I’m a Public Sector worker. And I’m sick of millionaires telling me I don’t deserve a pay rise 

I have worked in the Public Sector since 2001, and back then it was a great place to work. The working environment was relaxed and easy-going, senior managers treated you with respect and the pay was pretty decent, as were the perks and privileges. 
Offices were fully staffed; however, the IT we used was out of date, but it still did the job. And Departments were well managed and organised. 

In 2010 things changed within a matter of months when Labour left office and David Cameron became Prime Minister with his lapdog Nick Clegg. One of the first things they did was impose a 1% pay cap on Public Sector workers. Some of us had a 4-year pay freeze. Then they started robbing our pensions and hiked the retirement age – mine to 68. We are now paying more pension contributions but will receive less when we retire.

The next thing they did was start culling staff, closing offices, centralising work and setting unachievable targets. Since 2010, the Public Sector has become too target driven. And staff sickness across Government Departments has accelerated, mostly mental health problems caused by work-related stress. And if you take too many sick days your case is referred to a Decision Maker to decide your fate.

After a 4-year pay freeze I received a paltry 1% pay rise in 2015 – while MPs including George “we’re all in this together” Osborne – received 11%. And when trade unions complained about this, David Cameron arrogantly said that most people had been taken out of Tax and that was a substitute for a pay rise. 

The Tories are deliberately underfunding our public services including the NHS so they can justify selling them off. Poor performance can be used as the perfect excuse to brainwash taxpayers into agreeing that taxes should not be wasted on public services. They did that to British Rail from 1979 onwards which led to the privatisation of the railways in 1993. 

Public Sector workers have been hit hard with austerity and we have had enough. How dare millionaires including David Cameron and Norman Lamont say that we don’t deserve a pay rise. And now Tory MPs are trying to put Theresa May under pressure to end the Public Sector pay cap despite voting against Labour’s attempt to end the cap last week. Hypocrites, the lot of them.

The Tories don’t have a magic money tree to give Public Sector workers a pay rise but have so far blown £15.8bn on Universal Credit. Billions have also been wasted on the disastrous topdown reorganisation of the NHS which has resulted in huge deficits in England due to overspending on expensive agency staff and consultants because of staff shortages. A staggering £205bn is also available to upgrade Trident, while the Queen will get a taxpayer-funded rise of £8m because she can’t manage on £74m a year. And let’s not forget about the £1.5bn Theresa May paid the toxic DUP to keep her in power. 

Some ignorant Tory MPs have questioned where the money will come from if the Public Sector pay cap is lifted. I’ll tell you where it will come from: the same place where you have found £15.8bn to blow on Universal Credit, £8m for the Queen and the £1.5bn Theresa May paid the DUP.

I have worked in the Public Sector for 16 years and like many other people in my profession I am ready to quit. The Public Sector used to be a fun place to work, but since 2010 it’s been transformed into a workhouse where staff are treated like battery hens. We are sick of being overworked, underpaid and undervalued. 

Enough is enough. 

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The scale of Tory cuts to the Essex Fire Service 

On 18 June 2017, I wrote an article about Fire Service cuts in Essex and highlighted the dangers these cuts posed to tower block residents living in Thurrock. I now have details of these cuts to the Essex Fire Service.

I have acquired some detailed figures into Tory staffing cuts at Essex Fire Service. Overall employment costs are £129,000 (1.5%) under budget for the two months to 31 May 2017.

Spend for the whole-time firefighters is £136,000 (2.8%) under budget, this reflects headcount being lower than budget.

For on-call firefighters, spend is £60,000 (9.1%) under budget. This comprises two main elements, actual average headcount at 491 has been consistently below budget at 519 this year, this results in an underspend of £30,000 to May. Activity levels have decreased and are lower than budget, this accounts for an underspend of £30,000 to date.

