Meet our PFCC Candidate, Alison Hume

We all want to live in better, safer and more connected communities and that is why I’m standing as a candidate for North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. I have lived in North Yorkshire for 25 years and over the past decade I have witnessed our emergency services struggle to meet our expectations due to the government’s slashing of their budgets. If elected as the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner I’ll ensure we work better together to improve services.

My lived experience has made me who I am – a compassionate and inclusive advocate for the people of this constituency. My mother was born in Hull into poverty, and rose to become a teacher. My father came from a family of glassblowers and teachers in York. They both instilled in me the values of education, hard work and community. I feel fortunate to have been able to raise and educate my own three children in this region, where every day I see people manifesting our core values of mutual care and support.  

A lifelong Labour party member, a dedicated trade unionist and disability campaigner for over twenty years, I am committed to speaking up for the vulnerable, overlooked and marginalised. As the parent of a child with complex disabilities, I’ve spent decades successfully fighting to improve opportunities and services for people like my son. Locally, this includes leading the current campaign to improve access to York city centre for disabled citizens and visitors. Nationally, in my role as Trustee of Choice Support I help oversee the multi-million pound budgets through which this charity supports those with autism and learning disabilities.

I’m a self-employed single mother, working as a TV screenwriter and lecturer at Leeds University. I began as a journalist on local stories and progressed to working as a news editor at ITV Calendar before writing BAFTA and RTS Yorkshire award-winning dramas which highlight important social issues. Running my own television production company, I collaborate with people at all levels, empowering teams to work effectively and managing the finances to enable this.

My professional experience and capabilities, combined with my ability to listen and communicate, mean I have what it takes to hold the people who run our services to account. If elected as the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner I will:

  • Fight for a fairer funding deal for North Yorkshire and for our frontline heroes
  • Embed the Fire and Rescue Service in the heart of our communities
  • Adopt a ‘Violence against Women and Girls’ strategy
  • Focus on eliminating county lines dealing
  • Target fraud and cybercrimes against the elderly.

I am ready to be the voice of North Yorkshire residents and a champion for our frontline heroes and those who work and volunteer alongside them.

The Grove Academy: A Crucial Educational Resource

The Grove Academy provides a crucial educational resource for young people in Harrogate. It is an essential facility for students who for one reason or another have difficulties with mainstream education. Ofsted rate the Grove as “outstanding”. So why should it be under threat of closure? Why should all the senior staff be expecting to leave in the New Year?

The answer is that alternative education provision needs a higher level of staff per pupil than mainstream schools – in other words, it is more expensive.
What better target for Tory cuts! A vital social resource, crucial to the lives of young people who may have had a difficult start in life, staffed by highly experienced teachers providing an excellent eduction.

The result is a planned reduction in provision at just the time when increasing numbers are being excluded from school and the Grove could be their last chance.
The Council need to think again and Labour would enhance rather than reduce the chances for our young people.

My first campaigning experience – Emma Jackson

I’m not the most outgoing of people so when my local Labour group requested people to go out knocking on doors, I hesitated. Could I talk to strangers about politics? Did I know enough about current issues to answer any questions? Would people be hostile and unfriendly?

Then I saw on the local Labour Facebook group that there was some campaign training happening so I went along to that. Everyone was welcoming and encouraging. I was told I would be able to partner up with a more experienced member the first time to learn the ropes. The evening was interesting and informative, I left feeling a bit more confident but still with a few worries about how it’d be.

Campaign day arrived and I met up with other members to knock on doors in Knaresborough. There was a short brief at the start from Sam (CLP Secretary) and we separated into groups. Margaret (CLP Chair) kindly let me tag along with her. It was cold but not raining so with everyone wrapped up, we set off.

We had a clipboard with all the information we needed. A map of the area we were campaigning, questions to ask, people’s names etc. I hung back as we approached the first house, watched how Margaret introduced herself and asked the questions. The first few houses went ok. People had varying issues they were interested in both locally and nationally. Some were labour voters, some not. Some had time to talk, others didn’t want to.

After we’d done a few houses we split up to cover more area. I approached my first solo house and knocked on the door. An old woman with a dog answered. I petted the dog and asked my questions. She was undecided and we talked about her worries about the NHS. She said she relies on the NHS more and more as she gets older and didn’t know what she’d do without it. I felt pleased I could tell her how much Labour values the NHS and that it’d be properly funded under a Labour government. It was nice to chat with her and hear what issues concerned her.

