1. Is the loss of 1,400 jobs an inevitable consequence of the savings that must be made in the DCC budget? How would your party’s cuts differ from those of your opponents?
It is a sad reality that job loses at the County Council would have to be considered by any new administration in Matlock of any political colour.
The Council’s budget has been cut by one third which is difficult enough but added to the increasing cost of care for the elderly and those venerable members of our society whom have had their lives made even harder by Government cuts, and some very painful decisions lie ahead.
The 1400 figure is the current Conservative administration’s calculation but we aren’t able to see what informed that decision. Not until a new administration takes over and has the opportunity to look over the books will we know if those assumptions are correct or not.
Labour values people as being the greatest resource of the Council and we will always try to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies, but at the moment assurances are unfortunately impossible.
2. If you were on the DCC planning and control committee would you have approved the application to demolish the old St Lukes School and build a new library? If not please suggest an alternative.
The plan to build an inappropriate new library in Glossop will not see the light of day if Ellie and I are elected. The hastily put together application will be withdrawn.
I, like many residents I’ve spoken to, do not buy into the false argument used by currently county councillors that the Victoria Hall cannot be become a library and community resource fit for the 21st century.
Therefore a consultation to assess the needs and requirements of the people of Glossop will take place after the election, with proposals that will focus on a sympathetic internal refurbishment of the Victoria Hall with the funds available; if people have an unexpected and unlikely change of mind then we would of course look again at this.
3. Is immigration an issue in the DCC elections? If so, why?
Immigration has long been used by political opportunists seeking someone to blame all the country’s ills. Migrants by and large contribute to society and have added great social, economic and cultural value to our nation – their looking after our elderly and unwell in the NHS is the exemplar.
The overwhelming proportion of them come to this country to work, create wealth and pay taxes, not to live off benefits or seek NHS treatment as is often portrayed.
The problem is not immigration but our globalised free-market system which denies us the tax base to invest properly in people and places. It’s not a new immigration policy we need, but a reformed system where the likes of Google, Amazon, Vodafone and Starbucks pay their fair share of taxes.