Pleasant day in Stoke-on-Trent, supporting Gareth Snell, Labour’s candidate in the Stoke Central by-election.
Met Ruth Smeeth, a Stoke MP, who I knew when we were candidates in neighbouring constituencies in the 2010 General Election.
Some hundreds of members had been meeting voters on the doorsteps over the weekend.
It’s nice to work with new people – from Newcastle, Macclesfield, Congleton & London; former engineers & local gov’t officers, students & even a performance artist.
He likes Joy Division – can’t remember how that came up – so lots of stories exchanged, before drizzle stopped play.
In the morning, I was working with Joan Walley, a former Stoke MP who feels the duty to listen to people on the doorstep and try to solve their problems. She’d picked up on the news that 2 UKIP party oficers had resigned that morning cos of their leader, and their candidate, not treating the Hillsborough disaster with proper respect.
People on the doorstep were getting the idea that something isn’t right about the UKIP candidate – not declaring his proper home address for this by-election, his expense claims as an MEP, his voting record etc.
Finally, had to smile about this …
Isn’t that the neatest graffiti you’ve ever seen? They might even have used a ruler.
Lilian was joined by many including 5 City Councillors to ask about perceptions of the NHS which is struggling cos adult care is being underfunded and poverty is increasing demand on A&E and bed provision.
In recent months we’ve gone –
from a promised £350 million extra a week for the NHS
to NHS staff asking where the promised extra money is
to an autumn statement that doesn’t mention the NHS
to Conservative MPs suggesting we can no longer afford the NHS.
Remember, the NHS is the most affordable way because we avoid having to organise individual insurance for millions of people, and we avoid the cost of paying for the profit demanded by private medical insurance.
Local concerns picked up include appointments at the local GPs, dealing and litter in a specific neighbourhood, and wanting a landowner to get on with a development of a former pub site.
Back to her old neighbourhood, Lilian Greenwood calls on residents of Castle Marina.
A lovely spring evening, the Castle Marina Park grounds were blooming and tidy, and the air was fragrant (Orange Blossom I think).
Met one resident on her way back from work.
A Conservative councillor from Melton District is spotted – Councillor Tejpal Singh Bains is currently undecided on the EU referendum.
Seeking support for Paddy Tipping, the Police Commissioner seeking re-election, with Nottingham Labour housing spokespeople, previous and current – Councillors Jane Urquhart, Alex Ball and Dave Trimble.
At Brookfield Court, recently re-furbished.
Then Mayfield Court, where a Man U fan with Celtic allegiances, meets Dave, a Celtic supporting Labour Councillor. (Also met someone who reads and likes this web-site – but you’ll never believe me.)
Pruning on NCH and common ground on Oxbow Close.
Visiting Willowbrook Court.
Delivering leaflets on the advantages of membership of the European Union and listening out for local problems, which ended up being untidy gardens etc.
Lilian Greenwood MP was helping out, along with 2 new members.