We're in the middle of a snap election with a whirlwind schedule but the people of Bath always love a good hustings. In just over two weeks Labour candidate Joe Rayment has attended eleven. Tory Ben Howlett does not have such a good attendance record: he was a no-show for Promoting Human Security in an Uncertain World and – most mysteriously – for the hustings on a subject he claims is dear to his heart, the NHS. The organisers, Protect Our NHS (Banes), who put out an empty chair for Ben, commented: 'He gave a flimsy excuse and we feel this says a lot about the priority he gives the NHS.'
Joe Rayment has presented a strong case for a Labour government in all the hustings and has consistently held the incumbent, Ben Howlett, to account. Here are a few of the highlights:
St Andrews Primary School
In a mock election, pupils from three local primary schools voted Joe in on a landslide victory of 95 votes, against 47 for the Green candidate, 10 for the Lib Dem and 11 for the Tory. Read more about it here, and enjoy those whoops and cheers from the children when the result is announced. Joe commented: 'This shows that today, children's priorities are clearly on the issues of poverty and the environment, and that's really important to consider as we go into this election.'
Widcombe Residents' Association
Ben Howlett: 'The Labour Party wants to take Britain back to the 1970s.'
Joe Rayment: 'How on EARTH can someone standing on a manifesto to bring back fox hunting and grammar schools accuse another party of wanting to go back to the 1970s?'
Promoting Human Security in an Uncertain World
An audience member raised the question of tactical voting and a 'progressive alliance'. 'How many people in this room actually want to vote for the Lib Dems?' Joe challenged. Just one person raised their hand.
Bath City FC hustings
'It's weird that Ben Howlett suddenly wants to pay attention to petitions,' said Joe, to laughter from the audience, after Ben cited a petition on the A36–A46 link road in support of his arguments for it. But the hottest topic of the evening was the proposed library closure. Ben Howlett tried to avoid responding to a question on it by insisting that the audience answer his question instead. Where Ben pointed to the need for cuts as the reason for moving the library, Joe argued fiercely that 'It's not the money that's lacking, it's the political will.' After the hustings, a former Conservative councillor candidate told Joe that he would now be voting Labour.
Attending a hustings is an excellent way to weigh up the merits of the candidates and to raise issues that are important to you. There is a final hustings on 6th June, organised by Bath Chronicle. Details and registration here.
We're in the middle of a snap election with a whirlwind schedule but the people of Bath always love a good hustings. In just over two weeks Labour candidate...
Before people in Bath go to vote, they deserve answers from Ben Howlett to these questions:
1) Can you confirm that 88% of Bath's pensioners will lose some or all of their Winter Fuel Payment under a Tory government?
2) What will the cap be on the Dementia Tax?
3) Will you match my pledge to vote against any rise in personal National Insurance contributions or income tax for 95% of earners?
4) Is the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) right to say that your manifesto sets out another five years of austerity?
5) Your plan to replace free school lunches with breakfasts allows 6.8p per pupil. What breakfast do you think you could get for that?
6) According to the IFS, your manifesto contains no extra money for the NHS. How do you think the RUH will cope with that?
Come on Ben, give us answers!
Before people in Bath go to vote, they deserve answers from Ben Howlett to these questions:1) Can you confirm that 88% of Bath's pensioners will lose some or all of their Winter...
YouGov polling on 31 May shows Labour within striking distance of winning in Bath.
People are deciding that they don't want to choose between five more years of austerity with the Tories and a pointless, divisive second referendum with the Lib Dems.
Instead, they want something different. They want an MP whose priorities will be protecting our public services, tacking the housing crisis and addressing the poverty in our city.
We know a huge chunk of that Lib Dem vote is people 'tactically' voting for them when they want to vote Labour.
If people stop voting tactically, we can have a Labour MP.
YouGov polling on 31 May shows Labour within striking distance of winning in Bath.People are deciding that they don't want to choose between five more years of austerity with the...
Joe Rayment fully backs the campaign by the University of Bath Students' Union against rent rises. He is calling on the University to look again at the issue of student rent rises and the broader way in which it is taking money from the many in order to benefit the few.
