York Central Blog

Rachael Maskell MP is hosting an open meeting to discuss the latest situation concerning the Middle East following the Prime Minister’s Statement to the House of Commons on Thursday. The meeting will take place at Bootham School on Monday 30 November at 7pm.

 

Everyone is welcome.

 

More details can be found at

www.rachaelmaskell.com/public_meeting_Syria

Public meeting on Syria - Monday November 30

Rachael Maskell MP is hosting an open meeting to discuss the latest situation concerning the Middle East following the Prime Minister’s Statement to the House of Commons on Thursday. The meeting...

On 7 May – you will have your pencil poised above your ballot paper and the power to choose who you want as your next MP. In York Central, polls are showing that there is a straight Labour – Tory fight, and The Press report that it is a very tight race.

If,

  • repealing the Health and Social Care Act
  • scrapping the ‘Bedroom Tax’
  • ridding our city the need for foodbanks
  • creating 1 million new green jobs
  • enabling the public sector to run our rail again
  • ending the cost of living crisis

… and many more things,

are important to you, don’t let the Tories in by voting for another Party.

 

York Central is not a safe seat this time as 7.5m voters are not registered to vote and this has had a real impact on the electorate in York, meaning that the Tories could sneak in.

 

Principles are important in politics, and that is why I am asking you to vote for me for some very positive reasons:

  • I have stood for Parliament because I believe politics has to change. I would be a strong constituency MP as well as a strong voice in Parliament – standing up for the things that matter to you.
  • I have represented 100,000 NHS workers, and prior to that other workers as a senior trade union official for over 12 years, and ensured that they have a real voice in what is happening. I have great plans for York to enable more people to get involved in the things that impact your life here.
  • I have a legacy of fighting for those I represent and leading many successful campaigns – I will champions issues to rebuild York’s future
  • I have real life experience of working in the NHS for 20 years, and will continue as a very rooted and grounded politician
  • I will be a politician who is about setting the agenda with you, not just following others – never afraid to speak up for what is right – like against Trident and TTIP, for nationalisation of our services and in fighting for the future of transport, homes and jobs in our city.

But above all, as we have the luxury to vote, I want you to think about someone who probably won’t be voting at this election that I spoke to at the end of last week. He needs a Labour government to help him turn his life around, to franchise him in the future. With mental health services and benefits cut to him, he has lost the securities of a job and a home. Tears rolled down his face as he said he needed Labour to give him a chance. He needs a Labour MP and Labour government to provide the support to turn his life around. He is not alone, I have met so many people all over our city over the last few weeks who have told me their stories.

Please don’t use your vote as a ‘protest’ vote at this election. An election is not a time to protest, but a time to build a better society, and in particular give the most marginalised some hope.

I don’t want York to wake up to a Tory MP this Friday, when you are in the cubicle with your pencil poised, you have the chance to give this person some real hope by voting Labour in York.

 

Rachael Maskell

Labour's York Central candidate

A personal message from Rachael Maskell

On 7 May – you will have your pencil poised above your ballot paper and the power to choose who you want as your next MP. In York Central, polls...

The German economic model - linking further and higher education to the needs of industry - is a template for revitalising the economy in the City of York, says Labour party candidate for York Central, Rachael Maskell.
 
Rachael Maskell said: “Behind the picture book tourist image of York, there lies a low wage service economy with a high penetration of zero hours contracts.
 
“That’s why the German model has lessons for York. We need to reinforce the link between further and higher education with the industrial base, which works so well in Germany.
 
“I have spoken to a local engineering company that is very keen on this approach, of which the provision of good quality apprenticeships is key.
 
“We need to reverse the trend which has shown that the people starting apprenticeships in the York constituency are down from 960 in 2011/12 to 710 in 2013/14 – at the same time employers are saying it is difficult to recruit apprentices.
 
“The aim should be to bring industry into the heart of the city, following the loss of skilled workers from the rail and chocolate making sectors. Diversification into ‘green’ jobs should be investigated as a priority.
 
“Labour is fully committed to a programme of vocational training for young people, starting at school.
 
