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Labour mayoral candidate Mick Thompson They’re Trying To Buy Votes
April 01, 2019

As mayor of Middlesbrough, I’d find money to support our incredible communities and help them improve.

Over the last nine years, I’ve focused on helping to raise funds for communities and charities. In fact, I’ve led the effort that’s raised and distributed over £5m. Empowering communities and individuals is a fantastic thing.

But Middlesbrough Labour’s announcement of money for communities looks shocking – immoral. It looks like they’re trying to buy votes.

Here are the facts:

– Money’s tight and budgets are being slashed
– Just before election, a £1.3m giveaway pot’s announced
– This new money’s not allocated on deprivation but on politics
– A huge launch event takes place at public expense
– Their mayoral candidate is chosen to be the public face

If I’m elected I’ll use all my experience, contacts and energy to find and raise funds to boost communities. And I promise to support the work of charities and other groups.

But I’ll do that work year in year out. And I’ll allocate money based on need – not on how people vote.

I’ve analysed official deprivation statistics for Middlesbrough’s wards and I’m sad to confirm that money is being made available only to wards with all Labour councillors. Deliberately missing out the deprived wards of Park End & Beckfield and Longlands and Beechwood – apparently because they have independent councillors.

We need to smash this cynical and ugly approach to handling power – we must support communities based on need.

Photograph of Andy Preston
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"I believe in Middlesbrough. Together we can make amazing things happen."
- Andy Preston charity leader, businessman, Middlesbrough mayoral candidate
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