KATE OSBORNE: The country needs an end to the chaotic Tory Government
Just this week we have seen headlines that 300,000 people a year in England are dying whilst they wait for an NHS appointment, that the NHS should be declared a national emergency, we have seen headlines that most Councils are in dire financial straits and facing bankruptcy without investment, headlines showing child poverty once more on the rise, wages stagnating and businesses going bust.
The country needs an end to the corrupt chaotic Tory Government - after 14 years in power, five Prime Ministers, seven Chancellors, Governments rolling from one disaster to the next, it is clear that this country needs to take a completely new direction after years of Conservative rule.
After years and years of crippling underinvestment and austerity, funding for our public services has been decimated, with fewer frontline police on our streets.
People who attend my in-person surgeries and contact my office have had enough, they can’t afford their bills, they can’t afford their rent or mortgage, they are suffering from anti-social behaviour and our police and council’s resources have been decimated, unable to cope with demand.
The biggest concerns that constituents continue to raise with me are the lack of social housing, conditions of rented housing and anti-social behaviour.
Yet the Tories have shown no signs of addressing the housing crisis with around 1.2 million on the social housing waiting list, including many across South Tyneside and Gateshead and betraying renters going back on their promises to protect people in rented accommodation.
Labour will get Britain building again and build 1.5 million homes over the next Parliament, delivering the biggest boost to affordable housing in a generation.
Anti-social behaviour problems with neighbours, noise complaints, off-road motorbikes, shoplifting and theft from local shops issues continue to dominate my mailbox - Tory cuts to policing and youth services have and will continue to make this situation worse.
This government’s austerity measures have created nothing but chaos and it is those who live in our area and communities like ours who are hit the hardest.
The Tory cuts led to the Northumbria Police losing more than 1,000 police officers from our streets, a Labour Government will bring back proper neighbourhood policing by ensuring every part of the country has more local officers and PCSOs, and guaranteed town centre patrols with tougher powers.
Every local area will have a dedicated lead focused specifically on tackling anti-social behaviour and we will give local people a say in how their local area and town centre is policed, ensuring the police work with them on deciding priorities.
Locally I have raised issues with the Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness who has visited ASB hotspots with me and with the council, I've spent time with the police seeing first-hand the issues in our constituency and I’m committed to doing all we can to alleviate the problems the Tories have caused and to being part of a Labour Government that will reverse the damage they have caused.
Today is also the start of LGBTQ+ History Month which runs throughout February.
Our LGBTQ+ community have had to endure relentless attacks in Parliament and depressingly we have a government that is hell-bent on turning back on the hard-fought-for rights that LGBTQ+ individuals have in this country.
I’m pleased that after I have pushed for it for many years, South Tyneside Council have agreed to work with Out North East – the LGBTQ+ charity I am proud to be the first patron of to bring a month-long series of events to South Tyneside in July, which will be integrated into the Borough’s popular annual Summer Parade and Sunday Concert series.
I’m looking forward to these events and celebrating all things LGBTQ+ across the Jarrow constituency.
This Government continue to stoke hate and use divisive rhetoric with their attacks on the LGBTQ+ community as well as attacks on refugees, workers and disabled people in the hope that the hate will distract people from the devastation they have wrought - it will not work.
They will continue to try to pit us against each other - but we know that this is a Government that has watched and stood by as working families are worse off.
This is a Government that has done nothing to lift the millions of people in poverty with many left with no choice but to turn to a food bank.
And this is a Government that will go down in political history as one who led this country full of lies, corruption and chaos.
The people of South Tyneside, the North East, and indeed the rest of the country deserve so much better than this.