Hartlepool’s new MP says he will fight ‘tooth and nail’ to defend local NHS services and wants to see services brought back to the town’s hospital.
Mike Hill says he will work with partners across the board to make sure the Holdforth Road site has a future and boost social care so people can be cared for in town.
Mr Hill also says he will work hard to secure investment in Hartlepool that supports jobs and put the town even more on the tourist map.
He said: “I have made a commitment on doorsteps to fight for public services in particular the NHS in Hartlepool.
“I fully understand how important the hospital at Holdforth Road is to he people of the town.
“I am determined to work with all parties across the board and all like-minded people who have the interests of the hospital at heart to bring back services and fight to defend it to make sure it has a future.”
Mr Hill said the Government’s controversial Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are a threat to local NHS services, including the potential closure of Hartlepool’s nearest Accident and Emergency Department at University Hospital of North Tees.
He said: “Labour is determined through its manifesto to rip up the STPs and reinvest in the NHS and adult and children’s social care.
“As MP for Hartlepool I will fight tooth and nail to defend our NHS in town.
“I will look at bringing in investment in terms of integrated health and social care and work hard to make sure that the people of Hartlepool get the care they need in their communities and not outside of the town.”
As a negotiator for the union Unison Mr Hill said he has seen close-hand the effects of Conservative austerity cuts to the NHS and social care.
“The cuts quite often are deeper than people realise,” he said.
He said he would work with Hartlepool Borough Council and service providers to come up with innovative models of care that are not only fit for purpose but world class.
Employment is another of Mr Hill’s key pledges.
He said he will work with the newly elected Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen to secure any available European money before the country comes out of the EU.
He added: “I want to see greater investment in Hartlepool. I believe we have a good base for attracting new businesses into the town.
“I think we have got the talent and the skills through the apprentices training scheme at the college of further education and other quarters to attract new engineering into the town.
“I want to bring new innovative technologies to Hartlepool such as digital technology or the pharmaceutical industry and also tourism.
He also said he wanted to work with small businesses to support them and help them grow.
Regarding Hartlepool’s tourist potential Mr Hill said: “I firmly believe that the National Museum of the Royal Navy moved into Hartlepool for a reason, and that is because it is a town on the up.
“I have already had discussions with the chief executive of Hartlepool Borough Council and others to find ways of bringing tourism into town.
“Hartlepool is a great tourist destination and that needs celebrating.”
Mr Hill said he will be fully committed to the job of being the town’s MP.
“It is an extension of the campaigning work I was doing for 18 years in Hartlepool,” he said.
“It is an honour and a privilege to get the chance to do this job.”
First-time candidate Mr Hill was elected in the early hours of Friday with 21,969 votes and 52.5% of the vote.
That was more than the other three candidates combined and saw Labour more than double its majority from 3,024 under Iain Wright in 2015 to 7,650.
While UKIP pushed Labour close in 2015, this time it was the Conservatives with candidate Carl Jackson saw their share of the vote jump by 10%.