Hilary Benn – Labour Party

Rt Hon Hilary BENN

Labour Party

These are tough times for many people. As your MP I have always worked hard to help everyone and as a community we have campaigned together to save the Children’s Heart Surgery Unit, improve broadband, oppose the bedroom tax and improve flood defences in the city centre.

If elected, I will campaign for our NHS, social care and schools to get the funding they need. I will support more social housing and new rights for renters. I will protect the environment. And I will always vote to defend our country and stand up for you.

 

1.  As a registered nurse since 1995 and having left the NHS in 2006 due to burnout because of exhaustion from long-term short staffing, I am now happily working in the private nursing sector – what will you be doing to improve the NHS in order to a) make me consider voting for you, and b) tempt me back to the NHS as a much needed registered nurse?

Our NHS is underfunded and the first thing Labour will do is to put an additional £37 billion into the health service over the next 5 years. We will restore NHS bursaries to ensure that we have enough highly skilled health staff to care for patients in the future and introduce legislation on safe staffing levels in hospitals. We will also lift the one per cent pay cap imposed by the Government which is holding NHS wages below inflation and causing a health recruitment crisis.

 

2.  In a rapidly growing city, how would you ensure the city is more proactive rather than reactive when it comes to developments and the infrastructure around them. Leeds City Council seems to give the green light to many developments of housing or retail parks without any or minimal thought to local infrastructure such as roads, schools and health care.

I think the Council has done a lot to promote development that’s been good for the Leeds economy, but we don’t have all the powers we require. That’s why I strongly support devolution so we can make more decisions for ourselves about the city’s future. For example, we don’t need any more roads; what we need is a rapid transit system to ease congestion and improve air quality. But we do need more affordable family housing and green spaces, for example in the South Bank development, and more school places.

 

3.  How do you intend to stop the burglaries, unsociable behaviour etc that’s occurring in the Beeston area now? This is affecting people of all ages, race and religion!

First we need to strengthen neighbourhood policing in Beeston and Holbeck, City and Hunslet and Middleton Park. Labour will recruit additional police officers and have a fair funding formula so police forces can properly plan for the years ahead. We will set minimum standards for tackling domestic and sexual violence and introduce payback orders to ensure that those responsible for anti-social behaviour make good on the damage they have done.

 

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