We requested a statement ahead of the elections and will be following with a series of questions to all the candidates.
Andrew Jones said:
It has been a difficult time in our politics. We all know it. There is a stalemate in parliament that has to be broken. That is why we are having a General Election.
But while Brexit dominates our headlines and dominates the media I have been very clear that my focus is on our area. That is because I have lived here since the 1990s – the first MP for our area ever to live in the constituency. This means I use the same services, the same roads, the same shops, the same trains as you do. I work hard to improve our area not just because I am its MP but because it is where I live too.
I hope that, amidst the national turmoil of Brexit, you feel it important that we have a strong local voice making sure our area isn’t forgotten. While Harrogate, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge and the surrounding villages still face challenges much progress has been made:
Local unemployment stands at a record low and people in employment at a record high with thousands of new apprenticeships every year.
- From December we will have six new Azuma bullet trains to and from London daily.
- The tired old pacer trains are being replaced with refurbished comfortable Class 170 trains.
- Thanks to a £2.25m Government grant electric buses are serving many routes in our area
- Our local hospital receives plaudits from the NHS regulator and our cancer survival rates are among the best in the country.
We have made progress too in keeping our area special:
- Proposals for a so-called relief road through countryside in Harrogate, Starbeck and Knaresborough have been abandoned.
- Harrogate district is implementing an ambitious carbon reduction plan backed by the Government.
- There has been more government and council cash to help rough sleepers with deep-seated addiction, health and family breakdown issues.
- Government grants have ensured that rural North Yorkshire has one of the highest rollouts of high speed broadband and wifi in the country.
There is still more to do and I feel it is only right that you know some of my local priorities as we face this critical election for our country and our area:
- Securing more funding for elderly care – particularly dementia care – and ensuring that all major workplaces have access to free Dementia Friendly Training.
- Campaigning for our schools to get their fair share of any extra funds allocated by the Government. Already we have benefited from the Fairing Funding Formula for schools.
- Making our town centres into communities by encouraging ‘living over the shop’.
- Working with the mental health trust to ensure world-class care in their homes for people living with poor mental health.
Lobbying the Chancellor for more money to fight County Lines drug dealing.
If you feel you can support my local work for our community and my vision for the future I hope you will consider voting for me.