High Peak Liberal Democrats

Dr Peter Hirst - candidate for the High Peak Liberal Democrats in the General Election on 4 July 2024

Dr Peter Hirst - LibDem candidate for the General Election in the High Peak in 2024 - article for the Glossop Chronicle

 

I am thrilled to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for High Peak. It is a lovely constituency, full of interesting towns, villages and of course the peaks. I have enjoyed climbing Kinder Scout since being at Manchester University in the seventies. I am married with one daughter and two grandsons.

I have stood in four previous general elections, the most recent being in 2017 in my home constituency of Congleton.

I understand that High Peak is one of the most deprived constituencies in the country. People live on average 12 years less than in some of the most affluent ones. It suffers from its geographical isolation, poor transport links and having no major conurbation or industrial base. It therefore depends on small businesses, farming and its associated infrastructure and the tourist industry.

I am medically qualified and understand the challenges of obtaining good quality medical care in a timely manner living in beautiful countryside.

The other important issues in this election are the cost-of-living crisis, our economy since leaving the EU, education, housing and the environment.

The previous government has destroyed our economy both by leaving the eu and by incompetence. It has often put politics before what is best for the country and will pay a heavy price for this. We must invest in new industries such as renewable energy, IT and AI if we are going to afford decent public services.

Education is one of my passions. Teachers must be valued and schools given the resources to give our children the start in life that they deserve. Free school meals for all primary schoolchildren are essential both to ensure they benefit from their teaching and also to form that bond with each other that will serve them well throughout their lives. Many of our schools are suffering from years of neglect. Leaking roofs, poorly insulated buildings and lack of funds for the essential tools for learning such as books will take time to remedy.

High Peak suffers from dirty rivers like so much of the country. The Utility companies can no longer be allowed to pay their executives huge payments while leaks increase. Taking them into public ownership is in my view a measure of last resort. They should be held accountable in terms of perks and payments, so it is no longer in their interests to pay their shareholders dividends under these circumstances. Putting a legal duty on them to clean up our rivers would mean that they could be taken to court if they don’t improve.

The youth of High Peak deserve better. At the very least they should be equipped with the skills that they will need in a rapidly changing world. The modern world’s education is a mix of traditional classroom learning and more remote so every pupil must be proficient in using computers. There should be a well-resourced comprehensive network of youth community hubs whether they are attached to schools or otherwise so they can learn social skills, interact with their peers and learn useful skills for whatever their future holds. The Party supports a Universal Basic Income that would provide each person beyond compulsory education a sum of money to help them live and buy the resources they will need to progress their lives.

We need to invest in more social and other housing. Everyone deserves a secure roof over their heads whatever their circumstances. New houses and flats must be as near zero carbon in manufacture and use as possible. I support solar panels on all new buildings. We must invest in retrofitting our current housing stock that will provide skilled jobs.

Places without rail services should be compensated by improved bus services that synchronise with the rail services. If we are to retain vibrant communities in our small towns and villages there must be adequate cheap or free public transport. Last journeys should be 10pm or later to allow socialising with those in other communities and to allow access to amenities such as bowling avenues, musical and other cultural events.

We must tackle the increasing inequality in this country.

If you elect me, I will do my best to represent everyone in the constituency. Rural areas require increased investment to overcome the challenges of living there. When I look at the names on war memorials in your towns, it reminds me of the sacrifices they made and it is our duty to compensate those who remain.

Now is also the time to alter our method of voting to a proportional system that enhances vote choice. Never again should people have to vote tactically or have someone elected on less than half the vote.

Vote for me and I will offer you a safe pair of hands in these dangerous times.

 

Dr Peter Hirst is on Facebook

 

facebook.com/DrPeterHirstld/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Peter Hirst - manifesto for the candidate for High Peak Liberal Democrats in the General Election on 4 July 2024
Dr Peter Hirst candidate for High Peak Liberal Democrats in the General Election on 4 July 2024
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