Newly elected councillor Jim Hobson has written the following piece for the Blackpool Gazette about why this Tory Government is out of touch with Blackpool and about why he is proud to represent Bloomfield ward.
By Jim Hobson:
Tories ‘out of touch’ with ordinary people
Do you think David Cameron has ever had sleepless nights worrying about being made redundant and not being able to make the next mortgage payment?
Do you think George (Gideon) Osborne has ever been terrified his car is going to fail an MOT as he doesn’t have enough money for repairs and then he won’t be able to get to work or get the kids to school?
Do you think Jeremy Hunt will ever have to wait on a long hospital waiting list for an essential operation because he can’t afford to go private?
Can you imagine any of those photographed in the infamous Bullingdon Club photograph of the class of 1987 worrying about paying their student loans back after college?
Obviously, the answer to all of the above questions is no and simply put, the millionaires running the Conservative party cannot and do not understand the lives of normal working people across the country and would view the lives and day to day problems of the people of Blackpool with, at best, incomprehension and bemusement and at worst…well, who knows?
The fact the Tories have inflicted such incredibly harsh cuts to the budget of Blackpool Council says it all.
We have some of the country’s most deprived areas in this town and yet we have been subjected to the most draconian budget cuts imaginable that impact on the services we can supply to those most in need.
Blackpool Council has lost in excess of £400m from its budgets since the Tories came to power. To the Chancellor of the Exchequer that’s just a number on a spreadsheet but to the people of Blackpool, that’s the erosion of our much needed public services and the loss of hundreds of council employees’ jobs.
Is it too much to ask that our government should act with compassion and understanding when making the decisions that affect those of us who haven’t enough money to keep in offshore accounts? Personally, I don’t think so.
Bloomfield is on the up!
When the Bloomfield seat became available earlier in the year, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to stand as the Labour candidate.
Central Drive is very similar to the area I grew up in near Liverpool and it is the ward where I thought that I could be most effective as a councillor as I understand the problems associated with the area.
But since winning the Bloomfield by-election in March, the thing I have been most struck by isn’t the problems and the negative stuff associated with the ward, but the truly amazing and inspirational people who live there and are trying to make the area a better place for all.
I have had the pleasure of meeting with many of the community groups including the Revoe-lution Project, Revoe-Lution Community Choir, the Young At Heart group and New Revoe Resident’s Association (apologies if I have missed your group out!).
Groups such as these really are telling a very positive narrative about the area and I am genuinely inspired by the commitment of the people involved in them.
For example, New Revoe Residents Association have a community garden that grows vegetables, just 30 yards from the hustle and bustle of Central Drive. This fresh produce is then cooked and served at their Memory Lane cafe that they run for locals each Tuesday lunch time at Ibbison Court Community Centre.
Revoe-lution, a community driven, lottery funded project will inject £1m into the area over the next few years. The project covers everything from the general environment to children’s services to improving the local shopping experience. They have just appointed their project manager and residents should start seeing real quality of life improving schemes commence in the very near future.
Diversity can only help town
I was very pleased to see Sadiq Khan elected as Mayor of London last week.
Not only was it good to see a working class son of a London bus driver win the race, but of course Sadiq Khan will be the first Muslim mayor of any large western capital city.
Britain is now a wonderfully diverse country in terms of the ethnicities, religions and cultures of the people that make it up and it is important our elected representatives reflect that.
It also demonstrated the smear tactics of the Tory campaign just didn’t wash with the people of London.
“So, what’s this got to do with Blackpool?” I hear you ask. Well, Blackpool is, albeit slowly, becoming more diverse in terms of the ethnicity of its population.
People are coming here to work from places as far afield as North Africa and Eastern Europe and people from other cultures are also moving here from other parts of the UK.
This should be embraced – it can only enrich the town by creating a greater cultural vibrancy.