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Hartlepool Liberal Democrats website!

Where is our £350 million?

We were promised, that if we left the EU, the £350m that we send over the Channel, would be spent on the NHS. Now we know we are leaving, we must demand that that money is now invested in our hospitals, and Hartlepool hospital in particular. So, I will be fighting to find out the date when full hospital services can be restored - we need them.

'No' to a Hard Brexit

As I write this, I am watching my children be children - playing, laughing, innocent, with not a care in the world. My daughter wants to be a teacher when she grows up, while my son wants to play for Chelsea (sadly). Little do they know that something momumental happened on the 23 June 2016 that will significantly affect their future well-being.

I voted Remain for them, for their future, because I firmly believed, and still do, that they will be better off in the EU, than out of it. And so did 75% of 18-24 year olds who voted to Remain too (and 56% of 25-49 year olds). In fact, at the time of the Referendum, a lot of secondary schools held student debates on whether to leave or not, and anecdotal evidence from my work in the secondary school sector suggested our young people were pro-European and wanted to Remain. And a recent UK wide survey on Brexit revealed that only 22% of 11-16 year olds were hopeful about the future.

But the young people of this great nation of ours will be denied the right to have the future they want. They are going to be robbed by May's uncompromising stance on leaving the EU. Our children, teenagers and young men and women still deserve to be heard in Westminister but that can only happen if there are more Remain MPs who will stand up and be counted, and hold the Tories to account. This will put pressure on Teresa May to listen to the next generation, in fact listen to the 48% who wanted to Remain.

I accept the 2016 Referendum. We lost and that's that. But that day in June last year was about Remain or Leave, not about the destination, not about the final deal. Frankly, I don't trust the Tories to get a good deal. Look at the NHS, Social Care, and what they want to do in education, not to mention the debacle and U-turn over national insurance contributions. And look at who they have leading the way - Boris, Liam and David..........

The second Referendum that the Lib Dems want is not a re run of Brexit, it is about giving the people of this country, including our young people, a say on the final deal. If you were a Remainer, or you are a worried Leaver, then there is only one Party who has pledged to fight your corner - the Liberal Democrats. The Conservatives, Labour and Ukip all support a Hard Brexit even though 48% of the country voted Remain, and many Leavers did not agree with the concept of a Hard Brexit anyway.

Here in Hartlepool, over 14,000 residents voted Remain. This is the General Election to make your voice heard, and stop Teresa May doing whatever she wants, before it's too late. None of the other Parties are going to hold her to account - just us. This election therefore has monumental significance, and every vote counts.

We will be fielding a candidate in the General Election and we'll let you know who in due course. And of course, all Political Parties are, as we speak, putting their election manifestos together and these will be in the public domain as soon as complete.

Unfortunately, the Hartlepool contest will be billed as a Labour Vs Ukip affair. But I ask you - should our vote be dictated to by Labour and Ukip? Because you might find that the best person to fight Hartlepool's corner in Westminister, and the person who is best equipped to deal with the pressing local issues, long ignored by the Labour Council, is not a member of either of these two parties.

A Labour MP will ensure more of the same for Hartlepool residents. Labour has had many, many years in power, both nationally and locally to improve the lives of Hartlepool residents. But have they? How many chances does a Party need to get things right? And a Ukip MP will cut a lonely figure, as their Party struggles to find any relevance post Brexit, and is haemorrhaging support, as high profile members defect to the Tories. Ukip is in decline (see the latest YouGov Poll).

Ah, you might say, but what about those Lib Dems, we can't vote for them, they are pro-Europe. Yes we are. And let me be honest with you - the Conservatives will win this General Election, will increase their majority, and will then do as they please. We will, however, be the only Party that Remainers and worried Leavers can turn to, to hold the Government to account.

What a Hard Brexit will look like in Hartlepool is anyone's guess. But I think what Hartlepool will look like over the next few years, and decades even, should be an important topic of discussion in this election, because the current Labour dominance will prove a barrier to any opportunities that leaving Europe will afford. Hartlepool needs to be a marginal constituency - we need to be fought over!

Whatever happens, it will be interesting. All that the Hartlepool Lib Dems ask is that you give us an opportunity to tell you who we are, and how we can make Hartlepool, and the UK, better places to live.

