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To the residents of Silverhill – via Cllr Springthorpe!

October 27, 2009

[Cllr Stephen Springthorpe has asked each of the parliamentary candidates to spell out why Silverhill residents should vote for them – here’s my reply…]

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Dear Stephen,

Many thanks for your email.

Perhaps the best way for me to answer is first to make brief mention of my work background and the political campaigning that I have done to date.

I work locally in mental health care, in the area’s crisis resolution and home treatment team. I bring to my candidacy a significant understanding of the social problems and demography of the constituency, and may well have met some of your constituents, or their family members, in a work capacity.

Along with Margaret Williams I have campaigned to retain consultant-led maternity services at the Conquest and in Eastbourne. My passion for this subject was fuelled by having my partner rushed to hospital after a complicated home birth in November 2007.

I have also campaigned with Margaret against the unfair parking charges regime at the Conquest. The pressure that we have exerted in this matter has resulted in a commitment from the hospital to change to a pay as you leave system later this year.

I have been working in partnership with our local fishermen to try to get the Labour Government to change its mind; give them a fair deal on quota; and protect this important and historic trade into the future.

I have been a lone voice among the parliamentary candidates in questioning the advisability of the Academies model as the way to embed secondary school improvement in Hastings. I have been working hard to get the County Council to bring forward an alternative model so that local people have a real choice.

I have also been active in lobbying Hastings Borough Council to increase its recycling rates; adopt a greener approach to policy-making; and listen to local people on the refuse and recycling solutions which will work best for them.

There will obviously be other issues and campaigns that will arise between now and the General Election, but I hope that this gives a flavour of what I have been up to until now!

I hope that the residents of Silverhill will also take the opportunity to look at the Liberal Democrat manifesto before deciding which way to vote.

Our policies have been costed under the watchful eye of Vince Cable MP, whose key tax pledge – that all earnings under £10,000 will be tax-free – will, I have no doubt, make a real difference to the pockets of people in Silverhill.

Finally, in terms of how you and I will work together…

There is a long history of respect for independent thinkers in the Liberal tradition. I think we will work together just fine!

Thanks again for the opportunity to put our case.

Yours truly,

Nick's signature

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