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labour_five_pledges.jpgThe Labour Party has set out five pledges for government. They are:

• A strong economic foundation
• Higher living standards for working families
• An NHS with time to care
• Controls on immigration
• A country where the next generation can do better than the last

1. A strong economic foundation

Labour will balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS. No manifesto commitments require additional borrowing.

2. Higher living standards for working families

Labour will cap energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, raise the minimum wage to £8, and provide 25 hours free childcare.

3. An NHS with time to care

Labour will build an NHS with the time to care by funding 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. Services will be joined up from home to hospital, GP appointments guaranteed within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.

4. Controls on immigration

New migrants won't be able to claim benefits for at least two years, and Labour will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.

5. A country where the next generation can do better than the last

Labour will reduce tuition fees to £6,000, guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the basic grades, and ensure smaller class sizes for 5, 6, & 7-year-olds.

Labour's five General Election pledges - a better plan, a better future

The Labour Party has set out five pledges for government. They are: • A strong economic foundation• Higher living standards for working families• An NHS with time to care• Controls...

bridget_phillipson_oakfield_court_bus_cuts.jpgLabour parliamentary candidate for Houghton and Sunderland South Bridget Phillipson has paid a visit to sheltered housing scheme Oakfield Court in East Herrington to speak with residents about the issues that matter to them ahead of the forthcoming General Election.

Many of the residents, who rely on public transport to see their GP and access other local amenities, raised concerns over the impact of the cuts to local bus services that have been carried out over the last few years.

During her five years as Member of Parliament for the constituency Bridget campaigned for the introduction of a Quality Contract Scheme to re-regulate the provision of local bus services across Tyne and Wear.

The introduction of this scheme would ensure that bus services are run in the public interest and not exclusively for profit. Routes that are socially important and which provide vital community access will be protected under the plans, which are currently under consideration by the independent Quality Contracts Board.

Bridget said:

"It was very important to speak with the residents of Oakfield Court today to understand better the effect that bus cuts are having on their access to vital services.

Many people told me that it had become more difficult to see their GP as a result of the cuts, which have been imposed in order to protect the profits of the bus companies.

While I was MP for this constituency I campaigned in favour of a the re-regulation of bus services, and if I am re-elected on May 7 I will continue to press for the introduction of a Quality Contract Scheme for the Tyne and Wear bus network.

QCS is the only way to ensure that bus companies put people before profits."

Bridget Phillipson visits Oakfield Court residents to discuss local bus services

Labour parliamentary candidate for Houghton and Sunderland South Bridget Phillipson has paid a visit to sheltered housing scheme Oakfield Court in East Herrington to speak with residents about the issues...

bridget_phillipson_cherry_tree_gardens_coffee_morning.jpgLabour parliamentary candidate for Houghton and Sunderland South Bridget Phillipson has attended a coffee morning with local residents at Cherry Tree Garden scheme in Houghton to discuss local issues ahead of the forthcoming General Election on 7 May. 

Following on from her series of successful coffee mornings held across the constituency while an MP during the last Parliament, Bridget and Labour's council candidate for Copt Hill ward Mary Turton spoke with local people about the issues that matter most to them.

Many raised the need for better local bus services, which is an issue that Bridget has campaigned on for five years. Her Big Bus Campaign is pushing for the introduction of a Quality Contract Scheme for Tyne & Wear bus services that will ensure they are run on a public need basis, not exclusively for profit.

There was also discussion about the difficulty in getting GP appointments when needed. This has become a huge problem for the NHS over the last five years, and if Labour wins in May it will guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours for everyone who needs one.

The new NHS 111 number is also causing concern and confusion. Many residents complained that the advice line was not staffed by medical professionals and that they frequently recommended callers to attend local health services instead of responding to their health queries directly.

Labour has pledged to ensure that after current NHS 111 contracts expire ambulance services will take them on so that, in time, medically qualified professionals could handle all 111 and 999 calls from the same call centres. This will mean more experienced staff on the phones and better classification of calls.

Bridget said:

"What was clear is that many are worried about the state of the NHS, especially when it comes to getting the advice and help they need through their GP and the non-emergency 111 helpline.

"It's unacceptable that so many cannot get to see their GP when they want to and that instead they have to go to A&E, putting further strain on a service that has suffered under the Conservative-led coalition.

"A future Labour government will create a Time to Care Fund – an extra £2.5 billion a year to train, recruit and fund new staff and to guarantee that everyone can see their GP within 48 hours and get access to vital cancer tests within a week.

"We will reform the failed 111 service by staffing it with trained medical professionals who will give people the advice they need to deal with their condition.

"Only Labour has a plan to save and transform the NHS."

Bridget Phillipson attends coffee morning in Houghton for local residents

Labour parliamentary candidate for Houghton and Sunderland South Bridget Phillipson has attended a coffee morning with local residents at Cherry Tree Garden scheme in Houghton to discuss local issues ahead...


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