Support staff pay is £73,000 (3.9%) over budget for the last two months to 31 May. This comprised of an underspend of £1,000 on directly employed staff (there is further adjustments required to the budget to accommodate the Job Evaluation impact for the current reporting year), an overspend of £3,000 on Secondary Contract Staff and an overspend of £71,000 on casual and temporary staff.

Directly employed support staff full-time equivalent (FTE) headcount was 261.2 at 31 May, this shows a net increase of 4.6 FTE or 1.8% since the beginning of the year. A further point worth highlighting is that we now have 14.8 (5%) vacancies against the budgeted establishment. There were also 33 Temporary Support Staff engaged to the end of May 2017.

This takes the total Support Staff to 294.2 for May 2017 (18.2 FTE above budget).

Whole-time firefighter numbers at 612.5 are 17.5 (2.8%) under phased budget at the end of May.

Irresponsible Tory cuts to the Fire Service across the country are putting firefighters under immense pressure and public safety in danger, and it has taken the Grenfell Tower tragedy to highlight the seriousness of these cuts. 

Despite the population growing, the Tories are not investing in infrastructure or public services like the Fire Service, but instead they are cutting them. How many more people must die in the name of Tory austerity in Britain? 

Enough is enough. 

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Thurrock’s tower block residents are at risk of death because of Tory cuts to the Essex Fire Service

Grenfell Tower was a terrible tragedy that should never have happened, and it will go down as one of the worst tragedies in British history. But in the wake of Grenfell Tower, residents in tower blocks across the country are now worried, nervous and frightened.

On Sunday, 18 June, I was contacted by an Essex firefighter. I am keeping his name anonymous. The firefighter informed me of the effects Tory cuts are having on the Fire Service in Thurrock, Essex. 

Thurrock’s Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price has voted for austerity measures including cuts to welfare, the Police Force and Fire Service. Essex now has 600 fewer Police Officers compared to 2010.

Jackie Doyle-Price’s supported cuts to the Fire Service in Essex have put Thurrock’s tower block residents at risk of a Grenfell Tower tragedy. There are roughly 14 tower blocks across Thurrock and in the event of a fire, the Fire Service in Thurrock no longer has access to a hydraulic lift because of Tory cuts. The Fire Service has to assess the situation and if a hydraulic lift is required then they have to contact Southend-on-Sea which is nearly 30 miles away. It could take up to 45 minutes for the hydraulic lift to arrive in Thurrock, possibly longer depending on traffic, by which time any residents trapped in a tower block are at risk of death. 

The firefighter has already spoken to some local residents in Thurrock’s tower blocks, and they were unaware of the scale of Fire Service cuts in Essex. Many are now very angry at Jackie Doyle-Price and the Tories for these irresponsible cuts.

Tory austerity is killing people. Disabled people are dying, robbed of their dignity; pensioners no longer have access to care due to social care cuts, and despite the Tories being warned in 2015 that their cuts to the Police Force and Armed Forces were putting Britain at risk of terrorism, they carried on cutting. Britain has since had three terror attacks in 2017. But the final straw is the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The Tories’ irresponsible cuts to the Emergency Services and Armed Forces must be reversed. How many more terror attacks and tragedies will it take for Theresa May to listen? 

This Tory Government has blood on its hands and I am extremely angry that Thurrock residents are now at risk of a Grenfell Tower tragedy because of unnecessary, irresponsible and dangerous Tory cuts to the Fire Service. 

I have contacted Thurrock Labour on behalf on the firefighter for an action plan to be put in place to hold Jackie Doyle-Price and the Tory Government to account. The firefighter will also join forces with Thurrock Labour to talk to local residents in these tower blocks and hand out literature. 

Enough is enough. 

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General Election 2017: A quick thank you to everyone 

I would just like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has tweeted me both publicly and privately thanking me for my tweets over the last 7 weeks since the General Election was called. 

I have tweeted tirelessly day and night, written several blogs and given feedback to local press and advice to people who were unsure which way to vote. I have had messages from people informing me they voted Labour all thanks to my tweets, many of which included factual news articles.