The University of Bath has increased its tuition fees by £250 per year for Home students; its staff have had a year-on-year real-terms pay cut; it has been hesitant to guarantee paying a real living wage to all staff; and now it has announced massive, unjustifiable hikes to the campus accommodation rents.
In the last reported financial year, the University had a 7.3 per cent historic cost surplus, over double its target of 3 per cent. So it is not as if the University is in a dire financial situation; in fact it is doing over twice as well as it was aiming for. Joe strongly recommends that the management of the University re-evaluate its income and expenditure.
He commented, 'I am proud that a Labour government would abolish tuition fees and bring back means-tested maintenance grants.'
Joe Rayment fully backs the campaign by the University of Bath Students' Union against rent rises. He is calling on the University to look again at the issue of student rent rises and...
Labour Parliamentary Candidate Joe Rayment is the first person to sign The Labour Campaign To End Homelessness Candidate Pledge. Its manifesto has been developed with leading experts in homelessness.
Just walk through Bath and you will see what a huge issue we have with rough sleeping in our city, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The issue of homelessness goes much deeper.
We also have far too many people sofa surfing with friends and family, and far too many families in temporary accommodation.
The fact that one of the richest countries in the world, in 2017, still has people who do not have the security and stability of a home to call their own is a national scandal.
Labour Parliamentary Candidate Joe Rayment is the first person to sign The Labour Campaign To End Homelessness Candidate Pledge. Its manifesto has been developed with leading experts in homelessness. Just walk through...
JOE RAYMENT: LABOUR WILL TRANSFORM EDUCATION TO ENSURE NO ONE IS HELD BACK
Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Bath, Twerton councillor Joe Rayment, has today hit out at the government’s education policy, criticising the lack of funding and attention given to comprehensive schools.
Cllr Rayment, who is a governor at Twerton Infant School, attacked the Conservative government, saying: “Schools in the most deprived areas of Bath are having their funding cut the most. This simply isn’t fair and there is a similar situation all across the country. There have been school closures, class sizes are increasing, and some schools have been forced to reduce staff to save money.
“Not only is this detrimental to children and their life prospects but a deterioration in education standards will be worse for business than the moderate rise in corporation tax we propose. That rise would leave corporation tax still the lowest in the G7 and we’ll use the money to fund the transformation of our education system.
“One in five children in Bath are living in poverty. By providing free school meals, we will ensure that they can focus on studying, rather than sitting in class struggling to cope with hunger.
“Ben Howlett and the Conservatives are planning further school funding cuts and want to bring back grammar schools to segregate children at age 11, despite the fact that all the evidence points to grammar schools leading to a decrease in social mobility and overall educational standards.
"Labour will transform education in this country to ensure that no one is held back. We will enable access to education and skills training for people of all ages so that anyone who wants to can change their lives for the better.
“Only a vote for Labour will help deliver an education system run for the many and not the few.”
Labour has outlined its plan to invest in a new National Education Service, to increase school funding by £5.6 billion, and to introduce free lifelong education in colleges in England.
Its key education pledges are:
- Stop the cuts to school budgets, with a real-terms increase in funding
- Reduce class sizes to under 30 for all five, six and seven year olds
- Provide free school meals for all primary school children
- Restore the education maintenance allowance for college students
- Restore grants for university students
- Scrap fees on courses for adult learners looking to re-train or improve their skills
JOE RAYMENT: LABOUR WILL TRANSFORM EDUCATION TO ENSURE NO ONE IS HELD BACK Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Bath, Twerton councillor Joe Rayment, has today hit out at the government’s education...
Come and meet Joe on Sunday May 14th from 11am at the Bath Labour office, 136a Walcot Street BA1 5BG, to find out how you can help with his campaign.
If you can’t come along on Sunday but would like to help, please contact the office on 01225 314131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Come and meet Joe on Sunday May 14th from 11am at the Bath Labour office, 136a Walcot Street BA1 5BG, to find out how you can help with his campaign....