‘Ready to deliver hope again’: Labour candidate sets out vision for Scarborough and Whitby ahead of election

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The Labour Party’s general election candidate for Scarborough and Whitby said she is “ready to serve” and represent local people

In March last year, Alison Hume was selected as the Labour and Co-operative Party’s parliamentary candidate for Scarborough and Whitby for the next election.

Ms Hume, an award-winning screenwriter and disability campaigner, spoke to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) as part of a series of interviews with local general election candidates.

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Despite an early involvement in political campaigns and activism, Ms Hume says she is an “unusual” politician in that she “never intended to go into politics” as a career.

Alison Hume, Labour Candidate For Scarborough & WhitbyAlison Hume, Labour Candidate For Scarborough & Whitby
Alison Hume, Labour Candidate For Scarborough & Whitby

However, she says she “wants to win and give the people of Scarborough and Whitby a proper, strong voice in Westminster”.

At the 2019 general election, the Conservatives won the seat with a 10,000 vote majority and Ms Hume says she is “not taking votes for granted” but cites Labour’s recent Selby by-election victory as an example that “people are listening to Labour again”.

The current MP, Sir Robert Goodwill, has announced his retirement at the next election and Roberto Weeden-Sanz has been selected to contest the seat for the Conservative Party.

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Ms Hume, who lives in Whitby, is highly critical of the Government’s record on providing public services such as transport, healthcare, and education and described Levelling Up as “just a phrase”.

If elected, she said she would “be attracting investment into the area, I will be making sure that people come to Scarborough”.

The Labour hopeful is optimistic about the impact her Party could have if it wins the election – which is set to be held this year – even speaking of policies that would have to be left to a “second term”.

However, she notes that ”it’s important to say we don’t know what we’re going to inherit when we go into government,” adding “we want to make sure that people understand the Labour Party can be trusted with the economy.”

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“Anything that we are going to offer the electorate has got to be fully funded”

People are fed up and exhausted’

Ms Hume – who described herself as a working mother-of-three an and active campaigner – said she had been “listening to people and taking up their issues, and that’s what I will [do] as an MP”.

She said that in doorstep conversations with residents, people told her they were “fed up [and] exhausted, politics is barely on their radars”.

Ms Hume said: “People are working two, three jobs and they can’t get doctor’s appointments.

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“They can’t, they’re pulling out their own teeth, literally.

"We’re isolated with poor public transport.”

She added that her the message she was putting out was of a “changed Labour Party” that was “ready to deliver hope again”.

“Our passion is to literally help every child achieve the best that they can achieve.

"But there’s a lot of work to do and I’m the first to admit that.”

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Ms Hume set out some of her key policies and aims for the area:

  • Fighting for a better-funded local NHS, including remedying ‘the stripping away of services from Scarborough Hospital’
  • Creating more GP appointments and ‘unlocking the bed-blocking problem’ in social care
  • Giving communities the power to decide the number of short-term holiday lets
  • Stopping the ‘dumping of sewage in the rivers and seas’ and compensating fishermen affected by crustacean ‘ecocide’
  • Supporting local investment in new green energy jobs and growing the digital economy
  • ‘Breaking down the barriers’ to opportunity for every child and ‘particularly children with special needs and disabilities’

Addressing employment and the economy, she said that “a major reason” for rising numbers of out-of-work people was “because they’re on waiting lists for appointments at hospitals or waiting to be seen by mental health practitioners”.

The Labour candidate said: “People just want to be able to see the doctor and get the childcare they can afford, and then they will go back to work and that will grow the economy”.

Ms Hume said she also wanted “public bus services to be run properly” and had recently been running a campaign for the 95 Whitby to Sleights bus service which had been cut back.

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She said: “It is possible to have a proper bus and rail network.

"I was campaigning against the closure of the ticket offices, and that’s another example of how sticking plaster politics is just what the Tories do.”

Asked about the direction of the Labour Party ahead of the election, Ms Hume concluded: “We’re saying to people ‘the opportunity to shape our country’s future rests in your hands’, that’s quite an ambitious statement.

“We can’t afford to go on how we are, we need change and we need change now.”