This election campaign has been fantastic from Labour’s point of view. In 2015, when Ed Miliband stood as leader, Labour achieved around 28% of the vote, yet Jeremy Corbyn has managed to prove his critics and detractors wrong by increasing Labour’s vote share to 40%. The Conservatives archived 42%. 

Here in Thurrock, Labour failed to win the seat from incumbent Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price, which was very disappointing. However, the good news is John Kent did increase Labour’s vote to 19,535 votes, an increase of 6.2% compared to 2015. 

The Conservatives achieved 19,880 votes, an increase of 5.8% compared to 2015. Labour has cut the Conservative majority from 536 votes to 345. 
But the biggest loser was UKIP. Tim Aker achieved 10,112 votes, a collapse of 11.9% compared to 2015. 

Over the coming weeks we will be in for some turbulent times. Theresa May’s ‘coalition of chaos’ with the DUP will not last as her position as Prime Minister is no longer tenable. Her deal with the DUP is being branded the ‘Bad Friday Agreement’ on social media. 

We must be prepared for another snap election this side of Christmas.

Theresa May has jeopardised Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement, while the Conservatives have caused Leave supporters a great deal of anger. But the next election will be a game-changer: the Conservatives’ constituencies that voted Leave are very likely to be target by an angry UKIP who will whip up support because Theresa May cannot deliver her hard Brexit. UKIP will split the vote in these seats – and this could be very good news for Labour. 

Last night, Jeremy Corbyn laid the foundations for a new left-wing Government thanks to the brilliant campaign he led. I am immensely proud to have been part of the social media platform which has made a difference for Labour.  

From a simple tweet to a knock at the door, from a phone call to delivering a leaflet – everyone involved in Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has made a difference and you should all be proud of your achievements. 

Once again, thank you. 

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UKIP is misleading Thurrock voters into thinking Labour is not standing in the election – so it can steal votes.

Tim Aker is leading a pathetic and desperate election campaign in Thurrock. Firstly, he is falsely claiming that UKIP is the only party opposing the Lower Thames Crossing. This is a barefaced lie. Labour has opposed this crossing since day one. And John Kent and Barbara and Gerard Rice have also campaigned against it – and still do.

Secondly, Tim Aker’s poorly-presented election literature is falsely claiming that Thurrock is a two-horse race between UKIP and the Conservatives. There is no mention of Labour or the Liberal Democrats. This has been done to deliberately mislead voters into a false pretence that Labour and the Liberal Democrats are not standing in Thurrock, and that the only alternative to Jackie Doyle-Price is UKIP. A lady recently raised this issue with Your Thurrock

Tim Aker and UKIP are treating the good people of Thurrock as fools. Many will not fall for his lies and deceit over the Lower Thames Crossing and false pretence that Labour and the Liberal Democrats are not standing in this election. On the contrary, John Kent and the Labour campaign trail has been all over Thurrock and receiving positive feedback from voters, based on what John Kent and Labour are saying on social media. Unlike UKIP, Labour does not have to lie to win an election. There are enough liars in Westminster as it, so why add Tim Aker to the collection? 

UKIP is now polling at 7%, yet in the 2015 General Election it was at 19%. Tim Aker has zero chance in winning Thurrock; the people saw through him in 2015 and will do so again on 8 June. Thurrock residents have even made reference to his atrocious performance in the EU Parliament – that is when he can be bothered to show up. 

The only way UKIP can win the election in Thurrock is by lying to the voters about the Lower Thames Crossing, steal Labour’s votes by giving a false pretence that the party is not standing, and claim credit for projects and decisions in Thurrock that are none of his business.

Across the country, UKIP are doing deals with the Conservatives in this general election by either not contesting seats or inviting supporters to vote tactically by voting Conservative. Theresa May has effectively replaced UKIP and taken swathes of votes which is why some people label her and the Conservatives as BluKip. 

But the bottom line is this: A vote for Tim Aker is a vote for Jackie Doyle-Price. A vote for John Kent is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn. 

