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Mike Hill MP: 'I will not let this town get dragged into the mire'

Flashback to last June as Mike Hill, third right front row, celebrates becoming Hartlepool's MP.
Flashback to last June as Mike Hill, third right front row, celebrates becoming Hartlepool's MP.

I remember the election this time last year distinctly.

I remember the election this time last year distinctly. Theresa May had called it believing Labour to be weak in the polls and seeking a mandate from the people to back her as a hardnosed, hard line, no nonsense leader.

How wrong she was in many constituencies up and down the country, totally misreading the opinions of young voters, women voters and pensioners; whom she cynically attacked mid election over pension reform proposals.

For me it was the hopes and aspirations contained within the Labour Party Manifesto which, not only resonated with voters, but complimented exactly what I set out to do and continue to do to this day – speak up for ordinary people, celebrate our communities, strike out against the decimation of our NHS and public services, defend jobs and stop the unfair and incessant attacks on decent people through the Government’s failed austerity agenda.

More importantly I wanted to celebrate the town and the people, to be positive about our future and refuse to see us dragged into the mire by political negativity.

My election was the proudest moment of my life and vindicated my refusal to get involved with any kind of negativity and to instead focus on the people’s aspirations, togetherness, hopes and demands.

I listened to the people rather than took them for granted, unlike others, and that remains my watchword and commitment one year on.

That is why nobody gets knowingly ignored by my office.

Everybody gets a personal response from me no matter what the issue and in a timely manner.

We pride ourselves on acting as quickly as possible on things that are brought to our attention and we have helped countless constituents in their individual time of need.

Compared to other more established MPs who are often several months behind on their casework, I can say hand on heart that here in Hartlepool you have an MP’s office that is absolutely bang up to date and on top of the job; the people come first and everything else follows.

That goes for my work in Parliament too. There have been many trials and tribulations, not least Brexit, but putting all things into the context of what my constituents would want, think, believe, experience or desire has been my driver.

I said I would fly the flag for Hartlepool and I have been busy doing just that both on and off the green benches. It is my commitment to continue to do so and it remains my mission to bring improvements to the town in the areas that matter, such as jobs, policing, protecting our NHS, rebuilding communities and putting us back on the map for all the right reasons.

My respect for folk from all quarters and backgrounds remains solid and I continue to take inspiration from their fighting spirit, tenacity, sense of humour and common decency.

Of course, being an MP is life changing. It’s great to be recognised in the shops and have a good chat with people, attending civic functions, community and charity events has been a fantastic experience and simply getting out and about visiting schools, workplaces and a whole host of other venues and groups has given me a real insight into what makes Hartlepool tick.

Yes, there have been times when I have had to firmly echo the view of the people and upset some, but that has thankfully been rare and in actual fact I do believe that people would agree with what I said right at the start during the election; the town must go forward, we cannot afford to go backward. We deserve better than what we have right now, and what we have suffered in the past, and can realise our goals if we stand together.

There are many challenges we face, but we are getting stronger.

For me, Hartlepool has one true trajectory, and that is onwards and upwards. The alternative is unimaginable and as the MP I refuse to allow this great and proud town to be dragged into the mire.

I am confident that we can deliver a brighter more prosperous future and I remain as hungry for that as I was on the day I got elected.

Our voice on the NHS, the cutting of services and attacks on our hospital is a voice to be reckoned with once more, our sense of citizenship, respect for and community spirit is visible on a daily basis in people’s support for each other, our demands for better policing and safer communities resonate throughout the town, our demands for opportunities and support for our youngsters and people of all ages desperate and willing to work over jobs and meaningful employment are rightfully out there, our insistence that the most vulnerable in our society, young and old, are looked after in our communities is being heard and the message of going back to basics in order to rebuild and grow stronger is beginning to resonate with those who can and should make a difference.

Back to basics means doing the right thing by the people. It means paying attention to basic demands such as the right to be born and die here and to be registered as such, it means fixing the potholes, keeping our streets clean and looking after the public health of our citizens, it means fighting to put bobbies on the beat and protect our communities, it means tackling anti-social behaviour and making our streets safe again, it means taking on NHS providers to ensure services are protected, stabilised, brought back and focussed on the needs of the people, it means holding landlords big and small to account so that our families homes are fit for living, no more children brought up behind boarded up windows and we do not become a shanty town.

Of course, we also need the big ideas, the regeneration projects, the inward investment, business and tourist strategies, centres of excellence and improved transport infrastructures, all of which we are making great strides in, but we must never forget our roots and our principal purpose; to provide for our citizens and protect their interests.

We all know that the Tories have hammered local councils, public services and therefore the people while in Government. Getting back to basics after all that has happened to us at least gives us a fighting chance of rebuilding and protecting what we have and what is dear to us all.

For me, Hartlepool has one true trajectory, and that is onwards and upwards. The alternative is unimaginable and as the MP I refuse to allow this great and proud town to be dragged into the mire.

I am confident that we can deliver a brighter more prosperous future and I remain as hungry for that as I was on the day I got elected.