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Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland

Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland is located in Cleveland in the north east of England. The seat was created in 1997 and has been held by the Labour Party ever since.

The current member of parliament is the Labour Party’s Tom Blenkinsop who has served since 2010.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland

For more information, click here to visit the Wikipedia article.

Candidates

Martin Brampton

Background
I was brought up on Teesside. Starting at ICI Billingham, I’ve always worked with computers and now I am a software engineer with a database company.

Ever since I became politically active in my teens, I’ve supported social justice. After five years of austerity, greater fairness is desperately needed. Especially around Teesside, an area with a great history that now needs renewal.

My commitment is to –
* Rebuilding the economy with fairness for all
* The NHS as an ever improving genuine public service
* Taking action on climate change

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
It’s my firm belief that successful organisations build on the skills of every member. We all contribute to the successful creation of our society, not just the people who imagine themselves to be at the top. So I am interested in talking to people in every walk of life and understanding their hopes and fears.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
We need bold moves to get people working on fruitful activities and receiving fair rewards for their efforts. Austerity is economically illiterate and prevents the economy from functioning properly. Firm action is also needed to limit the damage we are doing to our world. Young people deserve a sound education without debt and everyone should have a warm, sustainable home. We need better public transport, especially on Teesside where I’m advocating a Teesside Metro. I am the only candidate committed to delivering on all of these important issues.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
Tom Blenkinsop has supported social care in the community, a principle that I fully endorse.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Austerity cannot work in the present circumstances and is damaging us. Independent economists are absolutely clear that we are worse off than we would have been without austerity. It is a policy that was discredited as counter productive in the 1930s and it works no better now than it did then. It has been used as an excuse for attacking public services and less well off members of society. The government economic record for the last five years is poor, and Conservative policies would cause further damage if applied to the next five.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
There have to be humane constraints on immigration, but we also need to pay attention to solving the practical issues created by immigrants. Legal immigrants must be treated decently. We must not lose sight of the fact that, on the whole, we have benefited from the hard work of immigrants who have enhanced our economy and created jobs.
6. Many people are concerned about the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
People are justifiably concerned about the cost of living. Crude national figures do not give a true picture of either the actual incomes received by most people or the impact of inflation. The economy is working well for an elite, but much greater fairness is needed through factors such as fairer distribution of rewards in companies, payment of at least a living wage, genuine help in finding work, and appropriate benefits for those that truly need them. There is a growing problem of under employment, which is ignored in much political talk.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
I want the NHS to be a genuine public service and a learning organisation. It can and should constantly seek to be better, and I am convinced that the vast majority of staff are committed to helping patients and willing to look for ways to improve the service. Markets and privatisation are an inappropriate distraction and an unwanted cost. Our NHS is a marvellous inheritance and it is our duty to preserve and enhance it.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
High quality education is a critical factor, especially for enabling young people to prosper in their working lives. While I believe that education should be operated in a local government framework, it should largely be removed from politics and constant interference. To be successful, we need to support and trust our educators and encourage them to aim for the highest possible standards. Education should provide for a wide range of needs, not just concentrate on the academic. Everyone should be able to find a good job and Jobcentres should be helping job seekers rather than demeaning and punishing them.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
Parliament is a bizarre spectacle and contains far too many people who appear to think that a salary well above average is not enough for them. It should contain MPs who are representative of the UK population, so far as can be attained.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I am in favour of holding an EU Referendum because so many people want one. But sufficient time needs to be allowed for proper discussion. We should be constantly looking for ways in which the EU can be improved, but as committed members, not carping outsiders. We are better off for being part of a sizeable group of countries, especially on Teesside where EU support gives us far greater benefits than costs.

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