Statement to voters
I am Scottish Labour candidate in the Highland Council by-election in Wester Ross, Lochalsh and Strathpeffer; voting will be on Thursday 6th December.
Here is my leaflet:
If you elect me as a Councillor to represent Wester Ross, Lochalsh, and Strathpeffer (where my home is), my particular priorities will be:
to promote rural commercial development such as to address rural poverty and deprivation;
to tackle inequalities in housing; to promote more quality house building, both to buy and to rent;
to work to improve the quality of education, so that educational standards in the Highlands are once again equal to the best in Europe, and to reduce inequalities of opportunity in the educational system;
to improve the quality and quantity of social care,
especially for the elderly and infirm;
to ensure improved services of all kinds for children and young families;
to improve the integration of health and social care, and to ensure that high quality NHS care is available in all parts of the community;
to work with local communities, identifying gaps in essential services, and, especially working with the voluntary sector, finding innovative solutions to address and to fill these gaps.
On Thursday 6th December 2018 you will have the opportunity to add one more Labour councilor to Highland Council.
If you are not registered to vote, you can register yourself online at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
If you want to vote by post (maybe because it is difficult for you to get to a polling station on 6th December, or because you will be away from home, or because you doubt that you will have time to vote in person on the day), you can arrange online to do this, at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/files/ 4597/vote_by_post_-_application_to_vote_ by_post before 19th November 2018.
Obviously, I hope that you will vote for me. But, whoever you choose to vote for, please do vote â€“ donâ€™t let your vote be wasted!
Wester Ross, Lochalsh and Strathpeffer
Highland Council By-Election Thursday 6th December 2018
Vote Christopher Birt
On 6th December, vote: Christopher Birt
Christopher Birt Scottish Labour 1
(obviously I want you to choose me as your favoured candidate (so you vote 1), but if you favour other candidates ahead of me, please still vote for me (e.g. votes 2, 3, or 4, etc.), as all of these votes can count too!
Chris Birt is a retired medical doctor, who specialised in public health. He worked in the Highlands in the 1980s and 1990s, after which he moved into academic work. Specialising in public health nutrition, he was the President of the Section on Food and Nutrition of the European Public Health Association for the period 2010 â€“ 18 (he is now Vice-President).
Chris comes from a family of health professionals, which began when his grandmother caught a train at Tain Station, aged 18 in the late 1890s, to begin the long journey to London, where she would train to be a nurse at St Thomasâ€™s Hospital.
Chris trained in medicine and public health at Cambridge and Manchester Universities. He has been a Labour Party member since his student days in the 1960s, and has contributed to various Labour Party affiliated organisations, including the Fabian Society, Christians on the Left, and the Socialist Health Association.
Chrisâ€™s political concerns centre around the effects of poverty and social exclusion; his interest is in effective actions to reduce rural deprivation, which is often masked and unseen. Thus local government policies must address inequalities in health, education and housing.
Why I am standing
In the Highlands we live in the most beautiful part of the UK, and one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. Each time I drive from Strathpeffer to Gairloch, I am always staggered by the scenic beauty of this route.
The Highlands also contain wonderful people, but they have endured, usually in silence, deprivations much less commonly experienced elsewhere in the UK â€“ and they still suffer such relative deprivations.
I wish to do all I can, as a Highland councillor, including by drawing upon all my own professional experience, to work to reduce deprivation and social exclusion in our part of Scotland.
As I write this, the negotiations on BREXIT still continue, although apparently leading nowhere. BREXIT without any agreement would be an utter disaster for UK and for Scotland. This issue seems to me to overtake all party politics in importance, and I believe that politicians of all parties seeking the best for Britain should unite to ensure a â€œpeopleâ€™s voteâ€� on whether to accept whatever final BREXIT terms emerge, or to remain in the EU. Should this not be granted, Scottish people should be allowed a referendum on whether to leave the UK to rejoin the EU, or to remain in UK, outwith the EU.
Scottish Labourâ€™s Vision for Local Government
Caring for Society: we must ensure that care of the elderly and the most vulnerable improves, using successful models from other council areas.
Let children flourish: inequalities in outcomes between children from poorest and richest families are widening; Scottish education is failing in comparison with other countries; with our teachers, we must reverse these trends.
Improving services, creating jobs: we must rebuild all our vital public services, while offering fair levels of pay and conditions.
Investing in communities: we must provide employment and improve services. Where significant gaps in services are evident, we must work with the voluntary sector to create alternative ways to fill these, maybe using cooperative models, etc.
Building homes: we have housing shortage & poor housing; we need more council houses & affordable houses for purchase, while protecting tenants from unscrupulous landlords.
Getting the country moving: we must ensure that bus services are run for the benefit of local communities, and provide an integrated service, while also we must improve the maintenance of our road system.
Paying for good public services: amongst other taxation proposals, Labour would replace the Council Tax by a fairer system of local taxation.
This statement was added by Christopher Birt, their team, or by a Democracy Club volunteer, based on information published by the candidate elsewhere.
This candidate has previously stood for election in:
- 2018: The Highland local election, as the Labour Party candidate for the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh
- 2017: The 2017 The Highland Council local election, as the Labour Party candidate for the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh
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