“The German model also encourages partnership working between management and the unions, which promotes industrial harmony. This, in turn, boosts productivity.
 
“The level of poverty is growing in York with four food banks now operating and people suffering because of the cruel ‘Bedroom Tax’. Many families, hit by the cost of living crisis, have not reaped any of the economic benefits that the Tories crow about.
 
“The economy of the UK in general and, York in particular, could be boosted if we lifted the nagging uncertainty about Britain’s continued membership of the EU. The UK has 3.5 million jobs dependent on our continued EU membership.
 
“What Labour is creating is a climate of economic hope for the many, and not as the Tories have done over the last five years, the riches for the few.”
 

'German model' could boost York’s economy

The German economic model - linking further and higher education to the needs of industry - is a template for revitalising the economy in the City of York, says Labour...

With more than a quarter of people living in rented accommodation in the City of York, the Labour Party’s policy on capping private rents ‘offers a financial lifeline and a sense of security’, says Labour candidate for York Central, Rachael Maskell.

Rachael Maskell said: “York has some of the most expensive property in the north of England, but has, in the main, a service economy with too many people on low wages and zero hours contracts.

“The disconnect between pay packets in York and the rents charged in the private sector is too large – and that’s why Labour’s policy for capping rents to the level of inflation over three years will help those families struggling with the cost of living crisis.

 “Twenty-six per cent of housing is privately rented in York and the buy-to-let market needs reining in.

 “The capped rents policy will offer a financial lifeline and a sense of security for those worried about keeping a roof over their heads and putting food on the table.

 “Labour’s pledge to scrap the cruel ‘Bedroom Tax’ will also go some way to alleviate the pressure on household budgets, not just in York, but across the UK.”

 Rachael Maskell said that the local housing allowance posed a special problem for those renting in York, as rents were much higher than neighbouring areas such as Malton and Selby, which were taken into account for the purpose of calculating housing benefits.

 She called for York’s housing benefit to be calculated separately from the lower cost neighbouring areas.

 She said that £220 a month in housing allowance was too little for a three bedroom property in York, where the average rent was £1,014 a month.

 Rachael Maskell said: “York badly needs more housing, and if I am elected on 7 May, I will work with all the political parties to make this a reality for the people of York.”

Private tenants in York are offered 'a sense of security' by pegged rents

With more than a quarter of people living in rented accommodation in the City of York, the Labour Party’s policy on capping private rents ‘offers a financial lifeline and a...

Parents need to be balloted on the expansion of academy schools in York and the views of the local community taken fully into account, says Labour candidate for York Central, Rachael Maskell.

Rachael Maskell was speaking on the eve of a meeting tomorrow (Thursday 30 April) at the Priory Street Centre, York into proposals to unite South Bank schools at Millthorpe secondary  and its feeder primaries, Scarcroft and Knavesmire into an academy trust in the autumn of this year.

Rachael Maskell said: “These schools are already good schools and are performing well, so big questions have to be asked why there is this push to take these schools out of local authority control and into academy status.

“Academies potentially pose a serious threat to the long-term well-being of state schools and are an erosion of the influence and expertise of the local authority. They are anti-democratic, potentially exclusive and put at risk the jobs, conditions and professionalism of existing staff.

“There will be a diminution in the democratic accountability as to how children are being educated. The expansion of academies will lead to a fragmented education system where there is no overall strategy.

“Academies could be ‘a race to the bottom’ as they can employ unqualified teachers. It is estimated that if current trends continue there could be up to 50,000 unqualified teachers in the country by 2020.

“Academies can set their own pay scales, regardless of the national agreements. The temptation to cut salaries and terms and conditions will be very great.

“As academies are considered businesses, they will have to pay VAT at 20 per cent on the services they purchase, instead of this money being invested in the development of the schools.

“For all these reasons, parents should be balloted on the academy proposal which could have wide-ranging implications for their children. The community also needs to be fully consulted. There should be the highest degree of transparency and openness over this academy proposal. ”

Rachael Maskell will be speaking from the floor at the Priory Street Centre which starts at 7.15pm tomorrow.

