Paul Viney is to stand as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for the High Harrogate ward in the Borough Council elections in May.
Last year Paul won 66 votes (4.5%) in the same ward on an openly socialist, anti-austerity platform. Paul was one of 560 TUSC candidates standing across 89 councils. This year TUSC are aiming to stand candidates in at least 1000 council wards and 100 parliamentary constituencies.
Paul worked for Harrogate Council for 14 years and has been a shop steward for the Unison and UCATT trade unions. Paul says: “All the establishment parties, including UKIP, are pledged to continue with austerity, privatisation and cuts. I believe that TUSC is the only real alternative in this election, defending public services and campaigning for a democratic socialist society run in the interests of the millions and not the millionaires. I reject the idea that some cuts are necessary or that the national debt is a reason for austerity. If elected, I will oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions.”
Affordable homes for Harrogate
A recent report by the National Housing Federation revealed that house prices in Harrogate have risen by over 65% in the past decade. The average house price in Harrogate is now £264,574 which is 12.5 times higher than the average income of £21,225. The increasing cost of the private rented sector is also contributing to the housing crisis in the town and the lack of affordable homes.
Paul says: “Affordable housing is a key issue for Harrogate. I am campaigning for:
- Rent controls – a cap on rents in the private sector
- Council-run, not-for-profit letting agencies
- A “rent council” made up of housing workers, tenants and trade unions to determine fair rents in Harrogate
- All housing services to be brought back in-house, along with a major programme of council house building
- The abolition of the bedroom tax and a no evictions policy
For £10 an hour – a minimum wage we can live on
All TUSC candidates support a living wage of £10 an hour, including for all council workers and contractors. Although Harrogate Borough Council recently voted for their staff to receive the official “living wage” of £7.65 an hour from 1st April, this will not apply to external contractors. Paul says: “I am calling for a living wage of a minimum of £10 an hour for Harrogate, including for all contractors and council workers. I will also be campaigning for an end to the use of zero hour contracts in council jobs.”
Would you like to help with Paul’s campaign in High Harrogate? For further information and to join our mailing list, please contact harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com
For information about TUSC nationally, visit: http://www.tusc.org.uk