Fighting to save services, the NHS and welfare state

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The Tories are swinging a huge wrecking ball into our communities, and they don’t care who pays the price.

We rely on our councils to provide services and keep places neat and tidy, so the Conservative war on neighbourhoods makes my blood boil.

Our local authorities here in South Tyneside and Gateshead have been hit hard by savage spending cuts.

The financial strain on our local councils is relentless.

They’ve been squeezed for five years and would be for another five years if, heaven forbid, the Tories win the next general election.

I was delighted to speak at the weekend at a trade union-organised rally and march in Gateshead to defend local services, including libraries, under threat of closure.

South Tyneside Council, like its opposite number in Gateshead, is forced to slash services and shed staff because of the spending cuts imposed on them by this coalition Government.

The Tories don’t care if families can’t find somewhere to live, the starving are forced to go to food banks, or the sick and disabled are left penniless by cruel benefit sanctions.

And they don’t care if the elderly are abandoned.

The general election’s coming, and five more years of this shower in power is unthinkable.

The lower wages, falling living standards, National Health Service disasters and council cuts we’ve endured so far are just the Tory starter before the Conservative main course.

We need a fresh start with a Labour Government on your side – standing up for working people, young and old, fit and disabled.

The Labour Party values the public services we rely on and all the wonderful people – everybody from nurses and teachers to cooks and electricians – who work in them.

I’ll be fighting to save our council services, to save our NHS and to save our welfare state when the Tories crawl back into their plush mansions.

Roll on May 7.