Andy Hagon
Hartlepool Lib Dems

We've launched our new Hartlepool Manifesto for 2017-18 - Let's make Hartlepool better

It is a great honour and privilege to present our Local Manifesto to the people of Hartlepool. Our town is a great place to live and work and it is with great pleasure that we outline our plans to make Hartlepool better. We know that over the last few years our town has been badly let down by the Labour run Council.  

Through our 'Hartlepool 2017' consultation, we asked residents how they thought the council was doing and what their priorities should be. The response was clear. Residents feel that the council has become remote and out-of- touch, and increasingly feel neglected and ignored. Crucial NHS services have disappeared, while Labour have lavished millions on vanity projects such as the Inspirations Cafe , which has cost the tax payer hundreds of thousands of pounds, the £1.5 million purchase and demolition of Jackson's Landing and the ill conceived transport interchange, not to mention the million plus pounds spent and wasted on a non existent Town Plan.  

Liberal Democrat campaigners have voiced their concerns. But again and again, Labour have ignored local people. Over the last few years, Labour have put their priorities above those of ordinary residents and acted as if Hartlepool was a council with a town rather than a town with a council.  

We are determined to change this. Liberal Democrats will put residents first. Our Hartlepool 2017 consultation showed us that we should focus on 6 key priorities:

  • Spending your money wisely, protecting frontline services 
  • Create a robust and forward thinking Town Plan  
  • Local communities come first  
  • Support Jobs and Apprenticeships  
  • Invest in young people, and tackle child poverty 
  • Inspiring, Accountable and Transparent Leadership

These are the key messages you will find in this manifesto and we are determined to deliver them if elected. Our candidates will bring a range of skills and experience, from small business owners, to teachers, to working mums.

If you want a Council focused on your community, that listens and delivers on local priorities, vote Liberal Democrat in June 2017 at the General Election, and in May 2018 in the local elections.

Andy Hagon
Hartlepool Lib Dems 

What is our Mission?

Our aim is to build a Hartlepool that gives people the tools and freedom to be successful, and to live the lives they want. We also want a town that supports and protects individuals, particularly the young and vulnerable. We believe in opportunity, self-reliance and a healthy respect for communities to help create a culturally vibrant and prosperous town. We have, therefore, put forward a progressive platform where individuals in communities are the drivers for change, and people are at the heart of the decision making process.

The Hartlepool Liberal Democrats will:

1. Spend your money wisely, protecting frontline services - we will keep a firm grip on the finances. There will be no vanity projects, wooly contracts, nepotism, no waste or duplication, just sensible long- term investment.

2. Create a robust and forward thinking Town Plan - without a plan, decisions become ad hoc and ill informed. We commit to an evidence based Town Plan, fully consulted upon, and acted upon through inspirational and impactful leadership.

3. Ensure Communities come First - Support you wherever you live in Hartlepool, whether you have a Lib Dem Councillor in your ward or not. We will give a fair slice of spending to every community in the town. We'll ask you what you think about the future of our great town, and we'll listen to the answers. We will pick up on issues that matter to local people and try to shape solutions that match your needs.

4. Secure long-term employment opportunities and apprenticeships - we will work with both local and national business, government agencies, the Tees Valley and other interested parties to bring well paid jobs and apprenticeships to the town.

5. Invest in our young people, while tackling child poverty - putting first the needs of the youngest in our town by supporting our schools to deliver outstanding education, while tackling child poverty, and supporting other vulnerable groups.

6. Hartlepool demands the highest quality leadership, which is accountable and transparent - Electing Councillors who have the right skill set to get the very best job done for the people of Hartlepool.

We believe that we offer an alternative to the local Labour Party, who waste what limited financial resources we have, and to the Right, which either abstains or colludes with the current Council leadership. We don't believe in the "cutting culture" of the Conservatives, but do understand the need to live within our means. Therefore, a transparent, accountable and competent approach is what is needed to secure the town's social and economic future, and only the Liberal Democrats can deliver that.

So, join us in the fight. And let's make Hartlepool better.

Hartlepool Politics

  • Article: Jun 6, 2017

    There has been a pact of silence on Brexit between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. It is one of the most cynical acts of political collusion between the two larger parties in a generation. Strip away the contrast in tone and the differences in language and a striking reality emerges: both the Conservative and Labour positions on Brexit are now more or less identical. Pull Britain out of the Customs Union and the Single Market. Abruptly bring an end to freedom of movement. Deny the people any chance to decide on the final deal. They are in total agreement.

