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2005-05-01 22:21:30
Labour Candidate for Southport

On the campaign trail with Paul Brant

With less than a week to go to polling day and thousands of people already casting their vote by post - Labour’s candidate in Southport comments “I am thoroughly enjoying the campaign so far. We have stuck to the main question – ‘who do you want to form the next government?’ – throughout this campaign and the response has been very positive. We have been campaigning, leafleting and canvassing energetically for months this is probably one of the reasons why we have gained many new party members during this time.”

“It has also been pleasing to receive feedback slips, emails and telephone calls from voters” .

Some issues raised have included:

QA Kew pensioner saying how on a recent stay at Southport and Formby DGH he was impressed by the care he received and how clean the wards were. Paul says “Most people like this caller to our hotline are fed up with Tory attacks on our NHS and the fine people who work in it. Southport hospital actually has an excellent record on cleanliness – the misrepresentation of figures to scare vulnerable people, as the Tories have done is one of the lowest things I have seen in politics”.

QA Southport teacher who is appalled at the Conservative elitist policy to limit University admissions to only the brightest and best. Paul says “Thanks for the call. Labour’s policy to get more people into Higher Education goes hand in hand with our incentives to young people to stay on at school and achieve their full potential. Tough decisions have had to be made to meet the cost of the now 45% of young people going to university (rather than the 5% elite in the past) Maintenance grants are reintroduced for students from lower income backgrounds and graduates will have to pay back a contribution towards their fees – only when they can afford it. The alternatives put forward by other Parties would inevitably lead to cash starved institutions offering fewer places and less access.”

QAn Ainsdale Trade Union member who is worried that people are conned into thinking that the Liberal Democrats are on the side of working people and are a safe vote for anyone wanting to be anti-Tory. Paul says “Of course the Tories have the most appalling record at helping working people but the Lib Dems would scrap also the New Deal, opposed the minimum wage and want to scrap the Department for Trade and Industry”.

QA Southport man who respects the dignity and leadership of Tony Blair in the face of personal attack from Michael Howard and parts of the media. Paul says “When canvassing in recent weeks people on the doorstep most people have contrasted Tony Blair’s courageous leadership (even if they disagree with him) with the opportunism and scaremongering politics of Michael Howard. Tony Blair leads a strong Labour team united in determination to continue investing in public services, having a stable economy and tackling poverty.

Q One Churchtown resident said when the looked back on the Government's achievements, that they didn't want to go back to failure under Michael Howard. Paul said If you have ever asked yourself what has the Labour Government ever done for us, just look at http://www.labour.org.uk/top50achievements/

The Labour campaign team have updated the constituency website and included a Frequently Asked Questions section – because it is appreciated that many people are still undecided on how to vote on May 5th. There is also the opportunity to submit a question of your own and the campaign team will publish them on the site in time for polling day. www.southport.labour.co.uk

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