Meet the General Election candidates for Jarrow

Top (l-r) Stan Collins, Stephen Hepburn, David Herbert. Bottom (l-r) Norman Hall, Steve Harrison, Nick Mason.
Top (l-r) Stan Collins, Stephen Hepburn, David Herbert. Bottom (l-r) Norman Hall, Steve Harrison, Nick Mason.

THE men hoping to become Jarrow’s MP explain why you should vote for them:

Stan Collins (Liberal Democrat)

It’s very clear that no party is going to win an outright majority on Thursday.

A hung parliament is inevitable. The question is – who do you want round the cabinet table as coalition partners? The Lib Dems acted courageously in putting the national interest before party interest in 2010. In the next parliament, the Lib Dems can add a heart and a conscience to check the Conservatives, or add a brain and responsibility to a Labour government intent on more reckless spending. Our key policies are balancing the books by cutting the national debt, raising the income tax threshold, so that no one earning the minimum wage will pay income tax. We’ll guarantee the NHS gets the extra £8 billion a year it needs, and we’ll increase spending by £2.5 billion a year in order to protect education budgets from cradle to college. And we’ll keep working to rebalance the North East’s economy too – apprenticeships and jobs have reached record levels and manufacturing and industry on the Tyne are reviving. A vote for the Liberal Democrats in Jarrow is a vote for a stronger economy, a fairer society, a greener environment, and greater opportunity for all.

Norman Hall (TUSC)

I am a Socialist and proud of it. I consider that the bosses’ system, capitalism, is incapable of serving the interests of the vast majority of people.

Austerity is a lie, there is no shortage of cash but it is being hoarded by an elite. Since 2009, the richest 1,00 people in the UK have seen their collective wealth double. At the same time, we have suffered: falling incomes, austerity and cuts.

TUSC says NO MORE.

I pledge to campaign and vote for:

•An end to austerity and cuts.

•£10/hr minimum wage now. Scrap zero-hours contracts.

•No cuts, closures or privatisation in our NHS.

•Reverse all privatisations.

•Free good education for all.

•Rent controls and mass building of council houses.

•No bedroom tax.

•No to racism, sexism or other discrimination.

•Abolition of the anti trade union laws.

•Taxing the super-rich. Make the bosses pay for their crisis.

•Re-nationlisation of the railways and the utilities.

•Nationalisation of the banks.

•A democratic socialist society.

I further pledge to take the average wage of a skilled worker in order to stay in touch with the people I represent.

Nick Mason (Conservative)

For 80 years, since the Great Recession, Jarrow has had a Labour MP. It needs a Conservative MP now, to make the most of, and protect, the recovery we are seeing.

This recovery is real – not just nationally, where we are recovering better than in Europe, but here in the North East, where we are recovering better than the rest of the UK. It’s a recovery of more jobs and more businesses – and it’s been achieved despite cutting back on Labour’s “give-it-away” policies; they borrowed every fourth pound they spent. Instead, our plan for “Northern powerhouses” is working.

If elected as your MP – for the whole Jarrow constituency – I would prioritise bringing business to the area, generating jobs and ending the hopelessness I’ve found here, especially amongst school-leavers. Of course, not everyone can work. I work for a disability charity, and I know how important it is that the benefits system is fairer, while still encouraging work. I’d make sure the right changes are made in the NHS.

A vote for me is a vote for change and hope: for recovery, for balanced books, for your say on Europe, and against a Labour minority government controlled by the SNP.

Steve Harrison (UKIP)

In the 2010 general election, only 60 per cent of people in the Jarrow Constituency voted. It was a safe Labour seat. Labour always got in.

What was the point? Voter turnout dropped because people felt betrayed. They’d always voted Labour, then, when Labour had thirteen uninterrupted years in government, what did they do?

They handed our money and our lawmaking power to the European union. They allowed cheap migrant labour to replace the British workers who had voted for them in industry, including in the Tyneside shipyards. They swamped the NHS and housing markets with millions of new people who hadn’t paid into the system, leaving fewer resources for everyone. They wrecked the economy. They abandoned their core voters.

On Thursday, for the first time, people have a different choice. They can vote for a party that can actually beat Labour. A party that wants to improve life in the region, spend more on the NHS, bring jobs to Jarrow and make British citizens a priority in their own country. If you want real change, if you want to take our country back and have an MP that puts your interests first, only one party can achieve it. Vote UKIP.

Stephen Hepburn (Labour)

On Thursday we face a huge choice for the next five years. We can choose hope and a better future by voting Labour. Or we’ll be lumbered with the incompetent, out-of-touch Conservatives.

So I ask you to vote Labour to save the National Health Service.

I urge you to vote Labour to raise living standards, cut energy bills and raise the minimum wage.

And I appeal to you to vote Labour to create apprenticeships, cut university tuition fees and build more homes.

That choice couldn’t be clearer on May 7th in what is a momentous General Election. The Conservatives failed miserably in the past five years.

The Conservative record is stagnant living standards, higher bills, £500-billion extra debt and an immigration target missed by 200,000 in one year alone.

In the next five years the Conservatives would cut child benefit and tax credits.

They’d threaten Nissan in Washington and destroy the United Kingdom.

The Tories are in the pockets of the millionaire bankers and speculators who wrecked the economy.

Labour is on your side, the only party representing working people whether on low or middle incomes or retired.

So vote for me, Stephen Hepburn, and vote Labour.

Dave Herbert (Green)

I have lived in the North East all my life, worked in coal mining for 18 years and for 14 years as a Health and Safety Advisor mainly in construction.

I have been married for 33 years and have two daughters both working for the NHS. People need alternative policies to the failed austerity programmes adversely affecting the majority. These include stopping NHS privatisation and re-nationalising railways. Inequality is growing, the rich few becoming richer, while the majority poorer. The richest 1000 doubled their wealth in 10 years to £547m each on average. We call for a wealth tax to fund vital pubic services including free elderly social care, free nursery services for all children, council house building and better cheaper public transport. We need Community Banks, to encourage local investment.

A living wage of £10 per hour to help working families living in poverty and insulating their homes reduces energy costs. Training levels in the UK are low, we would guarantee alternative employment or training. Climate Change is a threat but also an opportunity as we change to electrified transport. We already have electric cars at Nisan and trains at Hitachi. We need investment in industries such as battery, solar panel and wind turbine manufacture that are the future for a sustainable economy. Our policies can produce one million jobs nationally and South Tyneside would get a fair share. So a vote for the Green Party is for a bright green future.