Vote Labour on 8 June. 

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The Tories are the threat to national security, and the Manchester terror attack is why

Since 2010, the Tories have brutally cut the numbers in the Police Force by over 20,000, Armed Forces by over 20,000, the Home Office including Border Agency personnel by 6,000, the Navy by 5,000 and the RAF by 5,000. And it was recently revealed that Trident is operated by Windows XP, the same system used by the NHS that was recently hacked, causing chaos across the country. 

Theresa May was Home Secretary when these cuts were made and she authorised them. She was warned in 2012 about the pace of cuts to the Police Force but she continued with them regardless. Then, in 2015, she was again warned that Britain was at risk of a Paris-style terrorist attack because of cuts to the Police Force, the Armed Forces and the Home Office. The Police Federation also warned Theresa May, as did Jeremy Corbyn. She never listened and accused the Police Force of scaremongering and insisted that cuts would go ahead. 

Theresa May claims to be a ‘strong and stable’ leader but this could not be further from the truth. Tory cuts to the Police Force, Armed Forces and Home Office have put Britain at risk of terrorism – and that risk became a reality on 22 May 2017 when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena. The youngest victim was aged just 8. 

It has now emerged that the terrorist, Salman Abedi, was known to the Home Office and the FBI, but he still managed to commit the worst act of terror on British soil. Theresa May has serious questions to answer. 

Theresa May and this Tory Government are responsible for the threat of terrorism in Britain and they have blood on their hands. As Home Secretary, Theresa May repeatedly ignored the warnings about the effects her cuts were having on national security and crime. Now 22 people have paid the price for her incompetence and this Tory Government’s ruthless and damn-right dangerous austerity programme. 

I fully condemn the terrorist attack in Manchester and I also condemn Theresa May and this Tory Government for making it happen. Despite her claim of being a strong and stable leader, Theresa May never gave her press release until four hours after the terror attack. One of the first politicians to speak out was Jeremy Corbyn, followed by Tim Farron shortly afterwards.

The threat of terrorism has been raised to Critical which mean a terrorist attack is imminent. Theresa May has deployed troops on the streets to make up for the shortfall of Police Officers she has cut since 2010, and is using this opportunity to promote her strong and stable image. Do not be fooled.

On Tuesday, I cried tears of heartache, today I cry tears of anger. Tears of anger because this Tory Government is responsible for the threat of terrorism because austerity has put Britain at risk. Hearing the screams of those poor children in the Manchester Arena will haunt many of us forever. Beautiful children who were enjoying themselves have been killed and many more have been scarred for life. My niece is 12 this year and that could have been her inside the Manchester Arena.

We are just a few weeks away from the General Election and I urge you to vote Labour. Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled a fully-costed manifesto and it will include putting Britain’s security first by hiring 10,000 Police Officers, 500 Home Office Border Guards, 3,000 Firefighters, 3,000 Prison Officers, more Armed Forces personnel and a renewal of Trident, £10billion on cyber security and ban the sale of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. 

The Tories will not rule out further cuts to the Police Force, Armed Forces and Home Office, putting Britain more at risk to terrorism and crime. Theresa May is not a strong and stable leader, she is weak and wobbly. 

Theresa May and this Tory Government are a threat to national security and I hold them personally responsible for the terrorist atrocity in Manchester. 


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Only Labour will stop the Lower Thames Crossing in Thurrock. But that’s not just why John Kent will get my vote 

John Kent and the Labour Party have fiercely opposed the Thames Crossing since day one. John, along with Labour Councillor’s Barbara and Gerard Rice, have been heavily involved in the campaign against the Lower Thames Crossing. Labour has made it clear that this crossing is not welcome in Thurrock. 

UKIP are falsely claiming that they are the only party opposing the Lower Thames Crossing. This is a barefaced lie. UKIP are so desperate for votes that they are now playing party politics with the Lower Thames Crossing Campaign and people’s lives, the people who are affected by this crossing. 