Not everyone was as friendly but no one was aggressive or hostile. Sometimes someone would answer the door with ‘I’m not voting for Labour’ and close the door. On to the next door then!

I realised that there was nothing to be scared of. Behind every door there was just a person with worries about the country, just like me. Different worries maybe but just thinking that stopped me feeling nervous and I started to enjoy it. I met lots of different people and had some interesting chats with them.

We all met up at the end to hand in our clipboards and notes. We compared stories and chatted a bit. It was nice to feel part of a team all working towards the same goal. I felt proud to be wearing a Labour rosette and glad that I’d come along to help. I won’t hesitate in the future to go out campaigning because if we want the UK to be better for all of us we’ve all got to work towards it.

Click the link below to register to vote
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Join Labour today and get involved with our exciting campaign. It’s time for real change. We’re ready. Are you with us? 
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We’re ready. Are you with us?

The corrupt system: the tax dodgers, bad bosses, big polluters, and billionaire-owned media holding our country back.

This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country, take on the vested interests holding people back and ensure that no community is left behind.

Real change is coming because when Labour wins, the nurse wins, the pensioner wins, the student wins, the office worker wins, the engineer wins. We all win.

Labour puts its faith in the spirit and commitment to community of the British people, it is your country, not the property of born-to-rule Conservatives who protect the privileged few.

The elite are scared of the British people, which is why they’ll throw everything at us in this election because they know we’re not afraid to take them on.

But Labour is on the side of the many against the few who run a corrupt system.

Labour will be out in Harrogate & Knaresborough with the biggest and most confident campaign that our area has ever seen bringing a message of hope and change to every community. Even if the rivers freeze over, we’re going out to offer real change for the many not the few.

Click the link below to register to vote
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Join Labour today and get involved with our exciting campaign. It’s time for real change. We’re ready. Are you with us? 
Join Labour

Thomas Cook Scandal

Workers rights- or rather, the current paucity of them- have once more been thrown into focus by the collapse of Thomas Cook. What rights we think we have are rendered valueless by corporate accounting practices.

There has rightly been widespread coverage of the plight of stranded holidaymakers, and some coverage of TC staff continuing to offer help and advice for free. Much less has been heard of TC staff also stranded, having to pay £10,000 in one case to get home from Las Vegas! Nor was there much reporting of TC staff being handed 4 months bill for unpaid hotel debts owed by he firm.

The law allows outrageous behaviour by employers in such situations; immediate redundancy, upper limits on wages due (even for work which has been completed!), loss of pensions should the company be without assets….Workers have little or no chance to recoup what they are owed, and the taxpayers, too, are burdened with picking up a very expensive tab for the collapse.

It would seem that Thomas Cook management had opportunity to act- there was a Turkish takeover discussed in August, but management declined the offer. And why did the UK government not get involved earlier? And now staff- wageless jobless and often suddenly in debt due to necessary repatriation – face losing their homes and untold further consequences. It is unlikely that shareholders will lose houses and pensions! Many will have spread the risk by investing in other companies; TUI and Jet2 share values rose by 6% in the aftermath of Cook’s collapse. Other companies also enjoyed a boost to share values. Workers MUST be able to demand a change to such immoral and unfair practices.

Trades Unions must be empowered to challenge the sharp practices of successive Tory governments. Trades Union rights are the bedrock of the new society promised by a Labour government. It is in our hands to vote for change, to vote for decency and morality, to vote for hope….to vote and promote Labour.

Paul Burns – Local Labour Party Campaigner

Queen’s Speech is a farcical pre-election party political broadcast

It is hypocritical for the Tories to set out these plans when they were the ones who imposed cuts and let crime soar in the first place. Everything was cut, from schools, to the NHS, to the police, to mental health services. They all had terrible consequences.

This Queen’s Speech is farcical. It is just an uncosted wish list which the government has no intention and no means to deliver, and nothing more than a pre-election party political broadcast.

The Home Secretary is right that the Tories have been a soft touch for criminals, with policies that predictably led to more crime. We always argued that cuts have consequences, and now the Tories are trying to pretend the consequences have nothing to do with them.

