STEPHEN HEPBURN: Please use your vote on May 5

Voting is on May 5

Voting is on May 5

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Have your say

I hugely admire and respect those who do well in life but not those who enjoy success then pull up the ladder.

David Cameron is the classic case of the posh boy born on the top rung who couldn’t give two hoots for any family not listed in Debrett’s.

How else could you explain the damage inflicted on Tyneside, including to the grafters and well-off, by destroying the social and physical fabric of our communities.

I have huge respect and admiration for the councillors battling hard to maintain and even improve local services when Cameron’s callous, incompetent Conservatives in London are bleeding local authorities dry.

South Tyneside Council over the next four years will be forced to impose deep cuts of at least £55m on top of the £120m already required by leech doctor Dave. That’s 600 job losses by 2020 with 1,200 already axed.

In neighbouring Gateshead the picture’s the same when a council forced to reduce spending by £110m is faced with finding another £78m.

These are eye-watering cuts and we’re talking about schools, housing, transport, emptying bins, parks, social services, looking after the elderly and vulnerable, pavements, roads, buses, street lighting, libraries...if you care about it, the chances are your local council plays a role.

Rob a local authority blind and it’s also harder to help small businesses grow and expand or attract big companies with the jobs they bring.

So I urge you to vote in the vital local elections, either by sending in a postal vote today or popping into a polling booth next Thursday, May 5.

Because it’s your chance to elect councillors to fight your corner and, on the same day, a police and crime commissioner.

Together we can send a message to David Cameron, telling the Prime Minister to shove his cuts. I recognise, of course, readers of this column in the Gazette hold all sorts of political views but I’m certain every one of you appreciates the dedication of energetic councillors who work tirelessly on our behalf.

It’s an honour to be elected to represent a community, sorting out individual problems and delivering first class services in the teeth of a Tory government.

I was thrilled to be a councillor before the good people of the Jarrow parliamentary constituency voted for me to represent them as their MP and I’m privileged to serve each and every one of you, regardless of individual politics.

Across the Jarrow parliamentary constituency, it’s intensely satisfying to work with the dedicated local councillors in the wards of Bede, Boldon Colliery, Cleadon & East Boldon, Fellgate & Hedworth, Hebburn North & South, Monkton, Pelaw & Heworth, Primrose, and Wardley & Leam Lane.

The best councillors, and we can be proud of ours in this area, go the extra mile to assist residents.

If you need help, drop them a line or give them a call. All their contact details are available publicly and accessible via South Tyneside and Gateshead Council websites. They’re down to earth people so don’t be shy.

When the 2020 General Election arrives we’ll have the opportunity to fight for what this country needs – a Labour Government on your side, standing up for working people, young and old, fit and disabled, valuing the public services we rely on.

But I believe we also need Labour councillors and Labour councils.

Please vote on May 5.