Tim Aker is a political opportunist and he has failed the people of Aveley. He broke one of his key pledges he made in 2014: to reinstate the 373 bus service for Aveley and Belhus. This same pledge was made by Robert Ray in 2012 when he stood as a UKIP candidate in Aveley.

Tim Aker likes to consider himself the saviour of Aveley but nothing could be further from the truth. He has failed to deal with litter and fly tipping. He has failed to deal with antisocial behaviour. He has failed to deal with HGVs using Romford Road. He has failed to deal with uncut grass verges and parks. He has failed to deal with illegal and inconsiderate parking on pavements. He has failed to deal with potholes and street maintenance. He has failed to deal with noise nuisance from Damyns Hall Aerodrome, and next weekend it will be hosting a three-day music event that will go on until the early hours. And Tim Aker’s MEP record in the EU Parliament is also nothing to he proud of. 

We need an MP who will put Thurrock first.  That MP is John Kent. For far too long Thurrock has been misrepresented by Jackie Doyle-Price who misled voters over the Lower Thames Crossing. But she has also voted for brutal Tory austerity measures that are harming our community. Many people complain that Thurrock has become dirty and run-down – and that is the result of Tory austerity. Her record as our MP is not a good one, and Theresa May’s manifesto is the final nail in the coffin. And despite Jackie’s claims that the Tories are a party of the NHS, it was they who closed the NHS walk-in centre in Grays and have caused the current crisis at Basildon Hospital. 

John Kent is Thurrock born and bred. As a Councillor he has an brilliant record and he auccsssfully led the Labour council for 13 years. People should judge John on his record and achievements for Thurrock including his strong opposition to the Lower Thames Crossing. 

Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled a brilliant manifesto and his social reforms will hand power back to the people. No one will be left behind. Labour’s manifesto has been fully costed and it will be the rich who will pay for public services. There will be no more Tory austerity, no more inequality and no more division. Ordinary people and communities like Thurrock have been made to pay for the global economic downturn of 2008 that was caused by bankers and the elite. Iceland jailed 26 bankers, while the Tories rewarded ours with tax cuts. 

Labour’s manifesto is radical and popular, and will benefit communities like Thurrock. John Kent will serve Thurrock well as an MP, and Jeremy Corbyn will be the greatest Labour Prime Minister since Clement Attlee. Some people might laugh and jeer, others might say they are not going to vote, but the alternative is another 5 years of Theresa May who is already going down as the most ruthless and divisive Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher. Elderly people who purchased their home through Thatcher’s right-to-buy will have to sell their home to pay for the Tories’ social care crisis if they fall ill. That will not happen under Labour. 

If you love your NHS and public services then you will vote Labour. If you love your community then you will vote for John Kent. And if you love real strong and stable leadership then you will vote for Jeremy Corbyn. 

Only John Kent and Labour will stop the Lower Thames Crossing. UKIP are only seeking to exploit it for political gain. 

Labour is for the many, not the few. And that is why I will be voting Labour on 8 June. 

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How dare UKIP claim to be the only party to oppose the Lower Thames Crossing. It’s a lie. 

Tim Aker claims that UKIP is the only party in Thurrock opposing the Lower Thames Crossing. This is a barefaced lie. 

Labour and John Kent have fiercely opposed the Lower Thames Crossing since day one. Labour Councillors in Thurrock have also taken part in campaigns and protests against the crossing including Gerard and Barbara Rice.

Tim Aker and UKIP are so desperate for votes that they are now playing party politics with the Lower Thames Crossing Campaign. Thurrock needs to unite as a community and fight the Government; unity is strength. UKIP causing division in the Lower Thames Crossing Campaign will weaken Thurrock’s chances of victory. UKIP’s latest tactic is also highly disrespectful to George Abbott who has done a fantastic job at leading the Lower Thames Crossing Camapign. 

The good people of Thurrock rejected Tim Aker and UKIP in 2015 and they will do the same on 8 June. 

