Yorkshire Party candidate Lee Derrick vows to campaign for 'fair share of funding'
Yorkshire Party candidate Lee Derrick has shared his plans to tackle "chronic under-investment" in the borough.
The Whitby Town Councillor is fighting to become the new MP for Scarborough and Whitby and has told us his views on a number of issues.
Brexit: What’s your stance on Brexit, and what impact do you think it will have on the borough? How do you intend on resolving the current impasse while making sure the will of the people is respected?
Lee Derrick: The borough voted heavily to leave and I have to respect that. The failure of Westminster to get it sorted is impacting everyone negatively. Whatever deal is finalised The Yorkshire Party has to approach the Government and seek the best deal for Yorkshire and within that I have to seek the best deal for the borough.
Climate change: Scarborough Council, which declared a climate emergency earlier this year, has a target of making the area carbon neutral by 2030. As an MP, what steps will you take to ensure concrete measures can be brought in for Scarborough and Whitby?
Lee Derrick: "Commerce doesn’t have to be to the detriment of the planet. Green industry, innovation and research and development are all areas that will contribute to the 2030 target. If we can secure funding to improve our transport infrastructure to not only include better rail and roads but electric vehicle recharging points and better bus services then we can attract investment into the area which can provide quality secure jobs as well as maintain the health of our planet."
Low paid jobs: Recent research from the BBC shows that people working in coastal towns are paid on average £1,600 a year less than people inland. As an MP, how do you plan to address the issue of low paid jobs which is driving young people away?
Lee Derrick: "The three main London parties (Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats) have all been in power over the last 20 years and are responsible for the low wage economy. The biggest reasons we have low paid jobs is a lack of spending on education and infrastructure. Our coastal communities and businesses need better infrastructure. Our rail infrastructure is shocking and being at the end of the road may add to our charm for the visitor but society today needs and demands everything now. In order to get all year round industries that will boost our regional job prospects, connectivity and higher value employees are essential."
Transport: With the A64 still waiting to be upgraded, and rail services unreliable, many feel that unless something is done “we will be left behind”. What are your plans to improve our transport links?
Lee Derrick: "To be honest I think we already have been left behind! I’m not surprised it’s failing. The chronic under-investment by the three main London parties over decades has meant that our road and rail infrastructure is not fit for purpose in the 21 st century. I’m sure the front line staff at these rail companies are doing the best they can, however they are trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools. What we need is our fair share of resources and investment into transport and infrastructure and the decisions on how those resources are spent, taken from within Yorkshire and not in London."
NHS: What will you do to make sure local NHS services receive more funding? Parties have made pledges to increase funding to the NHS overall but how will you make sure local services will benefit directly?
Lee Derrick: "Our NHS is too centralised and is too distant. Decisions on the future of our local services need to be taken from within Yorkshire. I will be appealing directly to either of the London parties who happen to form the next government to give us our fair share of NHS funding to allow us to restore services that have been cut from local hospitals as well as remove the threat of hospital closures in both Scarborough and Whitby."
Mental health: Scarborough has the 8th highest suicide rate in the country. What will you do to improve local mental health services?
Lee Derrick: "Mental health needs to be properly funded and really should be part of an integrated health and social care system, led by the public sector and supported, as appropriate, by properly qualified alternative providers. Health and Wellbeing is a field that I work closely with and I will continue to promote the understanding of the causes of mental health challenges and ways to reduce them."
Social care: Social Care campaigners are asking for better funding, incentives to encourage providers to invest and measures to recognise the work care workers and unpaid carers do. What will you do to support this call?
Lee Derrick: "As with mental health and the NHS, social care has been chronically underfunded. To alleviate the current situation and to return dignity to those in care and those working in social care, there needs to be vital funding for this sector. Unpaid care workers also need to benefit from extra funding both financially and through assistance with their caring. Observing how other countries approach social care, there are also opportunities here to integrate social care into the community and allow our elderly residents to remain a vital part of our lives."
Education: Children in coastal schools achieve on average two and a half grades lower at GCSE than their inland peers, according to research by the Department for Education. What will you do to narrow this gap and support our schools in the Opportunity Area?
Lee Derrick: "The gap in education funding between Greater London and Yorkshire needs to be narrowed completely. In 2017/28 the ten highest funded schools in the country were in Greater London receiving between £6,000 and £7,000 per pupil per year. The Yorkshire equivalent was just over £4,000. School attainment is also in part linked to the notion that there are decent work opportunities for a pupil after they leave school. They need to have aspirational targets and that starts with communities like ours getting our fair share of funding education and infrastructure."
Trust: Why should voters trust you as opposed to the other candidates? What is your background?
Lee Derrick: "I live in Whitby and serve on the Town Council. Three years ago my son was born in Scarborough Hospital. I have worked in the tourism industry for 25 years and during that time thousands of folk have relied on me without problem to organise and execute their holidays and once in a lifetime travel experiences. Over the last 10 years I have also been teaching yoga/movement/mindfulness and health span awareness to folk in Edinburgh and more recently in Whitby. It is extremely important to me that the borough and Yorkshire as a whole begins to receive its fair share of Government funding. If we can achieve parity to the London area then I know that Yorkshire can not only thrive but also become amongst the world’s best at anything we want."