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Sarah Owen, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye.

Sarah Owen invites Hastings to share her aims

Following on from a recent article when the Conservative candidate outlined three priorities for Hastings, Sarah Owen, Labour’s candidate for MP in Hastings and Rye, has responded to HOT’s invitation to set out her three top priorities for our town in her own words, writes Chris Cormack.

“Hastings is a beautiful seaside town that has so much to offer. It would be easy to name my top three priorities as decent transport, better education and more jobs, which we all know any successful town needs, but having grown up here my vision for my hometown is much bigger than this.

These three priorities are at the heart of why I am standing for MP in 2015.

Priority 1 – Getting the basics right

Improving transport and infrastructure is a given – obviously we want better trains, better roads, and better broadband, but that shouldn’t be the end of our want; that should be just the beginning.

Priority 2 – High quality, well paid jobs

Of course I want to improve our employment rates in the town, but this isn’t just about jobs – it’s about high quality jobs. When you ask people what Hastings is famous for, often they will mention Harold, the arrow in his eye, and 1066, but what they should be saying is “highly skilled manufacturing industries, creative technical engineering industries”, because that’s what we actually do, we’re just not famous for it – yet! This is where I see our decent, high paid jobs coming from in the future.

Priority 3 – A more ambitious vision for Hastings and Rye

We cannot carry on as a low wage economy, where around £10 an hour is the average wage (well below the national average). Our aspirations for Hastings should be for much more than just a town that can function well. We should be looking to be World leaders, with our local skilled manufacturing and renewables linking up with education, first rate research and design and local apprenticeships. This is why I took our message out to China recently. They are the global industry leaders in terms of highly skilled manufacturing and technological advances, and they found that Hastings has a lot to offer.

Where we are in terms of research and development should be attracting the brightest and best from universities across the country – there is so much potential for them to come to Hastings and play their part on a global stage, not only in high vacuum technology, but also in areas such as tidal wave technology, which has just come to one of our local industrial estates.

So yes, it’s about more jobs, better education and improved transport and infrastructure, but we limit the potential of this fantastic town if we don’t see beyond these to a better vision of what Hastings can and should be. I’m not someone who just talks up our Hastings, I celebrate its achievements and I genuinely love living here in my home town.”

Saving Our Maternity Services

Sarah's maternity services campaign.

Sarah has launched a new campaign to ensure that maternity services stay in Hastings. East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs both the Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH, is currently consulting on six options for maternity services in our area. None of these options include a consultant-led maternity unit at both hospitals, three of the options downgrade maternity services at the Conquest Hospital and one option has neither a consultant nor midwife-led service at our local hospital.

Sarah believes our hospitals need excellent quality consultant-led maternity services in place. Join the campaign to stop the downgrade of maternity services in our local hospital. You can support the campaign and sign the petition online.

 

Amber Rudd invites Hastings to share her aims

Posted 15:51 Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 In: Campaigns

4 Comments

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Shane Whelan

    I agree totally with Paul Goldsmith’s comment above. The rail links are a joke. The parking strategy in this town is absolutely bonkers as well. I simply cannot believe the prices that we charge. How on earth can we hope to attract tourists in the numbers required to make it worthwhile for local traders to flourish unless we provide adequate cheap parking.

    Comment by Shane Whelan — Friday, Feb 28, 2014 @ 17:56

  2. Paul Goldsmith

    I have to say that one sentence for priority 1 is a disappointment and feels a bit lazy. Surely being born and living here all your life you can at least give more detailed information on what you want to achieve instead of this wishy washy proposal. Stat facts not hearsay.

    I’d currently be more inclined to vote for Leon and Stacy!

    Paul

    Comment by Paul Goldsmith — Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 @ 22:55

  3. Leon

    Driving wages up to and beyond the Living wage must be a start, but we need to go further if the average wage rose in Hastings people would have more money to spend in the shops and local businesses, attracting new entrants into the area. Imagine the impact of say every working person in Hastings gaining £2000 each a year more?

    Make car parking free on saturday up till 12:30, make all car parks free after 6pm. we need more parking in the summer where I am not sure but it would bring in more people and raise more money. Get the pier back open.

    Comment by Leon — Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 @ 21:52

  4. Stacy Hill

    Great stuff. If you want highly paid jobs you need a skilled workforce. Back to basics requires a functioning school system, defined by the % of pupils finishing without trades or employable skills, opposed to attendance and doctored figures. We would need a further education that caters for the whole community not just the narrow band able to afford the fee’s or to support themselves through 2 years education. From this we could have the tradespeople and managers for high revenue business. If you want the town to flourish we have to remove the premium parking charges levied in the town. No one shops here as its just to expensive to park. People that work in the town cant afford to park, to confirm this priory meadow and the seafront car parks are never full. The result of parking greed is empty shops derelict streets and big retailers/employers leaving town.

    Comment by Stacy Hill — Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 @ 19:39

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