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Not voting Labour on 8 June? Then don’t complain about a Tory victory

People have taken to social media in protest against Jeremy Corbyn following Labour’s bad results in Thursday’s local elections. One tweet that caught my eye is by Jane Merrick, a freelance journalist and political blogger: 

My message to Jane Merrick and everyone else planning to boycott Labour on 8 June is this: 

Don’t complain if the Tories win the election. Don’t complain if Theresa May is re-elected with a bigger majority. Don’t complain about the Tories closing your local NHS hospital. Don’t complain about NHS waiting times. Don’t complain about your friends or loved ones spending hours on an NHS trolley in a corridor. Don’t complain about Richard Branson buying up the NHS. Don’t complain about poor mental health services.

Don’t complain about being on a long waiting list for council accommodation. Don’t complain about grammar schools. Don’t complain about austerity. Don’t complain about the closure of your local library. Don’t complain about your council turning off streetlights. Don’t complain about potholes. Don’t complain food banks. 

Don’t complain about rising crime. Don’t complain about police, ambulance and fire response times. Don’t complain about social care cuts. Don’t complain about poor train and bus services. Don’t complain about energy price rises. Don’t complain about tax hikes. Don’t complain about your retirement age being moved. Don’t complain about the abolishment of triple lock pensions. Don’t complain about the erosion of workers’ rights. Don’t complain about the Trade Union Act. 

Don’t complain about pollution. Don’t complain about fracking. Don’t complain about the erosion of the greenbelt. Don’t complain about immigration. Don’t complain about Theresa May’s hard Brexit. Don’t complain about your children or grandchildren leaving school and experiencing difficulty finding a job or entering further education. Don’t complain about tuition fees. Don’t complain about zero hours contracts and poverty pay. Don’t complain about unemployment. 

Don’t complain about the Bedroom Tax. Don’t complain about welfare cuts. Don’t complain about the public sector pay cap. Don’t complain about the Tories’ rape clause. Don’t complain about division in society. Don’t complain about inequality. Don’t complain about child poverty. Don’t complain about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Don’t complain about people like Philip Green. Don’t complain about the lack of freedom of press. 

In fact, don’t complain at all because you have absolutely no right to. You made the decision to sit on your arse and help hand Theresa May the keys to Number 10 and you will have to live with the consequences. 

 I will now give you all a slow hand clap. 

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People vote differently in local elections. So ignore the doom and gloom about Labour 

Labour could have done better in the local elections, but did not experience the total wipeout predicted – and hoped for – by the Tory gutter press. 

People have frantically been messaging me on Twitter saying they now fear Labour’s chances on 8 June. My message has been – and continues to be – this:

People vote differently in local elections. They vote on local issues such as the performance of their local Councillors and the performance of their local authority (council). If a Councillor has a bad record or is of a local party with a bad record then people will vote them out. Likewise, if a council, ether it be led by a political party, coalition or no overall control, people will vote for change.

Local elections should be fought on local issues; a local election campaign should not be based on national issues – these should be part of a General Election campaign. But it is inevitable that when campaigning in local elections people will mention national issues, but the local campaign should be based on issues such as the effects Tory cuts are having on local services, schools and hospitals. Other local issues include housing and street maintenance. 

Local candidates should explain how they will make a difference if elected; but they cannot tackle national issues such as immigration and the economy. 

People vote differently in parliamentary elections and just because the Tories had a successfullocal election campaign, it does not mean they will win the General Election by landslide. Polling expert Professor John Curtice wrote an article about this yesterday. Theresa May has also told the Tories that the results of the local election should not be taken for granted.

Theresa May is right. The local election results should not be taken for granted. 

If your community has been hit by Tory cuts or if you want an NHS that is fit for purpose then use your vote wisely on 8 June: vote Labour – and give your Tory MP their marching orders.

Finally, if you are not registered to vote you must do so by 22 May 2017 or you will not be able to vote on 8 June.

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