Labour in government will end austerity, and properly invest in our communities and transform society.

Corbyn’s alternative to cynical stunt Queen’s Speech

In a major speech in Northampton on Thursday 10 October, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will condemn Boris Johnson’s “cynical stunt” Queen’s Speech and lay out Labour’s alternative for “real change” across the country.

Corbyn will call Boris Johnson’s Queen’s Speech next week “a farce” as no programme can be delivered with “a majority of minus 45”. The Labour leader will call out Johnson for “using the Queen to deliver a pre-election party political broadcast for the Conservative Party”.

Corbyn will insist that Johnson obeys “the law” and takes “No Deal off the table”. Once that happens, he will declare Labour “ready and champing at the bit” for a general election, saying the country could be weeks away from a Labour government Queen’s Speech.

The Labour leader will use his Northampton speech to lay out “a preview” of Labour’s “most radical, hopeful, people-focused programme in modern times: a once-in-a-generation chance to rebuild and transform our country”.

In particular, he will highlight the following immediate priorities for the next Labour government to deliver:

• £10/hour minimum wage
• Ban fracking
• Free personal care and prescriptions
• Scrap tuition fees
• End rough sleeping
• A Final Say Brexit referendum

On the farce of Boris Johnson’s Queen’s Speech, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will say:

“On Monday, we will be treated to the farce of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, amid full pomp and ceremony, setting out an agenda to parliament that it has no intention or means of delivering.

“This government isn’t going to put any legislation before parliament. It has a majority of minus 45, a 100 per cent record of defeat in the Commons and is seeking a general election which will end the parliamentary session the Queen is about to open.

“Holding a Queen’s Speech before an election is a cynical stunt. Johnson is using the Queen to deliver a pre-election party political broadcast for the Conservative Party.”

On wanting an election, Jeremy Corbyn will say:

“It wasn’t long ago that Johnson was pretending not to want an election. Now he is pretending that it’s Labour that doesn’t want one.

“So let me address this directly: Prime minister, we can’t trust you not to break the law because you’ve got form. We can’t trust you not to use the period of an election campaign to drive our country off a No Deal cliff edge that will crash our economy destroy jobs and industries cause shortages of medicine and food and endanger peace in Northern Ireland.

“So it’s simple: obey the law, take No Deal off the table and then let’s have the election. We’re ready and champing at the bit. There’s only one reason it hasn’t happened yet – we can’t trust you.”

On Labour’s “real change”, Jeremy Corbyn will say:

“We might be just weeks away from the first Queen’s Speech of a Labour government. And in that Queen’s Speech, Labour will put forward the most radical, hopeful, people-focused programme in modern times: a once-in-a-generation chance to rebuild and transform our country

“This is the real thing, not the pale imitation offered by Johnson and his Conservative Party.”

GDP Performance Failing

The effects of the Government’s failure are being felt across the economy but especially in our manufacturing sector.

The Conservatives’ dangerous No Deal Brexit comes on the back of a decade of cuts and a failure to invest to tackle the long-term challenges for the economy.

A Labour government will tackle the productivity crisis by ending austerity, boosting wages, and providing half a trillion pounds of lending and spending for economic transformation.

Boris Johnson: Hulk or Chlorinated Chicken?

Boris Johnson has been “no chaired” as he runs scared of press conference in Luxembourg.

Yesterday Johnson depicted himself as the Incredible Hulk, the reality could not be more different. We need a Prime Minister that will stand up for our country and not just run away when things get tough.

Women of Westminster – Rachel Reeves MP

Thanks to everyone who attended our ‘Women in Westminster’ event last night in Knaresborough, where Labour’s MP Rachel Reeves gave a powerful insight by someone who has been an MP since 2010. Her conclusion that equal representation is still a way off and that MPs from all sides should work more closely makes perfect sense in our divided times. A great deal of support for this event from members and the public so thanks to everyone who attended.

‘Footnote’ – Rachel had forgotten her shoes so was still wearing her walking trainers which she needed to be wearing yesterday after being in London, attending a TUC meeting, canvassing in Leeds and then coming to Knaresborough to also help us raise money for the CLP!

Sharon Calvert – Women’s & Equalities Officer