Friday, 26 September 2014

Redcar Liberal Democrats select local man Josh Mason as successor to Ian Swales

During a hustings event in Redcar last night, Cllr Josh Mason was selected to take the reins from Redcar’s Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales to stand for MP in the 2015 General Election.

Local man Josh, who is chair of the party, has worked very closely with Ian for the past 4 years supporting his campaigns for jobs, on flooding, against intrusive wind turbines, saving post offices and for better use of Redcar Hospital. 

Josh also sits on the board of Coast and Country Housing, is a local school governor, and represents Redcar’s Zetland Ward as deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats on Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. 

Josh has spent the last four years campaigning hard against council waste. He has led calls to freeze council tax for the last three years and called for George Dunning’s resignation. Josh strongly opposed the council’s Draft Local Plan and has repeatedly campaigned for action to be taken on TunedIn, the council’s failing new youth facility.

Commenting on the announcement sitting MP, Ian Swales said:

“I am delighted that Josh Mason has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the next General Election. I worked with Josh for over four years and it's no wonder that local politicians of all parties see him as the outstanding talent of the next generation. I will give him my full backing and think he can do an excellent job as our local MP.

“Our area is benefiting by having MPs with strong roots in the area. We can't go back to having Labour MPs dropped in from other parts of the country.”
After his selection Josh Mason commented:

“I’m thrilled to have been selected to stand in place of Ian Swales who has been a popular and hardworking MP.

“He will certainly be a hard act to follow but after working with him so closely over the years, I’m well aware of the constituency’s needs and feel well equipped to speak up for us locally and in Parliament.

“I grew up here, my family live here and I care deeply about the area’s future. I want to be an approachable, hardworking local MP and I will fight as hard as I can to ensure the best for our area.”

Friday, 5 September 2014

Ian Swales MP supports reform of “Bedroom Tax”

MP for Redcar Constituency Ian Swales has today supported his Liberal Democrat colleague’s private members bill calling for further reform of the spare room subsidy, more commonly referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’.

The bill, put forward by Andrew George MP, proposed that those who are willing to move but cannot be found a smaller home would be exempt, as would disabled people who live in adapted properties or who need a spare bedroom.

The bill received a majority of support from MPs with 306 votes to 231. The bill will now progress to committee stage.

Commenting after the vote, Ian said:

“I voted against the so called bedroom tax when the legislation originally passed through the house. This wasn’t because I think taxpayers should continue to pay for spare bedrooms or because I ignored the needs of the millions of people on housing waiting lists or living in overcrowded accommodation as the Labour party seem to do. It was simply because I knew that in my constituency we did not have enough 1 and 2 bedroom properties to cope with the change.

“There were of course other issues with the policy and I have personally fought for the changes already made for disabled children, service personnel and foster carers. Today's Bill covers two major remaining groups, disabled adults needing an extra room and those willing to move who can't be offered a suitable alternative. Both of which are problems in my constituency.

“I was therefore pleased to support the Bill and congratulated my Liberal Democrat colleague, Andrew George, on bringing it forward. Whilst the Conservatives and Labour take opposite sides on this issue, the Liberal Democrats are the only party trying to achieve a fairer system for everyone.”