As I am sure you are all aware, we have the district council elections coming up next May. Thirsk and Malton Labour Party are committed to representing the people of Ryedale, Filey, Hambleton, and the Vale of York from the very beginning.
Too often political parties put forward what they think is right and don’t consider asking local residents what is important to them. They take votes for granted and are never held to account.
We want to be different. Thirsk and Malton Labour want your views from the very start. What is important to you will shape our manifesto for the district council elections next year because if we don’t listen to you and try and make a meaningful difference to things that matter to you then what is the point in us trying to get councillors? We want an end to the cosy club and instead have a council that works for you, improving the things that you care about and being held to account by you and your representatives that will listen to your views.
On Saturday 10th November I, along with fellow Thirsk and Malton Labour activists, held a street stall on Malton marketplace. It was brilliant sunshine for the entire 6 hours we were there, and we spoke to a large number of people about the issues that matter to them locally as well as challenging the lie that Theresa May continues to repeat, “of an end to austerity”. If austerity is over then why are schools still facing huge budget cuts?
We went out with one simple question “What could Labour do to help make Malton and Thirsk better?” with a particular emphasis on what we can do for Ryedale. The district council elections are now less than 6 months away after all, and we are passionate to ensure that our manifesto will address the real needs of local people.
We got some really fantastic ideas about things that matter hugely to local people. Almost everyone we talked to said fracking was one of their biggest concerns. Labour will ban fracking nationally but Ryedale cannot wait till a general election! Any councillors we get in May will fight fracking, and continue the work that Thirsk and Malton Labour has done in the past to oppose the development at Kirby Misperton.
Another major issue was the roads in and around Malton and transport, roads and paths between the villages and towns in Ryedale, the lack of cycle lanes and the dangerous railway crossing between Malton and Norton. This clearly needs some serious work and Labour are ready to put in the time and effort for Ryedale and fix these issues.
Lastly, and possibly most importantly in my mind, the issues of access to local councillors, accountability and honesty were raised. This goes to the heart of any local democracy. I heard too many times on Saturday that people cannot get to see their district councillors, that they don’t answer questions and that they only ever see them when its election time. I promise you now, all wards that elect a Labour district councillor in Ryedale will see weekly Labour surgeries and ward walks so that you can always access us, hold us to account, and raise issues that affect you throughout the year. Not just when it’s time to vote.
Labour is committed to making a real difference on things that really matter to the people of Ryedale!