York parents should be balloted on academy school plan, says Labour candidate

Parents need to be balloted on the expansion of academy schools in York and the views of the local community taken fully into account, says Labour candidate for York Central,...

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This weekend we launched our election campaign and the York Labour manifesto.  

Although this was the formal start of the election, we have been campaigning for a long time already. We have a great team of Labour candidates in place to contest ever ward in the council elections, as well as York’s two parliamentary seats.

We are keeping our York Labour web site up to date with the latest campaign news, policy information and profiles on all our candidates.

Please check out these links:

Campaign News, for news, events and blogs

Labour People, for profiles on each of our candidates

Labour Manifesto, our plans for York

Get involved, join our campaign, or register your support

You can also follow us of Twitter or Facebook.

 

Thank you.

The York Labour Campaign Team

Labour election launch and manifesto

This weekend we launched our election campaign and the York Labour manifesto.   Although this was the formal start of the election, we have been campaigning for a long time...

New figures released show that the cost of living crisis is having a disproportionate impact on people living in York. The average wage has fallen by £3580 in real terms since 2010 in comparison to the increases in food, fuel, utility and house rents. In particular, public sector workers have seen an average of 15% freezes and cut to their wages since the last general election. Private sector workers have also experienced reductions in their wages and standards of living fall.

Increased job insecurity through the use of zero-hour contracts and minimum wage employers results in financial insecurity for so many families, and has a negative impact on the local economy.

Large organisations in York like Nestle, Aviva and the City of York Council have all become living wage employers, as have small organisations like the Golden Ball pub, and staff report the benefits that this brings to them. With inequality growing in wages in organisations, we need to ensure that those on low incomes do have enough to pay the rent and the bills from.

Rachael Maskell Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for York Central has today written to York’s major employers to begin a process of working with them to commit to becoming Living Wage employers.

"While Labour has committed to raising the National Minimum Wage to £8/hour, I believe the special circumstances that impact on the cost of living in York need to be addressed. Part of the solution is ensuring that there is a fairer distribution of wages, and the Living Wage seeks to achieve this."

"The Living Wage is calculated on the basis of the basic cost of living and is currently £7.85 an hour. Paying the living wage will mean that families will be less dependent on benefits to support them in work, that business will be able to retain and recruit staff more effectively and most important of all, families will have a wage that they can live off. The local economy will also benefit from the Living Wage being paid, as low earners are more likely to spend their money locally".

Over the coming weeks, Rachael Maskell will work with local employers to assess what assistance is needed to enable them to pay the Living Wage.

Rachael Maskell calls for a living wage for York

New figures released show that the cost of living crisis is having a disproportionate impact on people living in York. The average wage has fallen by £3580 in real terms...

George Osborne's budget brings little hope to York. With average wages down £3580 in York since 2010, he promised deeper cuts to our public services than we have seen to date – putting our NHS, education and police services under further strain.

It was announced that a staggering £30bn would be cut to our public services and welfare by 2017/18, with just £5bn recovered from tax avoidance and evasion. Those most in need will once again pay the price under this government's economic plans.

Rachael Maskell, York Central's Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Labour,

"Today, the Chancellor talked about the sun beginning to shine, which I am sure is true for those who will receive his millionaire's tax cut in the south east, but is a long way off for families in York.

"The gimmicks announced today made light of the broken promise that this government would clear the deficit by 2015. Instead George Osborne announced further borrowing while relying on the global fall in oil prices to bring down the deficit."

Labour confirmed that we would invest in our NHS and ensure that it is properly funded to meet our needs while supporting families and businesses here in York. Labour announced a £1bn cut in business rates which will help small businesses across the city.

"In just 7 weeks we have a chance to elect a Labour Government which confirmed today that we will terminate the cruel ‘bedroom tax' and putting the NHS back on a secure footing."

Rachael Maskell

Labour's York Central candidate

George Osborne's budget brings little hope to York

George Osborne's budget brings little hope to York. With average wages down £3580 in York since 2010, he promised deeper cuts to our public services than we have seen to...

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