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Lynne says: It's Time to Stop the Squeeze on Folkestone and Hythe

June 1, 2017 9:03 AM
By Lynne Beaumont, Liberal Democrat candidate fior Folkestone and Hythe

Stop the Squeeze logoWe've got to stop the squeeze on our public services.

Every week now, we're hearing more and more alarming news about our NHS, social care, schools and other key public services. They've been squeezed too far. If we don't act soon, they will collapse.

I fear for the future of our NHS and schools if Theresa May's Conservatives are elected with a huge majority. Big majorities tend to lead to big mistakes. And those 'big mistakes' are likely to include choosing the most damaging form of Brexit, and allowing forces in her Party to crush our NHS, our schools and our other public services like local policing. Even people who are natural Conservatives don't want that.

In situations like this, Britain needs a strong opposition as a check and balance on the government. Corbyn's Labour Party can't do that. They are imploding nationally, and are weak locally. You don't need to look far to confirm that weakness: the Labour candidate here at the last General Election has left their Party and joined the Conservatives! I respect hugely the work of the local Green Party. But our clapped out first past the post system means that any vote for Labour or the Greens splits the opposition and just helps secure a Conservative win.

If you agree with me that having a strong opposition is what Britain needs, I'm asking for you to vote for me on 8th June.

If you agree with me that our area needs a strong and free voice to speak for it in Parliament, I'm asking for you to vote for me on 8th June, even if you normally support another Party.

And there's another reason why I am asking for your support. I've lived and breathed this area for over 30 years. It's home. I hope I've demonstrated over those years my commitment to serving this area by my wide range of campaigns on the Leas Lift, local policing, Gurkha rights, East Kent College, Lydd Airport, opposition to Otterpool Park to list just some. As your MP, I will be able to achieve so much more.

But I'm not standing just so we have an effective opposition and to be a strong voice for our area, important though those things are. I'm also proud to be standing on a wide range of Lib Dem national policies that will help you and so many others in our area.

We'll stop the squeeze on our NHS. We'll help get our NHS out of crisis with an injection of £6 Billion every year. That money doesn't come for free - we've been upfront that we will pay for it by an extra 1p on income tax. But our NHS is worth it.

We'll stop the squeeze on our poorest pensioners. We've committed to keeping the 'Triple Lock' on pensions which has helped over 25,000 local pensioners see their pensions rise since we introduced it in government.

We'll stop the squeeze on our Schools. We'll reverse the recent cuts to school budgets in this area, with a national injection of £7 billion into our schools. A country that doesn't invest in getting education right is setting itself up to fail. We won't fail.

And we'll stop the Brexit Squeeze. In the referendum, the direction was set: negotiate a deal for Brexit. I respect the majority view. But while the direction was set, the destination was not.

Access to the single market is vital for jobs in Folkestone, Hythe, Romney Marsh and Elham Valley. The wrong deal, or no deal at all, could see soaring prices, jobs lost, a semi-permanent Operation Stack and new border controls to visit Europe. Only the right deal can ensure we don't lose out, and East Kent doesn't grind to a halt.

So when an exit agreement is negotiated, we'll put you in charge again. You'll decide if it's a price worth paying. Time to do it, or not? Deal, or no Deal? The facts will be there. The decision will be yours.

Standing together we can get a new deal for Folkestone and Hythe. We need an MP who will stop the squeeze on our schools and hospitals, and push for the social care our elderly need. If you lend me your support this time around, I could be that MP.