New Bristol Mayor candidate vows to halt cuts in public services
THE latest candidate in the race to become Bristol's first elected mayor has explained why he wants the role.
Tom Baldwin, 29, who works as a part-time organiser for the Socialist Party is standing as the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts candidate.
Mr Baldwin, who lives with his girlfriend in Windmill Hill, is originally from Trowbridge but came to Bristol 11 years ago as a student to take his degree in physics.
He said his top priority was to reverse the cuts in public services.
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He said: "People across Bristol are feeling the ill effects of austerity driven by the Con-Dem government.
"Disgracefully, the city's LibDem council are passing on cuts and privatisation. This includes the closure of seven day care centres and eight elderly people's homes, affecting 200 residents. If elected mayor my first act would be to reverse these closures.
"In Bristol's hospitals, we can see the effects of the government's plans to privatise our National Health Service.
"The two Bristol NHS trusts, mired in debt by New Labour's pro-market PFI schemes, could merge.
"One proposal coming out of this is the closure of the A&E department at the BRI – this would be a disaster for this city.
"At the same time, trusts in the South West are planning a severe attack on health workers' pay and conditions of service. I will be campaigning against these attacks on our NHS."
Mr Baldwin voted against an elected mayor for Bristol in the referendum earlier this year.
But he decided to stand as a candidate to raise the profile of his organisation which is relatively new.
Mr Baldwin, a candidate in Bristol South at the last General Election, said we continued to see the "chaos of privatisation" on public transport.
He said: "It has got so bad that the council is now trying to get more control back over our buses.
"If that's the case why are they continuing with the privatisation of other vital services?
"A TUSC candidate will demand the transport network is immediately renationalised to bring down ticket fares and safeguard jobs.
"The farcical state of public transport on the trains and buses underlines why we want democratic socialist public ownership."
Mr Baldwin said he will be taking part in a national protest by trade union members against cuts.
He said: "The recent TUC conference reflected the growing groundswell of support for a one-day general strike as the next step in fighting cuts.
"I support this but I also think working class people need an alternative at the ballot box too."