    With average earnings growth failing to keep up with prices, consumers are already beginning to feel the Brexit squeeze. Price rises have hit energy bills, petrol, and clothes. It's enough to make anyone need a fortifying glass of wine - but last week it was reported that the average price of a bottle of wine has hit its highest price ever.

    No deal would, according to the Treasury, mean a loss of £45bn a year. To put this in perspective, £45bn is more money than the entire schools budget for England. To plug a gap like that in the public finances you would either need to raise the basic rate of income tax by 10 pence in the pound, or to make cuts to public services and the salaries of those who work for them on an unimaginable scale. This is what Theresa May means when she casually threatens to walk away from the negotiating table. No deal isn't a cuddly alternative to a poor deal. It's far worse. It's a disaster for Britain."

    The Treasury figures are an indictment of the central objective of Theresa May's negotiating strategy - to walk away from Margaret Thatcher's Single Market. This decision alone carries a long-term price tag of £16bn a year. For that money, you could give every hospital in the UK a £12m cash injection, or provide the average school with an extra half a million pounds.

  • Article: Jun 1, 2017

    Theresa May stated in a speech last year that "Remaining inside the European Union does make us more secure, it does make us more prosperous and it does make us more influential beyond our shores" (25 April 2016, link)

  • Article: May 31, 2017

    LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of parliament in Britain's June 8 election, according to a projection by polling company YouGov, raising the prospect of political deadlock just as formal Brexit talks begin.

    In stark contrast to opinion polls that have until the past week shown May on course for a big win in the snap election she called, the YouGov model suggested May would lose 20 seats and her 17-seat working majority in the 650-seat British parliament.

  • Article: May 28, 2017

    The refusal of the Conservatives to tell us what the cap on social care costs will be shows they are holding the public in contempt. Theresa May must stop flip-flopping and do what her party had committed to, implement a £72,000 cap on care. Conservative plans for a dementia tax are cruel and not properly thought through. It shows Theresa May is taking people for granted. The Liberal Democrats will keep campaigning to scrap the Dementia Tax and ensure no-one has to face catastrophic costs to pay for their care. People who want to support us should back our campaign at dementiatax.org.uk.

  • Article: May 22, 2017

    Over 50 of Britain's leading business figures and entrepreneurs - including the founder of Ebookers, Dinesh Dhamija, co-founder of Innocent Drinks Richard Reed and businesswoman Nicola Horlick - have backed the Liberal Democrats today as the only UK party campaigning to stay in single market. In a letter to The Times, the business figures write that leaving the single market would be "destructive to the British economy," and that the Liberal Democrats are "the only party speaking for business and the majority of Britons on the key issue at this election."

  • Article: May 20, 2017

    Nick Clegg, former Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister and architect of the free school meals programme, has reacted angrily to a report showing that 900,000 poor children will by hit Conservative plans on free school meals. Theresa May was dubbed the "lunch snatcher" by Liberal Democrats in the wake of the Conservative manifesto launch.

  • Article: May 20, 2017
  • Article: May 15, 2017

    Lib Dems respond to

    Today Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP's Spokesperson on the Economy, said: "we could I think be forgiven for finding it galling that the ever-pragmatic Tory party has lately donned so many of our clothes"

    This statement comes as a poll finds that people think the Conservatives are more right-wing than UKIP.

  • Article: May 15, 2017

    Young people's wishes have been swept under the rug since the EU referendum when 75% voted to remain. At a time of monumental political change, many feel hurt, ignored and powerless. The Liberal Democrats will not allow young people's pro-European aspirations to go unnoticed. Their priorities must be our priorities. This General Election is a chance to change the direction of our country. Register to vote now and have your say.

  • Article: May 14, 2017

    The Conservatives tried to ban workers from striking and were blocked by the Liberal Democrats in government. It's clear they aren't the party of workers' rights and that you can't trust them to care about you and your family. Theresa May knows the bad Brexit deal she is pursuing will harm workers' living standards and jobs for many years to come, but she doesn't care. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can challenge Theresa May and stand up for you.