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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: May 14, 2017

    These measures include cash incentives for new STEM graduates who join up, and a new "careers for heroes" scheme to pay for the full cost of further and higher education for Armed Forces personnel who have served for twelve or more years. These ambitious policies have been announced on the same day that the Liberal Democrats have committed to the NATO target of 2% defence spending. Liberal Democrats believe in a strong, credible UK Armed Forces which is properly equipped and trained for the challenges and threats we face in the 21st century.

  • Article: May 12, 2017

    UKIP are standing aside because May has adopted their agenda

    UKIP are standing in just 377 seats out of 650, down from 624 in 2015. UKIP are standing aside for the Conservatives because they know Theresa May has adopted their divisive agenda wholesale. As Nigel Farage has said, Theresa May is now using the exact words and phrases he has been using for the last 20 years. The scene has been set for a Conservative landslide that would be bad for people's jobs, our schools and the NHS. But it's not too late to ensure a strong opposition and a better future for this country. The Liberal Democrats are the only party can challenge Theresa May, fight to protect our schools and hospitals and stand up against a bad Brexit deal.

  • Article: May 12, 2017

    As one of their final acts in government, Liberal Democrats successfully made it a legal requirement for the UK government to adhere to the 0.7% pledge. This has prevented Conservative party and UKIP critics from stopping these vital funds getting to those who most need them.
    Today, Liberal Democrats have vowed to protect that legacy and ensure that the UK continues to alleviate poverty across the world, helping to build a more secure and stable international community. Liberal Democrats are fierce internationalists, and proud of Britain's record as a world leader in providing help and support to some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world. UK aid prevents suffering. It allows girls to stay in school, stops babies from dying of preventable illnesses, and ensures that farmers can sell their crops at a fair price. A healthier, safer and more stable world is the best interest of British families as well. That's why Liberal Democrats are today vowing to fight for Britain's legacy and protect the 0.7% target. Our country's role as a caring and active player on the global stage is under threat from the far-right, with UKIP and the Conservatives attempting to reduce funding and turn Britain's back to our international commitments. But the British people don't have to settle for Theresa May's cold, mean-spirited Britain.

  • Article: May 10, 2017

    This Conservative government has slashed funding on defence, cut our Royal Marines and left our troops on the front line without basic equipment. Billions has been spent on big ticket items that we may not even have enough troops to use. Of course adequate spending on defence is welcome and necessary, but this is a piece of last-minute chicanery to cover up the Conservative's dismal record. No wonder Britain's top generals have accused the Tories of trying to deceive the public over defence cuts. It shows why Britain needs a strong opposition to hold the Conservatives to account.

  • Article: May 9, 2017
    This is Corbyn's Michael Howard moment, refusing repeatedly to answer a straight question. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour is refusing to give people the final say no matter how bad the Brexit deal on offer. Brexit will affect our country for decades - our jobs, the environment and our security. The Liberal Democrats' position is clear. We think you should have the final say in a referendum, and if you don't like the deal you should have the choice to remain in the European Union.
  • Article: May 9, 2017

    Sadiq Kahn, the Mayor of London, has admitted what has been abundantly clear. Labour voted with the Conservatives for a hard Brexit, out of the single market, and to deny the people a say on the final deal. Only the Liberal Democrats are fighting to stay in the Single Market and for the rights of EU citizens to remain in their jobs and homes - and only we are committing to give people, not politicians, the final say on the Brexit deal. He also stated in the New Statesman that people did not know what Labour's position was on Brexit. Well they wouldn't, because they don't know.

  • Article: May 9, 2017

    More than a quarter of 222 of the largest financial firms in the UK are planning to move some staff or part of their operations out of the UK, according to monitoring by the consultancy EY. This is an increase of 50% on four months ago.These stark figures show the hard Brexit chosen by Theresa May is already leading to an exodus of jobs from the UK. This is a sharp reality check for all those who think their jobs are safe in Theresa May's hands.

  • Article: May 6, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats will set out a 'five-point recovery plan' for NHS and social care services in their manifesto.

    The key element of this is a one percent rise on income tax, raising around £6bn per year, which will be ringfenced to be spent on the NHS, care services and public health.

    In the longer term, we will introduce a dedicated Health and Care Tax, which will bring spending on both services into a collective budget and set out transparently, on people's payslips, what we spend on their services.

    The manifesto will also call for a statutory independent budget monitoring agency for health and care. An 'Office of Health and Care Funding', similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility. This would report every three years on how much money the system needs based on meeting government health targets and to fund new initiatives, while also covering projected increases in demand.

  • Article: May 6, 2017

    The government's draft air quality plan and consultation is not a plan, it's a cop out. Instead of bold commitments to improve air quality, the Government is hiding behind yet another consultation and passing the buck to local authorities.The Conservative government is shamefully failing in its duty to tackle deadly pollution that is claiming thousands of lives a year. This shows why Britain needs a strong opposition that will hold the Conservatives to account.

  • Article: May 6, 2017