting times for treatment, difficulties in accessing NHS dentists, a mental health service unable to meet demand, and a care service in crisis.

Labour’s missions to ‘switch on Great British Energy,’ ‘break down barriers to opportunity,’ ‘get Britain building again’, and ‘take back our streets’ received around 24%, 15%, 11%, and 11% of Nailsea’s support respectively.

From the comments received by those running the stall, it is clear that the people of Nailsea are looking for change and are turning to a party that cares and will look after the most vulnerable.

Ms Bhupinder Dularay, one of the Labour members running the stall, found: “lots of people were expressing a need for the Tories to be removed, in particular Liam Fox.” Ms Dularay added that “there was an awareness that tactical voting for the Labour Party was needed to achieve this”.

 Dr Emma Coombe, North Somerset Labour Party Secretary, said: “people in Nailsea were really hopeful on hearing that the polling shows Labour is on course to unseat Liam Fox.” Dr Coombe added: “at the next election every vote will count here; the choice for voters is between another five years of Liam Fox or a fresh start with a hardworking new Labour MP.”

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